Navigating Aruba's New Property Laws⛵☀️

Navigating Aruba's New Property Laws⛵☀️

Aruba is not only a paradise for tourists but also a dynamic landscape for property ownership. Recently, significant changes were made to the Aruba Civil Code (ACC), introducing a new law aimed at addressing long standing undivided properties. In this blog post, we'll delve into the intricacies of this new legislation, shedding light on its implications for property owners and users in Aruba as per information received from attorney Richie Kock.


Understanding Long Standing Undivided Properties:

The new law, outlined in articles 3:200a through 3:200h of the ACC, addresses the challenges associated with properties that have remained undivided for many decades. One of the main issues is the accumulation over time of unknown or untraceable rightful owners, hindering the legal division of the property.


Key Provisions of the Law:

  1. Granting Sole Ownership: The law empowers the Court in First Instance of Aruba to grant longstanding undivided properties in sole ownership to the user, providing a solution to the problem of untraceable owners.


  1. Legal Definition: A property is considered long standing undivided if it consists of one property that has remained undivided for so long that it is likely owners can no longer be traced, or if their individual shares in the property are very small.


  1. Definition of User: Users of the property include individuals residing legally in Aruba and using the property for at least 10 years, presumed descendants of the original owner, individuals with exceptional emotional attachment, and landlords with priority over tenants.


  1. Division by the Court: If traceable owners exist and their individual shares are not negligible, the Court may divide the property in accordance with the law.


  1. Development Proposal: Users seeking sole ownership must file a development proposal with the Court, along with providing security for development costs. The Court may grant ownership to the Aruba government or a housing foundation if the user cannot meet these conditions.


  1. Filing Requests: Interested parties, including property occupants, the Aruba government, housing foundations, or the Public Prosecutor, may file requests with the Court. Untraceable owners are notified by public notice.


  1. Miscellaneous Provisions: The law includes provisions for the sale of the property, security for monetary claims of owners, and applicability to limited property rights.


The new law addressing longstanding undivided properties in Aruba represents a significant step forward in resolving complex property ownership issues. By providing a legal framework for granting sole ownership and facilitating property development, the legislation aims to unlock the potential of these properties while ensuring fairness and transparency. For property owners, users, and stakeholders, understanding the implications of this law is essential for navigating the Aruban real estate landscape effectively.

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