Landlord Tenant Law Essay In Urdu

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Agricultural Landlord and Tenant Act [Cap 270]

LAWS OF FIJI


[Ed. 1978]

CHAPTER 270

AGRICULTURAL LANDLORD AND TENANT

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ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

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PART 1 – PRELIMINARY


SECTION
1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.
3. Application.

PART II-SECURITY OF TENURE


4. Presumptions with regard to tenancies.
5. Application to declare existence of tenancy.
6. Term of contract of tenancy.
7. Limitation on termination of contracts of tenancy.
8. Contracts and instruments of tenancy.
9. Statutory conditions and covenants.
10. Copy of instrument to be delivered to tenant.
11. Form of rent.
12. Landlord not permitted to market or buy tenant's crops.
13. Extension of contracts of tenancy.
14. Premia or payments for improvements.
15. Contracting out of Act void.

PART III-AGRICULTURAL TRIBUNALS AND COMMITTEE OF VALUERS


16. Agricultural tribunals.
17. Sitting of the tribunal.
18. Powers of tribunal those of magistrates' court.
19. Regulation of proceedings and records.
20. Staff of tribunal.
21. Committee of Valuers.

PART IV-POWERS AND DUTIES OF TRIBUNAL


22.Functions of tribunal.
23. Securing instrument of tenancy.
24. Application to fix or re-assess rent.
25. Holding of investigation following notice.
26. Voluntary evidence on investigation.
27. Compulsory evidence on investigation.
28. Representation before tribunal.
29. Relevant facts proved informally.
30. Inspection of holding by tribunal.
31. Assessment of maximum rent in absence of evidence of landlord.
32. Witnesses' expenses.
33. Maximum rent certificate.
34. Evidential value of certificate.
35. Payment of difference on appeal.


PART V-RIGHTS OF LANDLORDS AND TENANTS


36. Termination by tenant.
37. Termination by landlord.
38. Relief against forfeiture.
39. Service of notices.
40. Compensation for improvements.
4l. Dilapidation, deterioration and damage.
42. Tribunal to fix amount of compensation.
43. Compensation for loss of tenancy through misrepresentation.
44. Termination by agreement.
45. Subletting.
46. Assignment.
47. Consent of landlord.

PART VI-APPEALS


48. Appeals from tribunals.
49. Appeals from Committee.

PART VII-MISCELLANEOUS


50. Validity of documents.
51. Penalties or liquidated damages.
52. Recovery of compensation and damages.
53. Evidence as to good husbandry.
54. Boundaries of holdings.
55. Agricultural licences prohibited.
56. Agents of landlords.
57. Offences.
58. Regulations.
59. Effect on other laws.
60. General saving.
61. Limitation of liability in relation to central agricultural tribunal, tribunals and officers.
62. Avoiding conflict.
63. Transitional.
64. Act to bind Crown.

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AGRICULTURAL LANDLORD AND TENANT

Ordinances Nos. 23 of 1966, 21 of 1967, 18 of 1968, Legal Notices Nos. 112 of 1970, 118 of 1970, Act No. 35 of 1976, Legal Notice No. 94 of 1979.

AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE RELATIONS BETWEEN LANDLORDS AND TENANTS OF AGRICULTURAL HOLDINGS AND FOR MATTERS CONNECTED THEREWITH.

[29 December 1967]

PART I – PRELIMINARY

Short title


1. This Act may be cited as the Agricultural Landlord and TenantAct.

Interpretation


2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires-


"agricultural district" means that area of Fiji in which a tribunal may exercise its powers and duties under the provisions of this Act;
"agricultural holding" means a parcel of agricultural land to which the provisions of this Act apply;

"agricultural land" means land, together with any buildings thereon, used or proposed to be used predominantly for the growing of crops, dairy farming, fruit farming, forestry, horticulture, bee keeping, poultry keeping or breeding or the breeding, rearing or keeping of livestock;
"central agricultural tribunal" means a tribunal appointed under the provisions of section 48;
"Committee of Valuers" means the Committee of Valuers established by section 21;
"contract of tenancy" means any contract express or implied or presumed to exist under the provisions of this Act that creates a tenancy in respect of agricultural land or any transaction that creates a right to cultivate or use any agricultural land;
"instrument of tenancy" means the writing evidencing a contract of tenancy;
"landlord" means the Government, the Native Land Trust Board or any person for the time being entitled to receive the rents and profits of any agricultural land, and includes the personal representatives, executors, administrators and assigns of a landlord;
"practice of good husbandry" means, in relation to agricultural land, that standard of husbandry determined pursuant to the provisions of subsection (2) of section 13;
"proprietary unit", in the case of native land, means the proprietary unit registered under the provisions of the Native LandsAct as being the owner of such land;
(Cap. 133.)
"receipt" means any note, memorandum or writing whatsoever whereby any rent is acknowledged or expressed to have been received or deposited or paid, or whereby any debt or demand or any part of any debt or demand for rent is acknowledged to have been settled, satisfied or discharged, or which signifies or imports such acknowledgement, signed by or on behalf of the landlord and describing the land to which the rent relates sufficiently to enable it to be identified;
"tenancy" includes a lease, sub-tenancy, a sub-lease or a tenancy at will;
"tenant" means a person lawfully holding land under a contract of tenancy and includes the personal representatives, executors, administrators, permitted assigns, committee in lunacy or trustee in bankruptcy of a tenant or any other person deriving title from or through a tenant;

"termination", in relation to a tenancy, means the cesser of the contract of tenancy by reason of effluxion of time or from any other cause;

"tribunal" means an agricultural tribunal established under the provisions of section 16.
(Amended by Ordinance 18 of 1968, s. 2; Act 35 of 1976, s. 2.)

Application


3.-(1) This Act shall apply to all agricultural land in Fiji except-

(a) agricultural holdings having an area of less than 1 hectare:
Provided that the Minister may, on application by a tribunal or otherwise, by notice in the Gazette, specify agricultural holdings or classes of such holdings of a less area than 1 hectare to which the provisions of this Act shall apply;
(b) tenancies held by members of a registered co-operative society of agricultural land, where the society is the landlord;

(c) all native land situated within a native reserve:

Provided that the Minister, after consultation with the Native Land Trust Board, may prescribe any land set aside and proclaimed as a native reserve under the provisions of the Native Land Trust Act to be subject to the provisions of this Act but, for the purpose of avoiding doubt, it is hereby declared that, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (2) of section 59, the provisions of sections 16 and 17 of the Native Land Trust Act shall apply to such a prescribed and reserved land. (Cap. 134.).


(Amended by Ordinance 21 of 1967, s. 2; Legal Notice 112 of 1970; 94 of 1979.)

(2) The provisions of this Act shall prevail notwithstanding the provisions of any contract of tenancy created after 29 December 1967.

PART II-SECURITY OF TENURE

Presumptions with regard to tenancies


4.-(1) Where a person is in occupation of, and is cultivating, an agricultural holding and such occupation and cultivation has continued before or after 29 December 1967 for a period of not less than 3 years and the landlord has taken no steps to evict him, the onus shall be on the landlord to prove that such occupation was without his consent and, if the landlord fails to satisfy such onus of proof, tenancy shall be presumed to exist under the provisions of this Act:

Provided that any such steps taken between the 20 June 1966 and 29 December 1967, shall be no bar to the operation of this subsection.

(2) Where payment in money or in kind to a landlord by a person occupying any of the land of such landlord is proved, such payment shall, in the absence of proof to the contrary, be presumed to be rent.

Application to declare existence of tenancy


5.-(1) A person who maintains that he is a tenant and whose landlord refuses to accept him as such may apply to a tribunal for a declaration that he is a tenant and, if the tribunal makes such a declaration, the tenancy shall be deemed to have commenced when the tenant first occupied the land:

Provided that rent shall only be recoverable where the tribunal is satisfied that it is just and reasonable so to order.
(Substituted by 35 of 1976, s. 3.)

(2) Where an agricultural holding is held by a Fijian according to native custom, he or a person authorised in writing by the Native Land Trust Board may apply to a tribunal for a declaration that a tenancy under the provisions of this Act exist and from a date specified in such declaration, which shall not have retrospective effect, the provisions of this Act shall apply to such holding and such as rent as may be assessed and fixed by the tribunal in respect thereof shall be paid to the Native Land Trust Board.

Term of contract of tenancy


6. Notwithstanding the provisions of any Act or agreement to the contrary but subject to the other provisions of this Act-

(a) any contract of tenancy created after the commencement of this Act but before the commencement of the Agricultural Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act, 1976* shall be deemed to be a contract of tenancy for a term of not less than 10 years;
*1st September, 1977.
(b) any contract of tenancy created after the commencement of the Agricultural Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act, 1976* shall be deemed to be a contract of tenancy for a term of not less than 30 years;
*1st September, 1977.


and the provisions of this Act shall apply to any such contract.
(Substituted by 35 of 1976, s. 4.)

Limitation on termination of contracts of tenancy


7. Except in the manner provided by this Act-

(a) no contract of tenancy of any agricultural land subsisting at the commencement of this Act or thereafter shall be terminated by the landlord or by the tenant of such land within the term fixed by such contract or during an extension granted in accordance with the provisions of this Act; and
(b) no contract of tenancy of any agricultural land created after the commencement of this Act shall be terminated as aforesaid within the minimum term specified in section 6.
(Amended by 35 of 1976, s. 5.)

Contracts and instruments of tenancy


8.-(1) A contract of tenancy shall be evidenced by an instrument in writing called, in this Act, an instrument of tenancy.

(2) The instrument of tenancy shall be in the prescribed form and shall contain the names and addresses of the parties, the rent provided for and the place at which such rent is payable, the amount of premium or payment for improvements provided by the landlord for the purpose of the tenancy, the term of the tenancy, a sufficient description of the land referred to in such instrument and such other conditions as may be agreed or prescribed.

(3) Every instrument of tenancy shall be signed by the parties thereto and-

(a) if registrable under the provisions of the Land Transfer Act, shall be registered in accordance with the provisions of that Act and, notwithstanding the provisions of section 60, all other provisions of the said Act shall apply to such instrument and all dealings relating thereto; or

(Cap. 131.)

(b) if not registrable under the provisions of the Land Transfer Act, shall, together with all dealings relating thereto, be registered as deeds under the provisions of the Registration Act.

(Cap. 131.) (Cap. 224.)


(4) Where a lease or sub-lease may lawfully be given in respect of agricultural land, a tenant may request his landlord in writing to provide, sign or execute such lease or sub-lease, as the case may be, or to register it in accordance with the provisions of the Land Transfer Act.
(Cap. 131.)

(5) Any landlord who, without reasonable cause, fails to provide, sign, execute or register a lease or sub-lease within a reasonable time of such written request shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to both such fine and imprisonment.

(6) Without prejudice to the ordinary meaning of the expression "reasonable cause", where any tenant fails within fourteen days of a written request served upon him specifying the reasonable legal costs, survey fees and other charges attendant upon the provision, execution or registration of a lease or sub-lease, to pay such reasonable legal costs, fees or other charges as aforesaid or as maybe determined by a tribunal or be prescribed, such failure shall for the purposes of subsection (5) be deemed to be reasonable cause.

(7) Where any tenant fails within six months from the date of service upon him or from the receipt by him by registered post of a written request to execute and return to the landlord an instrument of tenancy, such tenancy may by notice be declared void by the landlord, but the tenant if in possession shall nevertheless be liable to pay to the landlord an amount equivalent to the rent that would have begin payable up to the date of such notice had such instrument of tenancy been executed.

(Section amended by 21 of 1967, s, 3 and 35 of 1976, s. 6.)

Statutory conditions and covenants


9.-(1) The following conditions and covenants shall be implied in every contract of tenancy of an agricultural holding subsisting at or after the commencement of this Act:-

(a) that the rental payable under the contract shall be paid by the tenant not later than the day or days in each year specified in the contract of tenancy;
(b) that the landlord shall issue to the tenant, at the time the rent is paid, a receipt in writing for the payment of such rent by or on behalf of the tenant;
(c) that the landlord shall not evict or attempt to evict the tenant or give the tenant notice to quit or otherwise terminate or attempt to terminate the contract except as permitted and authorised by the provisions of this Act;
(d) that the tenant shall not terminate or attempt to terminate the tenancy except as permitted and authorised by the provisions of this Act;
(e) on the part of the tenant-
(i) to pay the rent at the times and in the manner agreed between the parties;
(ii) not to part with the possession of, mortgage, assign, sublet or otherwise alienate the holding or any part thereof without the consent in writing of the landlord previously obtained, which consent shall not be unreasonably withheld, and then, only in accordance with the provisions of this Act;
(iii) to permit the landlord or any person authorised by him in writing at all reasonable times to enter upon the holding other than a dwelling house to examine the state and condition thereof and for all other reasonable purposes connected with the proper use and cultivation of the holding by the tenant;
(iv) to farm, cultivate, manure and manage the entire holding in a good and husbandlike manner according to the practice of good husbandry and also to keep the holding in good heart and condition and not to allow any part to become impoverished, injured or deteriorated by neglect or improper cultivation, and to keep the same clean and free from weeds;
(v) to yield up, at the expiration of the tenancy, the entire holding in such a state of cultivation and management as shall be in compliance with the tenant's obligations under the contract of tenancy:
(f) on the part of the landlord-
(i) the landlord shall permit the tenant on his paying the rent reserved and performing and observing the terms and conditions implied in the contract of tenancy peaceably and quietly to hold and enjoy the holding during the term of the tenancy without any interruption by the landlord or any person lawfully claiming from, under or in trust for, the landlord;
(ii) that on termination of the tenancy the tenant, if he has paid all the rent and observed and performed all the conditions of the tenancy, shall be entitled, at the option of the landlord, during the next twelve months to cultivate and to reap any standing crops or receive compensation in lieu;
(g) on the part of both-
(i) in relation to contracts of tenancy made after the commencement of this Act, that the rent shall be liable to re-assessment at the expiry of the fifth year of the term of the tenancy and thereafter at the expiry of each successive period of five years, on either party to the agreement serving notice on the other party at least three months prior to the expiry of the five-yearly period that he requires the rent to be re-assessed;
(ii) in relation to contracts of tenancy subsisting at the commencement of this Act, that the rent shall be liable to reassessment at any time on either party serving not less than three months' notice in writing on the other party that he requires the rent to be re-assessed, and thereafter, after each successive period of five years, on either party serving a notice in writing on the other party at least three months prior to the expiry of each such five-yearly period, that he requires the rent to be re-assessed.


(2) Every contract of tenancy shall be deemed to contain the following clause:-

"This contract is subject to the provisions of the Agricultural Landlord and Tenant Act, and may only be determined, whether during its currency or at the end of its term, in accordance with such provisions. All disputes and differences whatsoever arising out of this contract, for the decision of which that Act makes provision, shall be decided in accordance with such provisions.".
(Section amended by 21 of 1967, s. 4 and 35 of 1976, s. 7.)

Copy of instrument to be delivered to tenant


10. Forthwith upon the execution and registration of an instrument of tenancy, the landlord shall deliver a registered copy of such instrument to the tenant.

Form of rent


11.-(1) Subject to the provisions of subsection (2), the rent in respect of an agricultural holding shall not be or include a part of the crop derived from the holding, or any equivalent of rent given in kind or in labour to the landlord in return for the use and occupation of the holding; and it shall be unlawful to receive rent in kind, in labour or in any other form except in legal currency.

(2) The provisions of subsection (1) shall not apply to any contract of tenancy which at its inception is intended to subsist for any period not less than ten years whereby provision is made for the landlord to receive, in accordance with the conditions prescribed under subsection (3), not more than the prescribe percentage of any crop grown upon the land to which such contract relates.

(3) The Minister may, by order, exempt any tenancy or class of tenancy from the provisions of this section and may prescribe any condition, percentage or crop referred to in subsection (2).

Landlord not permitted to market or buy tenant's crops


12. Unless such a provision is specifically included in a separate written contract, no landlord shall be permitted to market nor to buy the crops of this tenant except for his household or domestic use. Any such separate contract shall clearly specify the consideration thereof.

Extension of contract of tenancy


13.-(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act relating to the termination of a contract of tenancy, a tenant holding under a contract of tenancy created before or extended pursuant to the provisions of this Act in force before the commencement of the Agricultural Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act, 1976,* shall be entitled to be granted a single extension (or a further extension, as the case may be) of his contract of tenancy for a period of twenty years, unless-
* 1st September 1977

(a) during the term of such contract the tenant has failed to cultivate the land in a manner consistent with the practice of good husbandry; or
(b) the contract of tenancy was created before the commencement of this Act and has at the commencement of the Agricultural Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act, 1976* an unexpired term of more than thirty years:
Provided that, notwithstanding the provisions of section 14, a premium equivalent to one year's rent shall be payable in full in advance on the first day of the first year and of the eleventh year of such extension.
(Substituted by 35 of 1976, s. 8.)
* 1st September 1977


(2) For the purposes of this Act, the expression "practice of good husbandry" means having regard to the character and location of an agricultural holding-

(a) the maintenance in good order of such terraces, drains, barriers, bunds and hedges and the carrying out of such measures of contour cultivation and cropping as the Permanent Secretary for Agriculture or his nominee shall consider to be the minimum standard necessary for the protection and conservation of the soil;
(b) the cultivation of the land in a husbandlike manner and the maintenance of the fertility of the agricultural holding to the minimum standard considered necessary by the Permanent Secretary for Agriculture or his nominee;
(c) the avoidance of any practice commonly known to have an effect harmful to the soil or which may lead to a reduction in the fertility of the agricultural holding;
(d) the control of pests, diseases and noxious weeds to the minimum standard considered necessary by the Permanent Secretary for Agriculture or his nominee;
(e) the maintenance and clearing of ditches, and of drains other than those specified in paragraph (a);
(f) the maintenance and repair of buildings, fences, walls, gates, windbreaks and hedges other than those specified in paragraph (a);
(g) such other practices. as may be prescribed:


Provided that the foregoing definition shall not imply an obligation on the part of the tenant to carry out work described in paragraphs (e) and (f) unless such work is required to be done by him under the provisions of his contract of tenancy.

(3) Where the landlord has notice of a mortgage or charge affecting an agricultural holding, he shall serve upon the mortgagee or the chargee, as the case may be, a copy of any notice served upon the tenant in accordance with the provisions of this section.
(Substituted by 18 of 1968, s. 3.)

Premia or payments for improvements


14.-(1) No premium shall be payable by a tenant upon any extension of his tenancy except in a case where, during the course of the original tenancy or any extension thereof, the landlord has, at his own expense and with the consent of the tenant made improvements to the land:

Provided that this subsection shall not apply to any contract of tenancy subsisting before the 29th December, 1967, which was still subsisting on the 9th August, 1973.

(2) Each instrument of tenancy shall state clearly and correctly, in addition to the amount of the rent payable in respect of the agricultural holding, the sum, if any, payable in respect of premium upon the letting or, in the case of any extension thereof, the amount payable in respect of improvements made to the land by the landlord with the consent of the tenant during the term of the expired or expiring tenancy.

(3) No sum of money greater than such as is payable under the provisions of the instrument of tenancy or of any of the foregoing provisions of this section in respect of premium or payment for improvements shall be recoverable by the landlord by process of law.

(4) Any landlord who demands or receives any sum in respect of rent or premium or any payment for improvements in excess of the sums respectively specified in the instrument of tenancy, or payable under any of the foregoing provisions of this section, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding two hundred dollars or the aggregate amount of the excess rent or premium received, whichever shall be the greater sum, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to both such fine and imprisonment.
(Section amended by 35 of 1976, s. 9.)

Contracting out of Act void


15. A provision in any contract of tenancy whereby the tenant purports to contract himself out of the provisions of this Act or the effect of which would be to contract the tenant out of any of such provisions shall be against public policy and void.

PART III-AGRICULTURAL TRIBUNALS AND COMMITTEE VALUERS

Agricultural tribunals


16.-(1) The Minister may, by notification in the Gazette, and in accordance with the provisions of this Act, establish as many agricultural tribunals as he thinks fit.

(2) When establishing a tribunal, the Minister shall define, in respect of such tribunal, the agricultural district of the tribunal.

(3) A tribunal shall consist of one person appointed by the Public Service Commission and such tribunal shall be remunerated as may be approved by Parliament.
(Substituted by Order, 7th October, 1970.)

(4) The Minister may, with the prior agreement of the Chief Justice, appoint in writing any resident magistrate to be a deputy tribunal and subject to any conditions or limitations as may be specified in such appointment, a deputy tribunal shall have all the powers and duties of a tribunal and any provision of this Act applicable to or governing a tribunal shall equally be applicable to and govern a deputy tribunal.
(Inserted by 21 of 1967, s. 6.)

Sitting of the tribunal


17. A tribunal shall sit in public so often as may be required, at such time and place as the tribunal may determine.

Powers of tribunal those of magistrates' court


18.-(1) A tribunal shall have power-

(a) to exercise all the powers of a magistrates' court in its summary jurisdiction of summoning and enforcing the attendance of witnesses, examining witnesses on oath, and enforcing the payment of costs and the production of documents;
(b) to admit evidence whether written or oral, and whether or not such evidence would be admissible in civil or criminal proceedings;
(c) to award costs;
(d) to extend any period of time, whether in relation to a notice or otherwise, specified in this Act.


(2) Where a tribunal considers that any landlord or tenant is in breach of this Act or of any law, the tribunal may declare the tenancy or a purported tenancy granted by such landlord or to such tenant as aforesaid, null and void and may order such amount of compensation (not being compensation payable under the provions of Part V) paid, as it shall think fit, by the landlord or by the tenant, as the case may be, and may order all or part of the agricultural land the subject of an unlawful tenancy to be assigned to any tenant or may make any determination or order that a tribunal may make under the provisions of this Act.

(3) Any application to a tribunal for a declaration, for compensation or for the ordering of the making of an assignment or other order or determination under subsection (2) may be made notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (3) of section 59 but nothing contained herein shall be deemed to permit the ordering or making of an assignment in breach of the provisions of the Subdivision of Land Act or which would otherwise be unlawful.
(Cap. 140.)
(Section amended by 21 of 1967, s. 7.)

Regulation of proceedings and records


19.-(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, a tribunal may regulate its own proceedings.

(2) Each tribunal shall cause to be kept a record of each proceeding before it, of the evidence taken thereat and of the decision reached.

Staff of tribunal


20.-(1) The Public Service Commission may appoint a secretary and such other officers and employees of the tribunal as the tribunal may consider necessary for the proper carrying out of its functions under the provisions of this Act.
(Substituted by Order, 7th October, 1970.)

(2) Each person being a tribunal, and each of the secretaries and other officers and employees appointed under the provisions of subsection (1), shall be deemed to be a person employed in the public service within the meaning of the Penal Code.
(Cap. 17.)

Committee of Valuers


21.-(1) There is hereby established the Committee of Valuers which shall consist of four persons to be appointed by the Minister responsible for land matters-

(a) one of whom shall be a person who in the opinion of the Minister has appropriate knowledge, experience or qualifications in agriculture matters, who shall be the chairman;
(b) one of whom shall be a valuer who is a public officer;
(c) one of whom shall be a valuer in the employ of the Native Land Trust Board; and
(d) one of whom shall be a valuer engaged in private practice,


who shall hold office for such term as he shall determine.

(2) The function of the Committee shall be to determine and, by order published in the Gazette, declare the unimproved capital values of the different classes of agricultural land the subject of an agricultural holding, the first such order to be published within one month of the commencement of the Agricultural Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act, 1976* and subsequent orders to be published every five years thereafter:

Provided that the Committee may differentiate in any such order between different types or classes of land and in respect of land situated in different parts of Fiji.
(Section inserted by 35 of 1976, s. 11.)
*1st September 1977

PART IV - POWERS AND DUTIES OF TRIBUNAL

Functions of tribunal


22.-(1) In respect of its agricultural district, a tribunal may, upon the application of a landlord or a tenant of an agricultural holding-

(a) subject to the provisions of subsection (2), assess, fix and certify the maximum rent to be paid in respect of such holding and specify the date from which such assessment is to have effect;
(b) determine whether compensation is payable and, if so, the amount thereof in relation to the holding in any case where the tribunal has a power or duty to determine compensation under the provision of this Act;
(c) grant leave to the landlord to resettle the tenant on other suitable land;
(d) re-parcel and re-allocate agricultural land specified in the application, as between landlord and tenant and, for the purposes of this paragraph, the expression "landlord" shall include, in the case of native land, a member or members of the proprietary unit or in the case of any other agricultural land, any of the owners thereof;
(Amendment by 18 of 1968, s. 4.)
(e) grant leave to the landlord to reduce the size of the holding;
(f) authorise and direct the recovery of the holding at any time if it is satisfied that, after having received reasonable notice, the tenant has failed to cultivate it in a mariner consistent with the practice of good husbandry;
(Amended by 35 of 1976, s. 12.)
(g) grant relief against eviction, re-entry or forfeiture in respect of any holding whether created or in existence before or after the commencement of this Act;
(h) authorise and direct the transfer or subletting of the holding;
(i) in the case of any dispute, specify the area and boundaries of any agricultural holding:
Provided that no appeal shall lie in relation to such decision which shall be final and conclusive for the purposes of this Act;
(j) decide any dispute between a landlord and tenant of agricultural land relating to such land and to the provisions of this Act, and to exercise any power or duty, including the power to specify the period of time a decision shall be in force, necessary for the implementation of any power, duty or function conferred by or imposed under the provisions of this subsection or of this Act:
Provided that the tribunal shall not adjudicate upon the length of the term contained in any contract of tenancy or extension there;
(k) exercise any other power or duty conferred or imposed by or under the provisions of this Act.


*(2) Save where the landlord is the owner of the improvements, or where the agricultural holding is to be let by tender, the tribunal, in assessing, fixing and certifying the maximum rent for an agricultural holding, shall allow the landlord a return of not more than six per cent per annum on the unimproved capital value of the land the subject of the holding:

Providing that any premium paid by the tenant to the landlord (other than a premium paid under the proviso to subsection (1) of section 13) shall be taken into consideration when assessing, fixing and certifying such maximum rent.
* Inserted by 35 of 1976, s. 12

*(3) For the purposes of subsection (2), "unimproved capital value" means the capital sum which the land the subject of the agricultural holding, if it were held for an estate in fee simple unencumbered by any mortgage or charge thereon, might be expected to realise at the time the maximum rent was assessed, fixed and, certified if offered for sale with vacant possession on such reasonable terms and conditions as a bona fide seller might be expected to require and assuming that any improvements thereon or appertaining thereto made by the tenant or acquired by the tenant had not been made:

Provided that such capital sum shall only take into account the purpose for which the land is leased and not the actual use of the land or any purpose for which the land could be used.

For the purposes of this subsection, "improvements" includes buildings of all descriptions, fencing, furrows, planting trees or live hedges, walls, wells, draining land or reclamation of swamps, road-making, bridges, tramways, laying out and cultivating gardens and nurseries, water works, sheep or cattle dips, excavation and levelling, embankments or protective works of any kind, fixed machinery, irrigation works, water-tanks, planting of long-lived crops, and clearing of land for agricultural purposes.
* Inserted by 35 of 1976, s.12.

(4) Any award, order or certificate made or issued by the tribunal under the provisions of this Act shall be served upon the landlord and the tenant and upon any other person a party to the proceedings.

Securing instrument of tenancy


23.-(1) Where-

(a) in respect of any contract of tenancy, an instrument of tenancy has not been executed by the parties or such instrument does not contain the statutory requirements required by section 8 to be included therein, either the landlord or the tenant; or
(b) in any case coming within the provisions of section 5, the tenant,


if he has first requested the other party to the tenancy to have the contract evidenced by an instrument of tenancy or by an instrument in the prescribed form, as the case may be, and no such contract has been executed, may refer such matter to the tribunal of the agricultural district in which the holding is situated.

(2) On a reference being made to it under the provisions of paragraph (a) of subsection (1), the tribunal shall in its award-

(a) specify the existing terms of the contract of tenancy between the landlord and the tenant with any variation thereto agreed upon by the landlord and the tenant; and

(b) in so far as the existing terms make no provision similar to those specified in section 9 or provisions less favourable to the tenant or contain provisions inconsistent with those of such section, make provision for the inclusion in the instrument of tenancy of all the statutory conditions required by the provisions of this Act to be included in such instrument.


(3) On a reference being made to it under the provisions of section 5, the tribunal shall, if it is satisfied that it is just and reasonable so to do, declare that an agricultural tenancy under the provisions of this Act exists, and direct that an instrument of tenancy be entered into by the landlord and the tenant in a form pursuant to the provisions of this Act.

Application to fix or re-assess rent


24.-(1) An application may be made to the tribunal of the agricultural district in which the agricultural holding is situated by-

(a) the tenant of such holding to have the maximum rent of such holding assessed, fixed and certified; or
(b) either party to a contract of tenancy to have the rent of such holding assessed, fixed and certified in the event of such parties being unable to agree to a re-assessment of rent under the provisions of paragraph (g) of subsection (1) of section 9.


(2) The tribunal shall cause notice of the date, time and place fixed by the tribunal for investigating the application made under the provisions of subsection (1) to be given to the landlord or the agent of such landlord and the tenant concerned in such application.

(3) For the purpose of avoiding doubt it is hereby declared that the tribuhal shall not re-assess any rent except in accordance with the implied conditions of a contract of tenancy and any such re-assessment shall not cause any rent to be paid in excess of the maximum rent which can be fixed under this Act.

Holding of investigation following notice


25.-(1) When, on the day and at the time fixed for the investigation, the landlord and the tenant appear, the tribunal shall proceed with the investigation; and for that purpose may direct such adjournments and postponements from time to time as it thinks proper.

(2) Where notice under the provisions of section 24 has been received by the landlord and the tenant, if the landlord or the tenant fails to appear on the date and at the time fixed for the investigation, the tribunal may proceed with the investigation or may postpone it to such date as it thinks fit.

(3) Where notice under the provisions of section 24 has been received by the tenant, the tribunal may, notwithstanding that the landlord has received no such notice, proceed with the investigation-

(a) if delivery of the notice was refused by the landlord;
(b) if the address in Fiji of the landlord and the agent, if any, of the landlord are not known to the tenant and cannot be ascertained by the tribunal; or
(c) if the landlord resides elsewhere than in Fiji.

Voluntary evidence on investigation


26.-(1) On an investigation by a tribunal, the landlord or his agent may give evidence, produce documents and call witnesses and the tenant thereof may cross-examine the landlord or his agent and any witnesses called on behalf of the landlord.

(2) On an investigation by a tribunal, the tenant may give evidence, produce documents and call witnesses and any other person may give evidence for the purpose of ascertaining all the relevant facts; and the landlord or this agent and any tenant may cross-examine any witness called on behalf of the tenant; and the landlord or his agent and any tenant may cross-examine any other person giving evidence on the investigation.

Compulsory evidence on investigation


27. A tribunal may require the landlord, or his agent, the tenant or any other person to give evidence for the purpose of ascertaining all the relevant facts; and the landlord or his agent and the tenant may cross-examine any such witness.

Representation before tribunal


28.-(1) The landlord, the tenant or any other interested party may be represented before a tribunal by a barrister and solicitor.

(2) The landlord may be represented before a tribunal by his agent.

Relevant facts proved informally


29.-(1) Upon the investigation of an application under the provisions of this Act the tribunal may, subject to the provisions of section 30, take into consideration any relevant facts that the tribunal finds to be proved by the investigation, notwithstanding the absence of formal proof of those facts.

(2) Before any facts referred to in subsection (1) are taken into consideration by the tribunal-

(a) the party or parties present before the tribunal shall be informed of the substance of such facts;
(b) the tribunal shall make or cause to be made a note of those facts; and
(c) the party or parties present before the tribunal shall be given an opportunity, if he or they so desire, of adducing evidence in regard to those facts.

Inspection of holding by tribunal


30.-(1) Where an application is made to the tribunal under the provisions of this Act the tribunal may, for the purpose of inspecting the agricultural holding concerned in the application, require the tenant to permit the tribunal to enter upon the agricultural holding; and, where necessary, the tribunal may require the landlord to grant access to the holding.

(2) Where an inspection is to be made without requiring the landlord to grant access to the holding, the tribunal shall give reasonable notice to the landlord of its intention to inspect such holding.

(3) Where a tribunal inspects a holding under the authority of this section, the tribunal shall record or cause to be recorded the results of its inspection.

Assessment of maximurn rent in absence of evidence of landlord


31. Without prejudice to the power of a tribunal to assess, fix and certify a maximum rent following an investigation, a tribunal may assess, fix and certify a maximum rent for a holding where-

(a) the landlord or his agent fails without reasonable cause to attend before the tribunal on the date and at the time and place fixed in the notice given under the provisions of subsection (2) of section 24, or on any date to which the holding of the investigation was adjourned or postponed, if the notice was received by the landlord or his agent;
(b) the landlord or his agent declines to give evidence, or declines to give evidence on any point that in the opinion of the tribunal is relevant to its investigation;
(c) the landlord or his agent is for any reason unable to prove any facts required to be proved for the purpose of ascertaining or fixing the maximum rent; or
(d) the investigation was held under the provisions of subsection (3) section 25.

Witnesses expenses


32. The tribunal investigating an application under the provisions of this Act may direct that out of pocket expenses of any witness shall be paid by such party as it thinks proper:

Provided that no direction for the payment of out of pocket expenses of a witness called by the tenant shall be given against the landlord where the maximum rent fixed by the tribunal on the application of the tenant is the same as or greater than the rent actually paid by the tenant to the landlord before the application was made.

Maximum rent certificate


33. Where a tribunal has ascertained, assessed and fixed the maximum rent for an agricultural holding, it shall-

(a) cause to be recorded, filed and preserved the reasons for the tribunal's decision;

(b) cause a certificate of the maximum rent to be completed in the form prescribed;

(c) issue the certificate by causing a signed copy thereof to be served upon the landlord and to each tenant who was a party to the application.
(Amended by 21 of 1967, s. 8.)

Evidential value of certificate


34. A certificate of maximum rent issued pursuant to the provisions of section 33 shall be admitted in evidence in all courts of law and before any tribunal as conclusive proof-

(a) as between the landlord and the tenant who were parties to the investigation by which the maximum rent was assessed; and
(b) for and against the tenant who was a party to the investigation by which the maximum rent was assessed, notwithstanding any change of landlord,


that the maximum rent of the agricultural holding described in the certificate is as stated therein, and in all other cases shall be admitted in evidence in all courts of law and before any tribunal as prima facie proof thereof.

Payment of difference on appeal


35. Payment of the maximum rent stated in a certificate of maximum rent issued pursuant to the provisions of section 34 may be enforced notwithstanding any appeal under the provisions of Part VI but, where on any, such appeal it is adjudged that the maximum rent stated in the certificate is more or less than the maximum rent that ought to have been so stated, the tenant or the landlord, as the case may be, shall pay the difference to the landlord or tenant, as the case may be, and the difference so required to be paid may be recovered by the party entitled thereto as a debt due to that party.

PART V-RIGHTS OF LANDLORDS AND TENANTS

Termination by tenant


36. A tenant may terminate his contract of tenancy-

(a) by giving to the landlord not less than six months' notice in writing; or
(b) without notice where the landlord commits a breach of any term or condition of the tenancy, or permits any rates or taxes, for the payment of which the landlord is, as between landlord and tenant liable, to fall into arrear or where the landlord is guilty of any unreasonable conduct which causes the tenant to leave the holding.

Termination by landlord


37.-(1) A landlord may terminate his contract of tenancy and may recover posession of an agricultural holding-

(a) without notice where the tenant deserts such holding and leaves it uncultivated and unoccupied for a period of not less than twelve months and owes rent for a period of twelve months or more;
(b) by one months' written notice to quit-
(i) where the tenant sublets, assigns or subdivides such holding without having previously obtained the consent in writing of the landlord which consent shall not be unreasonably withheld; or
(ii) where the tenant commits a breach of any term or condition of the tenancy which is not capable of being remedied and the interests of the landlord are materially prejudiced thereby;
(c) by three months' written notice to quit-
(i) where the tenant is not cultivating or operating such holding according to the practice of good husbandry and the interests of the landlord are materially prejudiced thereby; or
(ii) if any part of the rent in respect of the holding is in arrear for a period of three months or more or if any lawful term or condition of the tenancy which is capable of being remedied is not performed or observed by the tenant:
Provided that, if the tenant pays the rent in arrear or, in the case of breach or non-observance of any lawful term or condition of the tenancy, the tenant makes good such breach or non-observance within three months of the notice to quit, the notice to quit shall deemed to be cancelled and of no force and effect.
(Amended by 35 of 1976; s. 13.)
(2) (a) The tenant may, at any time before the expiry of a notice lawfully given and served upon him under the provisions of paragraphs (b) and (c) of subsection (1) and of section 39, apply to the tribunal for relief against forfeiture and pending the award of the tribunal, such tenant shall not be evicted.
(b) The tribunal shall consider and decide upon any application made to it under the provisions of this section within the period of 12 months specified in sub-paragraph (ii) of paragraph (f) of subsection (1) of section 9.


(3) Where the landlord has notice of a mortgage or charge affecting the land the subject of the tenancy the landlord shall serve upon the mortgage or chargee, as the case may be, a copy of any notice served upon the tenant in accordance with the provisions of subsection (1).
(Inserted by 18 of 1968, s. 5.)

(4) For the purposes of sub-paragraph (i) of paragraph (b) of subsection (1) the expression "subdivide" has the same meaning as in the Subdivision of Land Act.
(Cap. 140)

(5) All applications for relief against forfeiture which may be made under the provisions of any Act shall be made to the tribunal, and for this purpose, the tribunal shall possess all the powers and jurisdiction of the court to which such application may be made under the provisions of such Act.
(Amended by 35 of 1976, s. 13.)

(6) For the purpose of avoiding doubt, it is hereby declared that on the termination of a contract of tenancy any tenancy made or granted by the tenant prior to such termination shall be deemed to terminate at the same time.
(Inserted by 35 of 1976, s. 13.)

Relief against forfeiture


38.-(1) A right of re-entry or forfeiture under any proviso or stipulation in a contract of tenancy for a breach of any covenant or condition, express or implied, in such contract of tenancy shall not be enforceable, unless and until the landlord serves on the tenant notice-

(a) specifying the particular breach complained of; and
(b

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