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State Land


All land in Trinidad and Tobago that is not held privately under freehold title is state land. This includes all shoreline below the high water mark and the seabed within Trinidad and Tobago's territorial waters. The Office of the Commissioner of State Lands in the Ministry of Land and Marine Affairs is responsible for the administration of State land, including the issuing of licenses, rights of way, special permissions, leases and agreements, the service of eviction notices for squatters, as well as advisory and termination notices to tenants in breach. The Office is also responsible for the issue of State grants and for the acquisition of privately owned land for public use.




Agricultural State Land

State land that has been designated for agricultural use is administered in part by the Land Administration Department of the The Ministry of Land and Marine Affairs on behalf of the Commissioner of State Lands.  Detailed information on leasing agricultural State land can be found by following the link below.



Agricultural Land Distribution

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Squatter Regularisation

Squatters who were in unauthorised possession of residential State land in designated areas prior to January 1st, 1998 and who submitted an application for regularisation prior to October 27th, 2000 may be regularised by the Land Settlement Agency (LSA) of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.  Detailed information on regularisation under the LSA can be found by following the link below.


Squatter Regularisation

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Leasing State Land

Unoccupied State land is made available for lease from time to time.  Advertisements are placed in national newspapers when land becomes available, and leases are sold by public auction or another suitable elimination procedure such as an interview.  Detailed information on leasing agricultural state land can be found by clicking the link at the bottom of this section.  State land may be leased on a short, medium or long-term basis.  Lease rates vary between 2% and 5% of the free market value of the land, depending on land use and the duration of the lease.  Long term leases attract an up-front payment equal to the open market value of the parcel.  Potential tenants must submit a detailed development plan as part of the application process.
 
A survey must be carried out as part of the application process.  Any survey carried out on State land must be done under the authorisation of a survey order.  There is no fee for the survey order.  The payment for the survey is a private arrangement between the potential lessee and the private surveyor.  A Survey Order can be obtained from:
 
Director of Surveys
Land and Surveys Division
2nd Floor
118 Frederick Street
Port of Spain
Trinidad, West Indies
Tel. (868) 625-0427 or (868) 627-9201/4
Opening hours:  8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday, except public holidays

Once the survey is completed, the final survey plans should be submitted to the Land and Surveys Division for approval.  Approved survey plans are forwarded by the Office of the Director of Surveys to the office of the Commissioner of State Lands.
 
The office of the Commissioner of State Lands also processes lease renewals and change of use applications, issues guidance to tenants and intervenes in some cases of encroachment.  More information on these services can be obtained from the Commissioner of State Lands at the address below.


Agricultural Land Distribution

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Seabed

The seabed within Trinidad and Tobago's territorial waters is State land.  Any activity that impacts the seabed, such as mining, drilling of wells, installation of pipelines or building of jetties, groynes or breakwaters, or dumping of dredge spoil requires a license.  Applications for licenses to build on or alter the seabed can be made by writing to the Commissioner of State Lands at the address below.

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Land Reclamation

Reclamation of land from the sea by infilling or draining requires a license from the State issued by the office of the Commissioner of State Lands.  Any land reclaimed is State land and requires a lease.  Applications for licenses for reclamation projects can be made in duplicate on the prescribed forms and submitted to the office of the Commissioner of State Lands at the address below. Forms are available at the Office of the Commissioner of State Lands.

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Additional Information

For more information on State lands, please contact:

Office of the Commissioner for State Lands
Lands and Surveys Division
Ground Floor
118 Frederick Street
Port of Spain
Trinidad, West Indies
Tel. (868) 627-9201/4
Opening hours: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday, except public holidays

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