Road to Negril

Part 2 - Buying Property (for non-Jamaicans)

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Once you’ve gotten the papers from the lawyer indicating you own the property you can have the utilities changed over to your name. This requires a visit to the local offices of power and water. And the one thing you’ll need at both locations is a Jamaican Tax Revenue Number or TRN.

It is easy to obtain a TRN. Go to the tax office in the parish capital. For us that is Lucea because Point Village is located in the parish of Hanover. There is a form that must be filled out and taken to the tax office along with a picture ID (your passport suffices). After you’ve submitted the form, you are given an ID number. A few months later you can stop by again to pick up your actual card. It is not a picture ID, just a number ID and it is used when making major purchases or setting up accounts with the utilities.

Jamaica TRN Application forms

Moving In

It is not uncommon to pay rent for your property while moving in. That should be negotiated with the owner as part of the deal. Utilities must be paid and any other obligations met while the property is going through the transfer process. If the accounts are not paid up, the sale will be delayed thus you really want to make sure everything takes place smoothly. You do not want to be stuck paying rent for a long time so make it a reasonable but short timeline based on when you have the money ready and in a Jamaican bank for the purchase transfer.

When you first move in avoid the temptation to start changing everything. The deal is not done until you have the paperwork safely in your hand. Once that is achieved then you can begin making significant modifications to the property you have purchased.

That’s the subject of the next article in this series – renovation, Jamaican style.

Part 1 - Finding a place in paradise