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Lifetime Enjoyment of Land in St Lucia

Lifetime Enjoyment of Land in St Lucia

In Saint Lucia there is a possibility of “lifetime enjoyment” of land owned by the Crown. In the Saint Lucian context, “lifetime enjoyment” does not carry any form of rent or payment. The closest existing legislative arrangement to achieve this would be an emphyteutic lease, a lease by the State for a period of ninety-nine (99) years. The Civil Code provides that an emphyteutic lessee has all the rights of an owner for the duration of the lease and can alienate the property, but only for the duration of the term.

A variant of “lifetime enjoyment” is the concept of a “peppercorn rent” in reference to whenrent was paid in small amounts of black pepper. A peppercorn rent on the land and house could take the form of a legal relationship based on a symbolic monthly fee of as little as one dollar. The state would retain ownership of the land, offering it at heavily subsidized rate. As a long-term leasehold arrangement, the occupant would not be considered a tenant. This form of tenure would serve as an alternative to both squatting and homeownership. This form of minimal cost landownership could be combined with incremental construction of core townhouses, using the example from Chile discussed below. Finally, and depending on household incomes, the rent-to-own model could be applied to enable a transition towards homeownership.

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