A press release from the National Registry reported that the administrative warning issued on March 24th “does not freeze real estate transactions” for the 526 properties located in the American Project.
This was confirmed to the Voice of Guanacaste on Wednesday, May 20th, by Emilia Segura Navarro, press official for the National Registry, who said that “the [National Registry] institution is not freezing any [real estate] process nor does it have the power to ask other agencies or institutions [such as the municipality] to not fulfill what the law asks of them.”
This means that there is no impediment from the National Registry for carrying out procedures of registration, segregation or transfer for the indicated properties, which are currently involved in a lawsuit by Custodias de Propiedades Guanacastecas SA, who claims ownership of some of the properties.
Likewise, Fernan Pacheco, a lawyer specializing in notarial and urban law, among others, from the firm Stix + Denovo, explained that “the order from the Registry only has effects of registry advertisement, namely, to inform third parties that there is an internal administrative process aimed to determine whether or not registry anomalies exist.”
Both statements refute the words that Marco Jimenez, mayor of Nicoya, expressed in the municipal council session on May 18th, when he said:
“We are going to obey the registry order and this means that, where there is an administrative warning, municipal permits can not be given.”
He said this because the mayor’s understanding is that the order from the Registry means that municipal permits cannot be given when there is an administrative warning.
In addition, Jimenez had indicated that “neither property transfers nor segregations would be possible,” from the National Registry.
However, Pacheco clarified that “it is not the National Registry of San Jose that is ordering the mayor to freeze everything (permits, licenses, segregations) at the municipal level; rather it is the mayor who makes that decision on his own responsibility.”
“I believe that the municipality is giving too broad an interpretation to an internal registry decision, to the point that they are practically immobilizing the property rights of all of the affected lots, for example, denying such a basic right as construction,” added Pacheco.
Despite the statements from the National Registry, Jimenez said that he will continue denying permits because “in case everything that is established in this court judgment is successful, the Municipality of Nicoya would be guilty and we are not going to take that risk.”
According to the specialist, in similar cases, other municipalities have opted to grant permits and licenses but warning of the existence of the registration process.
“It is then the owner who, on his own responsibility, assess the risk involved in building under these conditions,” Pacheco said.
Emilia Segura, from the National Registry, said that the case is in the phase of gathering information from each of the properties mentioned in the report in order to provide the respective audiences and to inform interested parties of the report’s content.
According to the procedure to be followed, if there are registry anomalies at the end of the investigation, then the judge informs the parties that they have to proceed through the courts.
Now the National Registry should warn each property owner individually that an irregular situation exists on that property and that it is not final, so each owner can decide what to do and what not to do.
Pacheco added that, “Due to the number of properties involved, notifications could take years.”