Wed | Oct 4, 2023

A Matter of Land | Help! The municipal corporation says I have no plan

Published:Friday | May 18, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Craig Francis

Good day, readers. This week we again respond to a question from a reader.

Good day Mr Francis,

My name is A.G. I inherited an incomplete two-storey house from my mother who died in 2010. I went to Jamaica and completed the house.

I am now getting letters from the municipal corporation that it does not have a plan in its system for the house. Mind you, the house was there for 13 years before her death and we did not receive any notices.

All I did was put in windows, tiles, doors and paint for the upstairs to complete it. I am now being told that I need a surveyor's report in order to get a plan drawn up.

I'm also told that there is a breach on the house because she erected a wall between her and the neighbour, and she built the house on to that wall.

I do not know where to begin as we also haven't probated the will as yet. I sent a letter to the municipal corporation informing it that I don't know about the building of the house and that the owner has died and left it to me with these problems.

Please advise me of the best cost-effective way to go about rectifying this.

- A.G.


God day A.G.,

You are finding yourself in a situation that many persons have found themselves in of late.

The local authorities and municipal corporations are now on a drive to get the plans of all properties that have houses that have been modified from original structure, or lands with houses that were land only.

If you are unable to produce the documentary evidence that you had sought, and receive approval from the municipal corporations, then you are required to submit the requisite documents now.

Even though you have not yet probated the will, what the municipal corporation has asked for affects her estate. As such, either yourself or the executor of the estate will have to have the matter addressed.




The first thing you will be required to do is to get an 'as built plan' prepared of the existing structure.

The term 'as built' refers to the floor plans showing a limited amount of detail such as walls, doors, windows, and plumbing fixtures. These plans are created after construction of the building is complete.

You will need to get an architectural draughtsman to prepare an as built plan for you to submit to the municipal corporation.

You will also need to contact a land surveyor to prepare a surveyor's identification report for the property to accompany the drawing for submission to the municipal body.

Once you submit these, along with the requisite fees, the municipal corporation will move ahead with its approval process.

I hope that there are no breaches or encroachments, as this would hinder the process. All the best, and I hope it will be a smooth process for you.

Keep sending your questions and comments and let's continue to explore A Matter of Land. Until next time, traverse well.

- Craig Francis is a commissioned land surveyor and managing director of Precision Surveying Services Ltd. He can be contacted for questions or queries at or Precision Surveying Services.