Fake deeds cause land buyers headaches in Mandalay

Some empty land on Thaik Pan street in Chan Mya Tharsi township, Mandalay Region, is fenced off, and a sign gives the owner’s name and warns against trespassing.

Such sights are not unusual for Mandalay.

Because of big unsolved problems like gangs making fake land title deeds, the real owners have problems with people trespassing, and nobody knows who is responsible for solving the problem.

A press conference was held in July by one aggrieved person who claimed to have bought land that had a fake title deed.

The same piece of land in Bogyoke village of Chan Mya Tharsi was sold to U Naing Lin for K600 million and to another buyer, U Arkar, for K620 million.

The transactions did not involve the real owner, whom the two fake deeds listed as U Soe Aung.

Using the same title deed, U Myo Hlaing sold the land to U Arkar, and U Kyaw Min sold it to U Naing Lin.

“There are many cases like this in Mandalay. Title deeds that are thought to be genuine turn out to be false upon careful examination. There are several unfinished lawsuits,” said U Tin Maung, a veteran real estate agent.

“In this case, the original owner moved to Pyinmana in Nay Pyi Taw. Someone made a fake title deed and resold the land to another person. Fifteen years later, when that person contacted the original owner to register as the new owner, they found out the original owner had never sold the land. An investigation found the title deed that was reportedly granted in Pyinmana was forged, so the second owner lost the land,” he said.

Similar cases have happened in Pyigyitagun township and Chan Mya Tharsi.

One person said he thought he was shown proper documentation when he bought a house, and when he went to the city offices to check it, he was told it was real, so he paid a deposit of K15 million for it, and announced it in Myanma Alinn newspaper, However, he was sued for illegal trespassing when he tried to claim the house, he said.

These title deed conflicts began after new plots were demarcated in Mandalay in 1984 and after 1990. Most of the land ownership conflicts concern plots demarcated after 1990.

The conflicts resulted from two or three title deeds existing because the original announcement letter was not taken back, the loss of the original announcement letter, and gangs that forge title deeds.

“The Mandalay City Development Committee (MCDC) doesn’t have experienced staff, and those who demarcated these new plots have all retired, so it cannot tell if the announcement letter is original or fake. When a person applies for a title deed, the MCDC announces it in the newspaper so that anyone can object to it,” he said.

“If there are no objections, the MCDC issues the title deed. There are only a few staff members who can tell if the slips are original or fake. There are corrupt officials as well. Land in Patheingyi and Amarapura are among the new plots,” he said.

Another problem is that when the original owners conduct their business with the city, although they do not reside in the town, city officials fail to go to check them in their towns, he said.

Some gangs forge title deeds with the help of officials, and some people trespass on vacant land with fake title deeds, he said.

Title deeds are only checked by the city officials for data, and can’t be considered completely safe, said U Tin Maung, a senior broker. Such cases are common in Yangon and Mandalay, even large plots of land worth about K1 billion have such problems.

“There needs to be more reliable procedures when taking ownership of land,” said U Tin Maung, chair of the Myanmar Real Property Development Association.

It is expected that these problems will be reduced by about 50 percent when the property brokerage law is adopted, an effort that is led by the association, he said.

Source: Myanmar Times

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