Editorial: Long lease (Wheeling and dealing)

POSTED: 08/10/14 5:48 PM

Follow the money. That is always a wise thing to do when things do not smell right. The court ruling that allows a local bank to continue with the auction of the Caravanserai Resort next week put long lease rights smack in the center of attention.

The case also draws attention to the role notaries play in the transfer of such rights. If they do not do their due diligence – and it has been suggested that this is one of the aspects to the $1.5 million deal between Kildare Properties and Francesco Corallo’s IFPS – then buyers could end up empty-handed and, rightfully, feeling robbed.

Another thing with long lease rights is obviously speculation and money laundering. This applies to the case of UP-candidate Maria Buncamper-Molanus and her husband Claudius who sold in 2008 the economic ownership of a piece of land for a whopping $3 million, while they held it in long lease for just $10,000 a year.

All this wheeling and dealing goes at the expense of our community. Buyers have of course their own responsibility, but the failures of one notary (involved in both cases mentioned here) give reason to call for more scrutiny, or at least more openness and prudence, among all of his colleagues.

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