A friend bought some land some time ago, and the chanote deed was transferred to his name with no problem. However, when he started to build a house on the land, he ran into trouble. Apparently, ownership of the land had at some stage been split between two people, one of whom was the person who sold the land to him and who got all the money from the sale. This split was never registered officially, so there was no way my friend could have known about it. Nevertheless, the other supposed owner took him to court. It seems to me...
Asked on Monday, July 2, 2001 | 05:38 AM
Legally, land is owned only by the people to whom it is registered (multiple owners may be registered). Any claim on land by a claimant who is not registered as an owner has no force in law. In a situation such as you describe, the person whose name was not on the chanote, and who didn’t get paid, can have a case only against his co-owner, based on any contract that might have been signed between the two of them. I know of no circumstance in which a deal registered at the Land Office can be canceled. The only way that ownership can be enforced is if it is registered against the land title. The Land Office sales contract also acts as a receipt of full and final payment. The person who bought this land shouldn’t be in trouble.