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Puerto Rico Real Estate Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: When can a buyer not sue a seller for not following thru on contract?

I accidentally signed a eContract for selling my house in puerto rico and then notified both buyer and broker 30 minutes afterwards before either of them noticed contract was docusigned and notified them that the signing was a mistake.

And then later same day texted both of them that... Read more »

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Nov 23, 2022

Normal sales option contracts require that a buyer provide an option to take the proposed real estate off the market during the sales term. You may not have received money, but the realtor may have received an option deposit to be kept in an escrow account until the sales deed is signed by the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Who recieves the property? What can we do ?!

My parents passed away and left there home in Puerto Rico to all there kids. The past few years my uncle was uncle was living In The home and keeping it up. He just married a woman a couple of months ago and he has recently passed away. Now the woman he was married is refusing to leave my... Read more »

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Nov 18, 2022

First of all, if the real estate property belonged to your grandparents (whom, I assume, are both deceased), either a Will for each grandparent or a declaration of heirs must be procured and filed with the Property Registry, to transfer ownership from your late grandparents to their children. After... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Purchased 9 acre property w/ house.We are interested to subdivide a parcel off to sell as lot.What is req. process?

Property located in Rincon, Puerto Rico

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Nov 10, 2022

In general terms, you should start by procuring either a Title Study or a Registry Certification from the Property Registry, to certify that you appear as owner of the real estate property. Next, you need to retain the professional services of a civil engineer, who'll prepare a plot plan... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: How can I prevent my brother's girlfriend from having keys of a shared home in PR. He and I are inheriting the property

My brother and I are the heirs of our late parents home and other properties. We just started the process of the Declaration of herederos. He is becoming very agressive with me and his girlfriend is all over my things etc. Can I ask an officer to assist me to the home to remove things from the... Read more »

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Nov 10, 2022

As a matter of law, the answer to your question is relatively straightforward: the property belongs to your late parents until the declaration of heirs has been issued by the court, the estate tax filing has been presented to the Puerto Rico Treasury Department, and you and your brother's... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: My father never married but her children say they are entitled to money from sell of his land is at correct he lives pr
Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Oct 17, 2022

If your father never married, any property he purchased belongs solely and exclusively to him. In Puerto Rico, the common law wife has no rights as to property acquired by your father. Regardless of whether his companion lives or dies, any proceeds from the sale of his property belong exclusively... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: How do I obtain exemplified copies of documents from Puerto Rico?

I am trying to secure title insurance on a Florida parcel of land I purchased in 2008 from the heirs of a deceased resident of Puerto Rico. He deceased in 2000. I have the declaration of heirs and each of the heirs signed my deed. The title insurance company is requesting either a Florida mini... Read more »

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Oct 11, 2022

The certificates you require are not provided by the court. They're provided by different government agencies in Puerto Rico, as described below. The cancellation of stamps & tariffs on the certificates designate them as originals, and are, thus, not notarized (sworn).

Vital...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Me and my siblings (3) inherited a home in Cabo Rojo but My siblings want to sell it so that 1 of the 3 buys it, I don’t

Do I have to sell my portion of the house. Also the lot is pretty big, is that separate from the house?

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Oct 6, 2022

The Puerto Rico Civil Code and relevant jurisprudence clearly states that no commoner (co-owner) may be forced to remain in a property community, which is what you and your 3 siblings have. If you do not want to sell your share but have the resources to buy out your siblings, you may do so.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Seller is breaching an active RE contract? How to get her to abide by the contract she signed?

I have a RE contract for $83k purchase price on a Condo in Santurce. Appraisal came in today at $67k. In the contract the seller agrees to negotiate if the appraisal is lower than purchase price.

I have contingencies in the contract for the appraisal amount & me successfully obtaining a... Read more »

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Oct 1, 2022

I'm assuming that you are referring to an options contract subscribed. I advise that you prepare a letter and send it via certified mail with receipt confirmation, whereby you (a) refer to the appraisal amount; (b) refer to the specific contract terms providing for good faith negotiation in... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Do I have to be physically present to sign/relinquish a deed? I am stateside and ex husband is residing in Puerto Rico

Deed is in both our names and I will relinquish it/ hand it over to him.

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Sep 26, 2022

I'm assuming that a real estate property is involved where both you and your ex husband owned jointly while married. If so, the liquidation of the marital community property must be done by way of a deed in which you both must appear signing, either by physical presence or by way of empowering... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: My sister and I are about to purchase land in Puerto Rico. All paper work is good and land is clear with the state and

Town. We want to divide the land and register our parcel separately. How can we accomplish this? Can this transaction happen directly from seller to the two new buyers with each buyer claiming their part of the land? Or does it have to be registered under one person and then be separated? Need... Read more »

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Sep 20, 2022

The property must be segregated by way of a deed. Although this can be accomplished in the sales deed, you cannot segregate a property without procuring required legal permits beforehand. The quickest, most expedient way I recommend would be for you and your sister purchase the land and register it... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Grandfather died.Grandma want to sell home.I want to purchase.Can she sell without involving their children?

No will or anything

Ramon  Olivencia
Ramon Olivencia
answered on Sep 17, 2022

No, she cannot sell the house without involving their children. Assuming that the house was bought by both grandparents, your grandmother owns only half of the property, since the other half is to be divided among his children.

If he passed away after the new Civil Code of November 2020,...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Estate Planning for Puerto Rico on
Q: My abuelos passed they own 6 acres, an acre to each child how do we claim the forced heir.?

my grandparents left 6 acres 1 to each child. My mother was one of the children she passed away in 2019. I would like to claim her portion how can I do that? there are still 3 living heirs one still lives on the property in the house that is there. And the other is trying to get the property all... Read more »

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Aug 24, 2022

There are many questions yet to be answered in your request. Did either grandparent leave a will? were declaration of heirs petitions brought before the Puerto Rico courts? were their estates liquidated during your deceased mother's lifetime? Do you have any siblings from your mom? How many... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Four friends, two of which are a married couple, own property in Puerto Rico. Would a real estate trust be beneficial?

Upon death of one co-owner, it is deisred that the decedents share(s) pass only to the surviving partners.

This is the primary residence for the majority of co-owners.

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Aug 19, 2022

Puerto Rico Civil Code does not allow for donations to be made which may be perjudicial to an heir's share, should the donor die. That being said, a legitimate scenario would be for the two married couples incorporate or establish a commercial society, and transfer the property to the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: I'm married and the asset in my name, if i set up a trust for my children to inherit, will my spouse have any rights?

Will my spouse's children from his first marriage have any rights to the asset if placed in a trust?

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jul 18, 2022

After November 28, 2020, a new Puerto Rico Civil Code came into effect. One of the primary changes regarding successions (probate law) has to do with the fact that the spouse is now as much a legal heir as the rest of your children. The Puerto Rico Civil Code also states that a person can donate... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: Brother is heir of 3 parts of house same brother also purchased land from Municipal can another heir make brother sell

8 heirs, 2 of 8 gave their rights of property to a brother. That brother bought the land the house is on from the Municipal. Can other heirs make brother sell the house and land

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jul 18, 2022

The Puerto Rico Civil Code states that no co-owner can be forced to remain in a property community. Any one of the remaining 5 heirs with a vested interest in the real estate property may go before the Puerto Rico courts to force a sale of the property, unless the heir with a majority share buys... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: We own land in PR that has not been lived on in 50+ years. We can't find the deed. We need a copy of the deed.

We do not have the lot number or origianl deed, only a copy of the original plan. We're looking to get a copy of the deed and clean up and build on the land.

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jul 18, 2022

In order to procure a detailed history of a real estate property in Puerto Rico, we'd need to identify the real estate in the Property Registry and in the Municipal Income Collections Center ("CRIM", by its Spanish acronym). An initial search may be made based upon who appears... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Tax Law and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: My mom wants to gift her PR home to me (her only heir). What tax/other issues should I be aware of?

My mother is a PR resident (I am not), and wants to gift her home to me before she remarries or dies. She also said she may want to still live in the home after she gifts it to me. She said she would gift the title, but still have it enscribed in her name. I want to accept her kind gift, but I am... Read more »

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jul 18, 2022

First off, unless your mother donates the property to you by way of a deed the Property Registry would still register the real estate in her name. Once she transfers the property in fee simple to you, it needs to be inscribed in your name by filing a certified copy of the donation deed and of your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: They purchased 10 acres, My father did not have a will. Co-owner has shown a copy of my father’s death certificate.

They purchased a 10 acre plot of land. The co-owner sold the land without consulting my mother and kept all the profits. My father did not have a will. Before my father death he gave me the legal documents of the property in question, and found out the co-owner has shown my father’s death... Read more »

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jul 12, 2022

If your father left no will, a declaration of heirs should've been petitioned before the courts. I would highly recommend procuring an in-depth title study of that property and procure the scanned historic foils (pages) of that property, to research how it got sold. I would need to review the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Puerto Rico on
Q: Can a property that is co-owned and one of the owners pass away be sold without consulting the deceased family?

After my father’s death in 2001, five months later his friend decided to sell the property without notifying our family, but many years later 2022 we noticed that was done. Is there’s any advice to pursuing this or is to late? This happened in Puerto Rico.

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jul 12, 2022

I'm assuming that your argument implies that said property (whether real estate or not) belonged in life to your late father; and that the sale was somehow illicit. Without additional information, it is difficult to address your question. If the property you speak of is real estate, you could... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico on
Q: My wifes GF died, his kids dont want the house, How can my wife apply or get the property?

My wifes grandfather passed away about a year ago, his kids don't want the house. His wife is still alive but has early stages of dimensia. My wife is interested and 1 cousin of hers what do they have to do the get the property?

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
answered on Jul 11, 2022

Having your wife's grandfather died after November 28, 2020, his wife (your wife's grandmother?) is as much an heir as your wife's aunts and uncles. Every legal heir must decide whether to accept or repudiate his/her inheritance in your wife's grandfather's estate. Should... Read more »

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