Hyde Park, MA asked in Real Estate Law for Puerto Rico

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.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
  • San Juan, PR
  • Licensed in Puerto Rico

A: 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 (appeared?) as the property's owner. We'd also need the real estate property's location/address. A copy of the plan certainly helps, but we may need additional information as to it's owner. Of course, we also need to know the municipality where the property is located. The sector and borough ("barrio") would also be beneficial to identifying the property. If the property is identified in CRIM, that would give us the property identification number ("PIN" or "número de catastro"), which we can also use to try identifying the property in the registry.

Once the property's plot number ("finca") is identified in the property registry, we can procure a title study and access the scanned foils showing the real estate's history. Through these documents, we can obtain the deed number, date, and notary before whom said deed was signed.

Should the notary be deceased or retired, we can procure from the Office of Notary Inspections where the notary's protocol of deeds is located; which is where one would need to go for a simple or a certified copy of the deed.

Be advised: 50+ years of not having been lived makes it highly probable that the real estate owes property back taxes and/or may have legal liens.

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