Overdue Property Payments By Government

Submitted by The Scout

Michael Lashley, Minister of Housing and Lands

Recently Minister of Housing, Mr Michael Lashley made a statement that was a bit disturbing to me, he stated that there are persons who government owe money to for compensation of land acquired over twenty years ago. This is totally unfair and unconstitutional, most of those who are owed money for land acquired, are probably poor people, some who would have either needed this land to plant crops to make a living, for their offspring to build on, or even to sell and invest the money.

Additionally, many of them may be old persons and I’m also sure some of these land/ property owners would have passed on after so long, now their offspring would have to get a court order to pursue this matter. What is happening is tantamount to robbing poor people out of what is legally theirs. It is unacceptable that any government should take that long to pay someone when they have the legal right to acquire that same land after just one missed payment of the property tax.

Does this encourage any locals to own a piece of this rock, when government have the right to take it up and pay you for it at their whims and fancies?

When the payment is eventually disbursed would the property owner be paid at the price twenty years ago or at the present going price?

Is the property owner not entitled to interest on that money for the period of time it took to pay?

Would the property owner have the right to demand payment or must he/she accept an alternative portion of land?

I’m sure there are many other questions that needs to be asked, but suffice it to say that this is totally unacceptable and the matter needs to be settled, the persons paid and this situation never occur again. A time limit of no more than five years should be given for compensation to be made or a penalty placed on government

0 thoughts on “Overdue Property Payments By Government

  1. The fact that the practice of snail compensation for those whose land has been cumpulsorily acquired straddles the two parties speaks volumes. In quick time we were able to enact sunset legislation. It shows what can be done when there is the will. By the way does this problem affect all Barbadians or only the poor?

    On a similar not the comment by Minister Donville Inniss critiquing the public service is interesting. Should we categorize his mouthings as huff and puff or will his government act?

  2. Poor people suffer more because the rich can afford to wait.

    The Rich probably use it as leverage to get their other important issues dealt with promptly.

    “We are not going to bother you for that money but we need approval for that property at Shady Heights.”

  3. I suspect so anthony!!

    … and David, it doesn’t matter whose land it is, rich or poor.

    It is all to do with power and its exercise.

    The minute the powerful are challenged and lose the floodgates of accountability unlock.

    Can you imagine the issues the powerful would face if just one hard done by land owner actually stands up, fights and ….. heavens forbid wins?

    Every other one will take the cue and the powerful will be washed away because they have operated outside of the law which they are sworn to uphold and protect.

    Can you imagine the confusion if title is shown to have vested wrongly and every subsequent related land transaction based on that title is called to account?

    The Court would become a laughing stock.

  4. Can you imagine the complications if it were found that GOB acquired land from land holder X whose title suit is found to be fraudulently conducted?

    Suppose GOB had proceeded to build houses and to convey title to a whole set of little people.

    Along comes the rightful owner and shows up the fraudulent title suit and seeks compensation!!

    All hell lets loose because I would imagine the rightful owner would be entitled to the enjoy the value of the land fully developed!!!!

    Lord have mercy!!!

    Remember the little old lady Mavis Beckles and her claims.

    Understand she shook the foundations of the judicial centre!!

  5. That indeed would make barrack issue seem like chump change john.

    Do we need a total overhaul of title system so that it all electronic now so searches are easy and lawyer can’t charge you an arm and leg for them and that there be no more issues with 2 or more people claim the same land.

  6. Yes both parties have been guilty of this, and it needs to be rectified. People need their money and gov’t needs to handle citizens’ business properly, and don’t drag their heels. Hurry up. Don’t say you don’t have money because you could find it for St. John clinic, you can find it for this.

  7. @Bajan Truth

    They still have to find the rest of the money for st john polyclinic. They only paid off the money owed for professional work and paid either 1/2 or all of the mobilization fee.



  9. It’s not that simple to pay the wrong person for land if the correct process is taken.A thorough check at the registry can show you the history of the land as it changed hands from way back many years ago. i once purchased a piece of land and when my attorney gave me the documents I was shocked, he handed me fifteen seperate title deeds that dated back into the early sixties, I think, each one showing the transaction from one person/company to the other until it got to the present owner. It is downright carelessness on successive governments to delay payments for land compulsory acquired. Like in most cases you must know a friend and pay a few dollars to have it pushed

  10. Twenty years? That’s a long time for compulsory acquisition of property by Gov’t without compensation.

    I’ll bet that none of the land was owned by politicians or their families, politicians always get paid.

    Compulsory acquisition of property (Expropriation or in the USA Eminent Domain) is on the statute books of many countries which have a common law system but the owners of the property are entitled to adequate compensation (market value of the property seized).

    I will wager that the situation in Barbados is muddied in instances where ownership of the property is nebulous ( why do you think that lawyers end up owning a lot of land?) and by the fact that the folks who may lay claim to the property die and the Estate Administrators/Executors are derelict in their duties.

    Twenty years!!! It makes one understand why some people go “postal”

    • So many laws we need to fix and yet our parliament can vacation for weeks. How can the people be expected to focus on improving its work ethic when it is business as usual by our policymakers?

  11. David | February 16, 2011 at 11:00 PM | So many laws we need to fix and yet our parliament can vacation for weeks. How can the people be expected to focus on improving its work ethic when it is business as usual by our policymakers?


    A few good people simply observing existing laws will dramatically assist the situation.

  12. It is not simple to find landowners. Sometimes the land is in a name two generations ago, with o will, and the perosn living in or in charge of is not necessarily easily traceable to having entitlement to the property. So there are real issues. However there was no excuse for this, carelessness by both gov’t. It needs to be addressed NOW. Very often thee are poor people. Educated people know and negotiate their rights. Some poor people just glad to get the road and do not consider the financial implications.

  13. BAJAN TRUTH | February 17, 2011 at 11:15 AM |
    Educated people know and negotiate their rights.
    Even this sadly is not the case.

    I would say that there is an expectation that people in responsible positions will act responsibly and do the right thing.

    Very often educated people will go along with this expectation, just as readily as will uneducated people, perhaps even more readily.

    I was told the easiest mark for a con man to con is a doctor … and it is precisely because the doctor is highly educated!!

    It is true however that with educated people when the light goes on all hell can break loose, but uneducated people can cause just as much trouble.

    Perhaps it is the uneducated people who are quicker to realise something is wrong and are quicker to act.

    After all they are in the trenches every day and are more willing to hold up their clothes and get on bad.

    They don’t have the image of the educated to protect.

    Education can dull the senses!!

  14. Bajan Truth
    You saiid it’s not easy to find landowners, but somebody has to be paying the property tax or the government can claim the land, so why would it be hard to find the owners? I’m sure thereare some people who recieve their compensation within a year of the land being acquired, it is who you know and how much you’re willing to pay.

  15. You cannot owe government. If land taxes are not paid in a timely fashion, you are charged a penalty.
    Interest should be placed on monies owed to these people. Government should not be allowed to get away with this. Barbadians will only make noise if this affects a popular person or themselves.
    Lashley needs to know when to hush.

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