Published On: Wed, Jul 25th, 2018

Real estate agent urges government to resolve Kadaster ‘problem’ immediately

Arun JagtianiCOLE BAY — In an interview with StMaartenNews.com, well-known real estate agent, Arun Jagtiani, founder, owner and broker of Island Real Estate Team lamented the present status of backlogs at the Kadaster in processing deed registrations. A process that normally takes 24-48 hours went to 2-3 days – which was still acceptable – but what is now taking 3-5 weeks and in some cases months, which is unacceptable for clients. Jagtiani issued a statement wherein he calls on government to urgently resolve the problems at the Kadaster post-haste.

In a press statement Jagtiani wrote: “I have complete confidence in the current Council of Ministers of Country Sint Maarten that they understand the seriousness of the current ‘problems’ at the Kadaster office. I expect that they will act with a sense of urgency to ensure a solution is found immediately.”

“As of this week, the ‘problem’ has escalated to a point whereby the 3 Civil Notaries on the Dutch side of the island have issued a joint statement informing the public that they must temporarily postpone the execution of all transfer deeds. This means for the moment no one can sell real estate!”

“Not only does this spell disaster for the real estate industry and my personal livelihood, it also could mean the complete collapse of the St. Maarten economy if this ‘problem’ is not resolved in the very near future. Right now it seems unthinkable that this ‘problem’ will be allowed to grow to a point where it completely cripples the economy, but then again, I never thought this ‘problem’ would reach to where we are now.”

“I don’t want to get into the various conspiracy theories I have heard about why this ‘problem’ exists but I do want to stress the importance of it being resolved ASAP. Our economy is in recovery mode, and not allowing real estate transactions to close is blocking significant revenue for government coffers (transfer tax).”

“The current ‘problem’ is also preventing large amounts of money from circulating within the local economy, essentially taking the wheels off of our economic vehicle and making it impossible to continue traveling on the road to recovery. I believe government has the obligation to ensure the wheels of economy are always able to turn.”

“There are countless spin off affects from every real estate transactions including transfer taxes, real estate commissions, insurance policies, contractors, housekeepers, gardeners, etc… More important to realize is how dependent some people might be on needing to sell their real estate. At any given moment there could be people within the community who desperately need to sell their property in order to meet their basic financial needs. In a few extreme cases the consequences of not selling a property can be as drastic as life or death.”

“This is a VERY bad look for us as a country, and you can’t imagine how embarrassing it is trying to explain this current situation to international clients. This being said if resolved quickly no one will remember this in a few months. However, if left unresolved for another few months we might never recover, and our island will be remembered as the land where incompetence ruled and destroyed.”

Jagtiani concluded his statement by writing: “I speak of doomsday scenarios just to make sure everyone understands how important it is for this matter to receive immediate attention. I honestly believe our Council of Ministers understands what is at stake here and will take action in a timely manner to remedy this situation thereby preventing any further damage to our economy.”


Editor’s Note:


Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Due to certain problems at the St. Maarten Land/Mortgage Registry (Kadaster / Openbare Registers), the civil law notaries in Sint Maarten are presently unable to register property transfer Deeds and mortgage Deeds.

The civil law notaries in Sint Maarten are therefore compelled to temporarily postpone the execution of such Deeds until the problem at Kadaster has been solved.

The civil law notaries apologize for the inconvenience.

Issued by civil law notaries Marlène Mingo, Meredith Boekhoudt, Faride Tjon Ajong


Relevant links:

Notaries accept short term solution for Kadaster
Notaries issue ultimatum about non-functioning Kadaster
Chamber of Commerce extract of the Kadaster per Wednesday, July 11th, 2018
Article: Incompetent employees put Cadastre at risk
Opinion piece: Rudderless
Opinion piece: A coveted position