Ever since Hausples.com.pg announced on its site that the Government proposes to issue 40,000 free land titles, social media has been abuzz with excitement and anxiety. Obviously, with the current state of the property market being beyond reach of the average working class citizen the response is predictable.
Despite the announcement being made, there has been very little information released on this project. However, that’s not to say that the Government isn’t doing anything because as matter of fact, the proposed site on which the titles are to be issued is already being developed.
Whether the project in general achieves the Government’s goal of solving the housing crisis in Port Moresby remains to be seen but for the time being, interested individuals eager to secure a title would be asking exactly what the eligibility requirements are and the terms and conditions associated with the grant of a title.
But there are other more important questions individuals should ask or be prepared to ask when more information is released. What are the 20 questions we have?
Please note that these are just questions we have and you too may have different questions for your own circumstances or goals. It would be advisable to seek independent legal advice on your own situation.
Anyway, let’s have a look at the questions:
1. Despite the word FREE, are there any hidden costs and if so what are they?
2. Is the issuance of a title limited to those with a successful home loan application with a commercial bank?
3. How long must a successful applicant of a title erect improvements on the land on which title is granted?
4. How long is the period of lease or grant of the title and is it renewable?
5. Is land rent payable on the land on which title is granted and who pays for it?
6. Is the title only for residential purposes?
7. Are there specific covenants on the title and if so what are they?
8. Can the title be joint ownership of husband and wife or can it be under a single name?
9. What is the nature of ownership? Is it joint tenants or tenants in common?
10. What happens in the event that the applicant is granted the title but is unsuccessful in his/her loan application or defaults in meeting the loan terms and conditions?
11. Are the land the subject of the title serviced allotments?
12. Can the titles be transferred to third parties after grant?
13. What happens if the person who has been granted the title dies?
14. Are these titles subject to land tax and garbage rates as charged by the NCDC?
15. What are the sizes of land the subject of these FREE titles?
16. Do “title holders” require planning permission when considering constructing improvements on the land or is the permission granted on issuance of title?
17. Is there a restriction or condition as to the type of dwelling that must be erected on the land?
18. What kind of amenities are proposed to be built in the area on which these FREE titles are located?
19. Can “title holders” build additional dwellings for investment purposes to help them repay home loans?
20. Can the properties be used as security with commercial banks for other purposes such as a business loan or purchase of additional properties for investment?