Kaieteur News – I know an elderly woman who 25 years ago bought a property in the city. She was a person of limited means but felt that if she bought the house that when she retired, she could sell the property for a profit and use the money to take care of her in her golden years.
The property which she bought was in a part of Georgetown where property values were expected to appreciate with time. In fact, the sum that she paid was far higher than the original cost of construction. She figured that within 25 years, the property value in the area would more than double.
She did not cater for squatting. Persons came and squatted on the parapets opposite where she lived. They built permanent structures. They turned an upscale area into a virtual ghetto. They have made the community unsightly and unhygienic. When they defecate, they throw the stuff into the main drainage canal behind their house.
The elderly lady now wants to move on with her life. The problem is that the squatters have caused the property values in her area to sink to rock bottom. She tried to sell but nobody is interested. She went as low as the price which she paid for the property 25 years ago. But nobody wants to live where there are squatters. The old lady’s house has become valueless.
On top of that she is facing all the problems associated with squatting. Her life could not have been worse.
Squatters have been encouraged for too long in Guyana. They are destroying this country and they are pushing decent hardworking property owners into insolvency. These persons cannot even find tenants who want to live near the squatters. As such, one of the main sources of repaying mortgages has been foreclosed.
Squatting has become a form of land-grabbing. People feel that if they squat, they eventually have to be regularized and they are not aware of the problems and harm which their squatting is causing to others.
Every time an election is concluded, there is a mad grab for land. When the PPP/C lost the 2015 elections, their supporters and others moved in to occupy lands aback villages on the East Coast. They were forced to retreat after the APNU+AFC refused to countenance their illegal actions.
Again, this year after the APNU+AFC lost the elections, there was a mad attempt at land-grabbing. The PPP/C government is not doing anything that was not done in the past by the APNU+AFC.
If it was wrong in 2015, how can it be right in 2020? But do not tell that to those who are begging people to squat.
A few years ago, one of the highest incidence of electricity theft was taking place in a large squatting area which has since been regularized. There are persons squatting in hope that they will force the authorities to regularize their illegal activity. How different this is from stealing from someone and hoping that they will accept that they had a right to deprive you of what is yours.
Yesterday, President Irfaan Ali drew the line in the sand. He said that he is not opposed to those persons who are squatting owning their own homes. But he says that there is a right way to do something and there is a wrong way. He wants people to do the right thing rather than doing things the wrong way since his administration wants to have sustainable communities.
He also mentioned that if a squatter spends G$5M, he cannot use that home as security for a loan. But what the President did not mention was that the squatter also cannot lawfully sell his property since he has no title to that which he is occupying and that which he has built on the land on which he is squatting.
Squatters therefore are not only hurting other property owners; they are hurting themselves. They are spending money on a property which has no legal resale value. That should be enough incentive for people not to squat.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
Oct 27, 2020The Guyana Golf Association held its first ‘Shoot for Cash’ event in support of Cancer Awareness Month and proved that successful events can be held while adhering to the strict covid...
Oct 27, 2020
Oct 27, 2020
Oct 26, 2020
Oct 26, 2020
Oct 25, 2020
Let me adumbrate my philosophy about society which I cling to inflexibly. A society’s people must be concerned first and... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders Kaieteur News – Anyone who followed the 50th regular session of the General Assembly of the Organization... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]