Archive for the ‘Bravos de Boston’ Category


April 20, 2016 Leave a comment

Any town in Puerto Rico or practically anywhere in the World, is not truly in the business of acquiring and selling land for a profit.  Accordingly, any acquisition and subsequent transfer of land by a government entity must serve a public purpose.  Vieques is not the exception.

I approach the practice of law in a very practical way.  I focus on results, and in the real estate business the most sought after result is a registered title.  Accordingly, we are on the lookout for items that get in the way of recording a title.  Whenever we are dealing with titles that come from or emanate as a result of government action, the item we are most on the lookout for are so called “sales restrictions.”

Whenever a government entity sells or transfers land to an individual, one thing they are trying to avoid is the purchase and subsequent sales of that land by speculators, meaning people who buy the land for profit.  The challenge becomes, then, identifying who is buying the land out of necessity versus the one who is buying the land with the sole or main purpose of making a profit.

In comes the “sales restriction” condition or clause incorporated into most government deals.

A sales restriction encumbers a given property for a set period of time.  The terms of the clause or condition need to be expressed through a deed executed by the seller and the buyer of the property, and the deed containing the condition needs to be recorded at the Puerto Rico Property Registry.

Ordinarily, such a clause or condition follows this pattern:

  1. If the buyer (owner) of the property wishes to resell the property in X amount of years from the date he or she acquired title from the town; then,
  2. The buyer (owner) will pay the town a certain amount of money established in the clause or condition, or established as a matter of law or through a City Council Ordinance or regulation. This amount is seeing as a “penalty” and its payment (or release from) is a condition precedent to a closing.
  3. The seller pays the penalty and he or she is then free to sell the property. The new purchase and sales deed would reflect that the penalty was paid.

Of course, if the purported sale is going to be executed after the term for the sales restriction has expired, the sales restriction would be extinguished and the owner is free to sell the property as he or she wishes.

The Town of Vieques has been issuing titles for lots in Villa Borinquen and Bravos de Boston for many years, most of them with conditions establishing sales restrictions.  Various terms have been in effect throughout the years.  At some point in time the sales restrictions would extend for 15 years and, at times, they extended for 5 years.

If you want to know if your title has such a condition or restriction, all you do is read your deed (carefully) and you will recognize if such a language is present by comparing the contents of your deed to my summary (1 to 3) above.

The sales restrictions could be removed or revoked by approval of the City Council and with the Mayor’s consent to the approval.

On October 27, 2010, an ordinance was approved by the Vieques City Council which was subsequently validated by the Mayor, allowing for the removal of certain sales restrictions for some titles granted by the Town of Vieques as laid out in the ordinance.  Nevertheless, the removal of the restrictions is not automatic.  The Ordinance mandates that the property owner coordinates that the Mayor signs a deed validating the removal of the sales restriction, and the deed must be filed at the Property Registry.

As with any ordinance or regulation, the City Council has the power to revoke its prior actions at any time, hence rendering the authorization to remove sales restrictions null and ineffective.  This would meant that sales restrictions would continue to be in effect and cannot be removed.

Of course, for those properties that the deed cancelling the sales restrictions were executed and filed with the Property Registry before the ordinance is cancelled, the removal of the sales restriction would be permanent.

When is the possession of your property in danger?

June 11, 2015 2 comments

Through a few of my posts I have covered the importance of possession, but apparently the subject requires further discussion. 

It is also apparent that this subject is becoming increasingly important in some areas of Vieques and warrants further discussion.  This time, I am going to begin with a question.

What would you do if one day ou came back to your home and found a stranger claiming possession or ownership of your property?

You would not stand by and do nothing, right?   The same standard applies to properties in Puerto Rico even if there is no house or structure built upon it.  If your possession is interrupted you need to take action.

Usually, in my experience, when someone has had its possession interrupted it is because the person did not take care of the property in the first place.  Fortunately there is always an oorotunity to handle rhe situation if confronted in a timely fashion.

Possession is something that requires action of one kind or another.  If it is land, it needs to be cleared with some regularity and the fences kept in good shape.  Of there is a house, even if abandoned it needs to be looked after.  Another option is to have someone visit the property every now and then and report back to you on its condition.

Juat note that you have to do something with your property, or you may be literally leaving the door open for someone else to do something,  regardless if the property is titled or not.

If your possession has been snatched by someone, you can take action to snatch it right back to you, but it requires diligent motion on your part.

As a final note, nothing here is meant to promote the use of violence.  There are many legal tools available to enforce your rights at any given time. 

One note of caution: besides remaining motionless, time can be your worst enemy.

I hope this helps.


Santiago F.  Lampón

Land Subdivision in Puerto Rico – Episode 1 of 3

December 9, 2012 Leave a comment

Dear Reader:

Here is the link to my latest video on real estate transactions in Puerto Rico.  With regards to Vieques and property not registered at the Property Registry, the notice on this video does not applies directly; but please let me know if you have any questions after watching it.


Santiago F. Lampón


Titled vs. Un-titled Properties

September 13, 2012 2 comments

In this video, I present the overall description of titled vs. un-titled properties, briefly describing the differences and some of the misconceptions associated with these.  I also provide an introduction on what it takes to convert un-titled property into titled.



Adverse Possesion Claims – A note about “possesion”

August 28, 2012 1 comment

I present to you a new video on the subject of adverse possession.  In this video, I focus on an aspect of adverse possession claims in Puerto Rico which is easily misunderstood.  As an additional note, you may also read my recent article on this subject here.

I hope you enjoy the video and the article, and always remember that you may post questions or comments on this or other subjects.

Adverse Possession in Puerto Rico

August 20, 2012 Leave a comment

On January 24, 2008, I published an article on this blog which I have expanded and re-published at which you may access and read here completely free.

The revised article is fully applicable to adverse possession claims in Vieques.


Santiago F. Lampón

Bravos de Boston Titles in Vieques, Puerto Rico – Restriction to Sales and Penalties

December 6, 2010 5 comments

On December 2 and 3 of 2010, the Municipality fo Vieques held two meetings for property owners of the Santa María and Bravos de Boston sectors in Vieques.  This post includes the essence of the information presented at these meetings.

I first present a brief background.

The individual properties on these sectors are mostly not recorded at the Puerto Rico Property Registry.  Accordingly, certain deeds were executed whereby individuals were recognized as the title holders for these properties.  Under regulations which existed at the time, the deeds contain certain clauses which mandate that the title holders cannot sell or transfer their properties within a period of 5 years, noting that some deeds contain a longer period of 15 years.  If the title holder wants to sell the property within the restrictive period stated in the deed, the person would have to notify the Municipality and pay a penalty as a condition precedent to the transaction.  Moreover, I am aware of at least one instance in which a mortgage company concluded that such a penalty had to be paid as a condition precedent to issuing the mortgage.  I am also aware of another instance in which such a requirement was not demanded, and the mortgage was approved and disbursed notwithstanding the restriction.

At the meetings held yesterday and today, the Municipality announced that beginning on January of 2011, it would not enforce such restrictions and will not be demanding payment of the penalties as a condition to sales, transfers, mortgages or the like.  Accordingly, title holders will be free to transfer or mortgage their properties without having to request a waiver or authorization from the Municipality.

The Municipality also announced at the meetings, that it will start to perform certain tasks conducive to granting titles in the future, including the engagement of a surveyor and an appraiser, as conditions precedent to entering into a title recognition process.  Perhaps it is too early for the Municipality to disclose the conditions under which it will be granting the recognitions of titles.

There are a couple of items I want you to have in mind on this subject.

First, Villa Borinquen or other sectors of Vieques were not mentioned at the meetings.

Additionally, there are certain “procedures” the Municipality will most likely have to execute and comply with to bring these concessions to fruition.  Since the sales restrictions and penalties were established through regulations, the Municipal Assembly will have to (or must have) approved a regulation consistent with the concessions being announced.  Another regulation will be required for the title process, which means that I expect the Administration to be working on those as well.

Once we ascertain that the regulations come into effect, I will notify you through this blog.

As a final note, please remember that you are invited to post comments or questions.  I will promptly rely to them, if needed, to the best of my abilities and subject to the legal notices/disclosures applicable for this blog.  Also, remember that you may share this article through Facebook or Twitter, and that you are invited to forward the article as you deem best.

Municipality of Vieques, Puerto Rico, Calls for Meetings on Titles for Santa María and Bravos de Boston Sectors

November 24, 2010 2 comments

The Municipality of Vieques, Puerto Rico, has called for two meetings covering untitled properties in the Santa Maria and Bravos de Boston Sectors of Vieques.  The meetings are scheduled as follows:

Santa María
1:00 pm on December 2, 2010

Bravos de Boston
1:00 pm on December 3, 2010

Both meetings are to be held at the “Centro de Usos Múltiples” located next to the Town Plaza, at the corner where the public events stage is located.

I encourage all property owners in these sectors to attend.


Bravos de Boston Titles – The Next Step

May 27, 2008 Leave a comment

The Municipality of Vieques has been sending letters making certain offers to individuals with properties in Bravos de Boston.  Though this event is not new for many of our readers, I am nonetheless surprised at the number of individuals who have not researched the significance of these letters or the various alternatives and possible consequences which may result from this initiative by the Municipality.   


The letters contain an “offer to purchase title” from the Municipality.  The prices quoted in these letters vary from lot to lot and do not necessarily relate to the amount of square meters the lot may have, its proximity to the beach, its views or any other factors which the market generally associates with value.


From the outset, I want to quash any attempts to interpret what I have written in the previous paragraph as reflecting or signifying a problem.  In general terms, the appraisals are very favorable to those who have properties in Bravos de Boston.  Moreover, this article is not about the appraised value of these properties, but rather about the legal aspects related to these letters, and the alternatives and potential consequences affecting those who receive them.  I also want to emphasize, that the appraisals for these proposed transactions were prepared with a different purpose in mind when compared to appraisals done for mortgages or with the intention to sell the property in the open market.


These letters are simple, mostly one pagers inviting the individual to contact the Municipality if they are interested in “acquiring title.”  What I want to briefly cover in this article is some of the information not contained in the letters, information that I strongly recommend you obtain and which you need to be aware of while undergoing the decision making process.


There are a series of “ordenanzas municipales” or what I will call “town laws” or “regulations” which grant the Mayor of Vieques the authority to make these offers and to execute the title deeds.  These town laws have far more information than the one contained in the letters being sent out. 


In general terms, I am not in disagreement with the letters being short and to the point, but I also believe that the Municipality should include with the letters the regulations related to the proposed transaction, and perhaps should include a brief statement which gives the reader notice of their existence.  This will give the individual sufficient notice of what the Municipality is offering and the terms under which the transaction must be executed as a requirement to comply with these regulations.


Here is one example of a noteworthy omission.  The Municipality’s letter offers the person the opportunity to purchase a “title” if he/she pays the amount announced in the letter.   Nevertheless, the letter fails to state–or at the very least hint–that there are certain restrictions applicable to the proposed purchase and sale of a title: restrictions that for some individuals could be deal breakers or make the proposed deal unappealing.


On this regards, in an article I published on this blog on July 17, 2007, I presented the question if waiting was the answer.  Now more than ever I have to respond: no, waiting is not the answer, not any more.  If you own property in Bravos de Boston, you need to learn the facts, understand what is going on and then decide if you want to pursue this alternative or not, or what you need to do to protect your rights over your lot.


I do want you to take note of the following:  to decide to do nothing without learning the facts would not be prudent.


The purpose of this article is not to discourage you from considering the offer by the Municipality.  To the contrary, I am trying to encourage you to seek and acquire the knowledge, and to learn the full spectrum of the proposed deal prior to committing yourself to a position.  In this regards, please remember or refer to my writings on Adverse Possession posted on this blog.


This subject will be continued!


Very truly yours,



Santiago F. Lampón




Bravos de Boston – El Próximo Paso

El Municipio de Vieques ha estado enviando unas atrás a individuos con propiedades en el sector Bravos de Boston.  Aunque estos envíos no son noticias nuevas para muchos, tengo que comunicar mi asombro ante el hecho de que muchas personas no han hecho investigación alguna sobre lo que significa que el Municipio haya enviado estas cartas, y tampoco sobre las alternativas disponibles ni sobre las posibles consecuencias a esos efectos.


En este sentido, en un artículo que publiqué el 17 de julio de 2007 en este tema, presenté la posibilidad de si valía la pena esperar.  Ahora les tengo que decir, que no tengo duda alguna de que NO pueden esperar y que esa no es la mejor alternativa.  Si eres dueño de una propiedad en Bravos de Boston en Vieques, tienes que conocer los hechos, comprender que es lo que está sucediendo, y entonces tomar una decisión sobre cuál alternativa debes perseguir para proteger tus derechos sobre tu finca.


Te recomiendo y hasta te ruego que NO decidas hacer nada sin antes conocer la verdad sobre lo que está sucediendo.  Ahora regresemos al tema de las cartas.


Las cartas del Municipio expresan una oferta para que la persona que recibe la misma compre el “título” del lote al cual se refiere la carta.  Los precios anunciados en cada carta varía de lote en lote, y el mismo no está necesariamente relacionado con los factores que normalmente se usan en el mercado para asignarle valor a una finca, como el número de metros, la proximidad a una playa, las vistas u otros factores conocidos.


De entrada quiero disipar la posibilidad de que alguien desee interpretar lo que escribí en el párrafo anterior como que describe un problema en las tasaciones.  Por el contrario, al presente me parece que las tasaciones son muy favorables para quienes reciben las cartas.  Además, este artículo no es sobre las tasaciones, sino sobre algunos de los aspectos legales relacionados con dichas cartas y las alternativas o consecuencias que afectan a quienes las reciben.  Para terminar, también es importante señalar que las tasaciones e hicieron con un propósito en mente muy distinto al de conseguir una hipoteca o de valorizar la propiedad para venderla en mercado abierto.


Las cartas son cortas y al grano.  En ellas, el Municipio invita a la persona a que tenga conocimiento de la oferta de compra y la cantidad de la misma, y la invita a que pase por el Municipio a llenar los documentos necesarios para darle curso a su interés.  Lo que quiero cubrir brevemente, es alguna de la información que no contiene la carta y que es la información que usted tiene que obtener y considerar.


Hay una serie de ordenanzas municipales las cuales dan al alcalde la autoridad para realizar dichas ofertas y para otorgar las escrituras de compraventa.  Estas ordenanzas tienen información más completa y detallada que aquella expresada en las cartas.


En términos generales, no estoy en desacuerdo con que las cartas sean cortas, y tampoco con que se estén ofreciendo las transacciones.  Ahora bien, si estimo necesario o al menos recomendable que las cartas estén acompañadas de las ordenanzas municipales que rigen la transacción propuesta por el Municipio.  Esta gestión proveerá a la persona con más información para que pueda comprender el alcance de lo que el Municipio ofrece, y cuáles son los términos y condiciones aplicables a la transacción. 


Para que tengan una idea, aquí un ejemplo de una omisión que vale la pena mencionar. 


La carta de oferta del Municipio le brinda a la persona la oportunidad de adquirir “título” sobre la propiedad por la cantidad anunciada en la carta.  Sin embargo, la carta omite mencionar y ni siquiera insinúa, que existen ciertas restricciones que son aplicables a la compraventa propiedad en la carta: restricciones que para algunas personas han resultado inaceptables.


El propósito de este artículo no es desanimar al lector a que no considere la posibilidad de aceptar la oferta del Municipio.  Lo que si quiero alentar, es que adquieras la información sobre la realidad y el alcance de lo que está ofreciendo el Municipio antes de comprometer tu posición como dueño de tu finca. En ese sentido, recuerda el artículo que escribí sobre este tema y el cual podrás encontrar en este blog.


Luego continuaré escribiendo sobre este tema.





Santiago F. Lampón

Vieques Title “Recognition” Process – What Is It and The Basics on How it Works

May 8, 2008 Leave a comment

In attention to my recent post on the subject of registered and un-registered titles, a visitor by the name of Fernando asked about the process within the Municipality of Vieques Planning Office (Fernando was very specific) toward “obtaining title” from the Municipality. 


I simply cannot resist this one, so here I am with my response to Fernando…and let the fun begin.


My friends, I simply refuse to use words like “acquire” or “purchase” title as far as this subject goes.  Note that the headline of this article is “title recognition” and it is for one particular reason.  If you or anyone else reading this article claims to be an owner (as Fernando so aptly stated it), then:  Why would you have to obtain title from the Municipality?  Ahh…to be or not to be “owner,” that IS the question.  There are many reasons for this, but the main one is that an “owner” should and must act as an “owner” at all times.  For more information on this, please take a look at my posts about “Adverse Possessions” and if you have any questions go ahead and “blog” me.


In other words, If I were the Municipality’s attorney (and I am sure not) I would call it “purchase” of titles.  Since at L&A we represent property owners, we intentionally call these processes “title recognition” or “settlement of title claims” processes.


This may seem semantics to you, but it is not semantics under applicable law.  Now let me begin to respond to Fernando’s request.


First you need to note that, since Fernando is referring to the “Planning Office” he must be on to property in Monte Carmelo.  If the question was addressed to property on Bravos de Boston or Villa Borinquen, one would not go to the Municipality’s Planning Office, in Spanish “Oficina de  Planificación y Ordenamiento Municipal”.


WARNING:  Please note that there will be some clear cut cynicism in the following paragraph.  It is NOT directed at you the reader.


In general terms, the process goes like this:  (1) you complete and file an “application for title” which means that you are applying (“requesting”) something you do not have (do you follow?); the Application is accompanied by a (2) fee to pay for the appraisal of “your” lot; then (3) they give you a list of documents you have to submit, including some very delicate financial information like your income tax returns (yes in plural);  and, after the appraisal is done and your documents have been evaluated, you would receive and (4) offer to purchase “your lot” for a given price to be paid to the Municipality.




I have simplified the steps to give it to you as straight as possible.  Unfortunately, there are some underlying legal and procedural aspects akin to each of the areas mentioned above (Bravos de Boston, Villa Borinquen and Monte Carmelo) that go beyond the scope of this article and this blog.


Yet I would like to state the following:  there so much misinformation about these processes out there that it baffles me and makes me wonder where is all this wrong data coming from and for what purpose.  This also emphasizes that you have to be selective about your sources.


Some of this so called data may be true, some of it is completely fiction, and most of it is simply frantic speculation from those who are scared and cannot face the truth.  Which truth?  The undeniable truth that “title recognitions” in Vieques are available now, and that now is the time to act, to learn, to evaluate and to decide what do you want or need to do about your lot and about your title.


I am not saying that what the Municipality is doing is wrong, and I am not saying that it is right either.  I have repeatedly stated that each lot has its own particular history, meaning that some of the “owners” may need to run to the Municipality to get title recognition “pronto” while others are better off going to court, and yet some of you can work with the Municipality (if you do it right) and then perhaps avoid going to Court to enjoy official recognition (by the Courts) of your title. 


The possibilities are as varied as the number of lots…and there are 860 at Bravos de Boston, 720 at Villa Borinquen, and 420 at Monte Carmelo, not counting sub-divisions made since the first segregation plans were drawn up starting in the early 80’s.


Well Fernando, I hope this helps.  It is easy for an attorney to babble on, but I am going to stop now. 


With warm regards,



Santiago F. Lampón





Procedimiento de “Reconocimiento” de Títulos en Vieques – Cuál es y Los Aspectos Básicos de Cómo Funciona


En respuesta a mi columna reciente sobre propiedad con títulos registrados y títulos no-registrados, un visitante de este blog de nombre Fernando preguntó sobre el procedo ante la Oficina de Planificación de Vieques (Fernando fue muy específico) dirigido a obtener título de parte del Municipio.  


La verdad es que no puedo resistir este tema, así que aquí está mi elaborada respuesta…y que comience la diversión.


Para comenzar, me rehúso a usar palabras como “adquirir” o “comprar” título en lo que respecta a este tema.  Fíjate que el título de esta columna incluye la palabra “reconocimiento” lo cual hago por una razón muy particular.  Si tú o cualquier otra persona lee este artículo reclama que es “dueño” de algo, entonces: Cuál es el propósito de adquirir “título” sobre algo de lo cual ya eres dueño?  Ahh…ser o no ser el dueño, ESA ES la pregunta.  Existen muchas razones para ello, pero la principal es que el “dueño” de una propiedad debe actuar como “dueño” en todo momento.  Para más información sobre el particular, revisa mis otras columnas sobre el tema según publicadas en este blog, y si tienes preguntas, me escribes.


En otras palabras, si yo fuera el abogado de un municipio (y definitivamente no lo soy) yo claramente lo llamaría “compra” de títulos.  Pero, como en L&A representamos dueños de propiedades y personas de negocios, intencional y deliberadamente denominamos estos procesos como de “reconocimiento” o “transacción” de reclamos de títulos.


Esto puede parecerle una cuestión de semántica, pero no lo es desde el punto de vista del derecho aplicable.  Ahora paso a responder más directamente la petición de Fernando.  


Primero es importante notar que Fernando se refiere a la Oficina de Planificación, por lo que asumo que se refiere a una propiedad en Monte Carmelo.  Si se estuviera hablando de una propiedad en Bravos de Boston o en Villa Borinquen, estaríamos haciendo referencia a otras oficinas y no a la de planificación. 


ADVERTENCIA: Notarán un poco de cinismo en las próximas oraciones, el cual NO está dirigido a usted, nuestro amigo lector.


En términos generales, el proceso es algo así: (1) llenas una forma de solicitud de título, lo cual significa que estás pidiendo que se te considere para un título que ya podrías tener (¿Me sigues?); presentas la solicitud acompañada de (2) un pago dirigido a cubrir los gastos de tasación de “tú” lote; entonces (3) te entregan una lista de documentos que tienes que presentar para complementar tu solicitud, incluyendo cierta información financiera como tus planillas (si en plural) de contribución sobre ingresos; y, luego de que hayan evaluado tu solicitud y los documentos necesarios junto a la tasación, te extenderán una oferta de compra de título la cual, si aceptas, conllevará un desembolso a favor del municipio.


FIN DEL CINISMO, espero yo.


Simplifiqué los pasos para poder comunicar un resumen tan breve como sea posible.   Ahora bien, desafortunadamente el proceso tiene ciertas consideraciones de índole legal y otras procesales que están fuera del alcance de esta columna y de este blog en general.  Es más, dependiendo de su interés, queriendo decir Bravos de Boston, Villa Borinquen o Monte Carmelo y otras zonas de Vieques, estás ante procesos, personas y oficinas distintas, cada una de ellas con sus particularidades aunque todas muy bien atendidas por personal cooperador y deseoso de ayudar.  


Ahora bien, quiero comentar lo siguiente: me ha llegado tanta información incorrecta y/o falsa sobre estos procesos, que me quedo sorprendido y me tengo que preguntar de dónde vienen tantos datos incorrectos y con qué propósito son circulados.   Esto enfatiza el hecho de que debes evaluar cuidadosamente a quien aceptas como tu fuente de información para tomar decisiones sobre estos temas.


Alguna de dicha información es cierta, pero alguna es solamente ficción, y la mayoría son meras especulaciones de individuos que tiene miedo y no pueden dar la cara a la verdad de lo que sucede actualmente.  ¿Cuál verdad?  La verdad innegable de que los reconocimientos de títulos han llegado, están ocurriendo en este momento, y que ahora es el momento de actuar, aprender, evaluar y decidir que quieres hacer o no hacer sobre tu finca y tu título.  


Yo no te estoy diciendo que el Municipio lo está hacienda bien, y tampoco te estoy diciendo que lo está haciendo mal.  En muchas ocasiones he manifestado que cada finca tiene su historia, lo cual significa que algunos dueños tienen que salir corriendo a donde el Municipio para obtener su reconocimiento de título, y que otros salen mejor si van a los tribunales para que sean de manera final reconocidos como dueños de sus fincas.  Aun habrá otros que podrán llegar a ciertos acuerdos con el Municipio de manera que puedan evitar tener que ir a un tribunal.


Las posibilidades son tan variadas como la cantidad de fincas que hay …que se estiman en unas 860 en Bravos de Boston, 720 en Villa Borinquen, y 420 en Monte Carmelo, y eso sin contra las subdivisiones que se han hecho desde que los primeros planos de segregación fueron creados a principio de los años 80.


Bueno Fernando, espero que esto haya ayudado.  Se me hace fácil seguir escribiendo, pero voy a parar por ahora.





Santiago F. Lampón

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