Throughout the Sandinista era, up until 1990, the Sandinistas often confiscated properties from individuals and businesses and redistributed it according to their own policies. When democracy was reinstated, all of the former owners of course protested and massive property disputes arose at all levels of society. Some 16,000 properties were distributed among 128,000 beneficiaries during this era. The process by which these disputes are resolved is very cumbersome and inadequate, resulting in many premium properties which sit empty because their ownership is still in dispute, even after 8 years. Before investing, one should carefully verify who owns the land in question and if it's ownership is in dispute.
In 1990, when Violeta Chamorro became president, the government instituted an extensive administrative process to sort out the claims. When Alemán took control in 1997 he continued the process, albeit with a few changes. Now, if the property in question is large it must be paid for or returned, however, if the beneficiary received a small piece of land than he has the right to remain there. In such cases, which resulted from socialistic land reform ideas, the original owner is compensated by the government with 15-year bonds which accrue interest based on the dollar. These bonds present another problem because they are worth only a third of their face value on the street.