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Guatemala Real Estate titles and rules? 2005

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THE THINGS YOU HAVE TO KNOW ABOUT BUYING LAND IN GUATEMALA as a foreigner! THIS IS ABOUT THE KINDS OF TITLES THE GOVERNMENT HAS.

When you get into the countryside populated by the indigenous people, getting a clear title can be confusing? You really need a professional.

There never used to be a National Cadastre and people more or less used squatters rights. Squatters rights are occupation and usage for a period of ten years and more. This enables them to claim title by possession. When such a squatter wants the title, he or she has to go through a sort of civil trial after ten years of occupation of the land. The TITLE given by the government is a TITULO SUPLETORIO which is sort of a Lease Certificate, a transitory TITLE. After this Ten Years you can then change it to a Derechos REALES, or a TITLE of PROPERTY. In nearby Belize the next country on the Caribbean coast, they would then call this change from a Government Lease Certificate to a FREEHOLD TITLE.
Ocean frontage has it's own rules. Such land is controlled by the government back 3.5 km from the ocean side. On river frontage, the distance controlled by the government is 50 meters. Or about 150 feet. On LAKES the distance is 200 meters back is controlled by the government. Or about 600 feet is public pass. The law has just been changed in Guatemala and nowadays a foreigner can also get these government title contracts that once were only available to Guatemalans.


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I got this information from Armand Boissy. E-mail: armand@intelnet.net.gt Who is in the real estate title business.