AGRICULTURAL SMALL HOLDINGS ACT

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

   1   Short title

   2   Interpretation

 

Contract of Tenancy

   3   Form of contract

   4   Contracts of tenancy to be filed

   5   Stamp duty on contract of tenancy

   6   Copy of contract to be furnished tenant

   7   Restriction on crop-sharing tenancies, etc

   8   Special provisions relating to economic trees and prescribed trees

   9   Controlled areas

   10   Prohibition of contracts of tenancy for less than two years or five years

   11   Certain terms to be invalid

   12   Reaping and marketing of crops of tenant by landlord

   13   Contracts in respect of mortgaged lands

   14   Liability for contracts on sale or devolution of estate

   15   Restriction on sub-letting

   16   Assignment of contract

   17   Extension or renewal of contract

   18   Continuation of tenancy in absence of notice to quit

   19   Determination of tenancy

   20   Notice to quit

 

Valuation Boards

   21   Establishment of Valuation Boards

   22   Procedure and meetings of Valuation Boards.

   23   Appointment of officers, servants and valuers

   24   Functions of Board

   25   Rental in excess of maximum economic rental

 

Compensation for Improvements and Disturbance

   26   Compensation for improvements

   27   Consent of landlord as to improvements in Part I of Third Schedule

   28   Compensation for improvements in Part II of Third Schedule payable upon certificate of Agricultural Officer and notice to landlord.

   29   Compensation for improvements in Part III of Third Schedule payable upon certificate of Agricultural Officer

   30   Compensation for disturbance

   31   Forfeiture of right to compensation for disturbance

   32   Compensation in respect of excepted holdings

   33   Time allowed for payment of compensation

 

Fixtures and Buildings

   34   Tenant's property in fixtures and buildings

 

Miscellaneous

   35   Boundary marks

   36   Fences

   37   Access to small holding

   38   Tenant's right to keep stock on holding

   39   Restriction on cutting of trees after notice to quit

   40   Inspection

   41   Uncertain terms

   42   Recovery of possession of small holding

   43   Regulations

   44   Jurisdiction of Resident Magistrates

   45   Contracting out prohibited

   46   Provisions of this Act to prevail

   47   Application to subsisting tenancies and special provisions

   48   Power to make order exempting certain lands

   49   Exclusion of rice tenancies

   50   Rent restriction

      SCHEDULES

 

THE AGRICULTURAL SMALL HOLDINGS ACT

[Date of Commencement: 8th March, 1946]

Cap 8.

Law 33 of 1955.

Acts
52 of 1964,
15 of 1979,
31 of 1995.

1   Short title

   This Act may be cited as the Agricultural Small Holdings Act.

2   Interpretation

   In this Act-

   "Agricultural Officer" means any Agricultural Officer appointed for the purposes of this Act by the Minister by notice published in the Gazette;

   "attested" means attested before and explained to the parties by a Justice, Minister of Religion, Head Teacher of a primary school, Sub-Officer of Police, or any person duly authorised in writing in that behalf by the Commissioner of Lands;

   "contract of tenancy" means any contract, express or implied, creating a tenancy or a licence to cultivate in respect of any small holding other than an excepted holding;

   "controlled area" means any locality declared by the Minister under section 9 to be a controlled area;

   "economic tree" means any tree of a class specified by the Minister to be economic trees for the purpose of this Act;

[52/1964 s 3.]

   "establishment tenancy" means a tenancy at a nominal rental under which the tenant undertakes to establish the land the subject of the tenancy or some specified portion thereof in some prescribed trees, plant, shrubs or grass of economic value and at the termination of the tenancy to leave it so established;

   "excepted holding" does not include any land held under an establishment tenancy, but save as aforesaid, means any parcel of land intended for cultivation or pasturage, with or without buildings thereon, consisting of not less than one acre nor more than ten acres held by any tenant rent free or at an annual rental of less than two per centum of the unimproved market value thereof or cultivated by any tenant under a licence the annual consideration in respect of which is less than two per centum of such unimproved market value so, however, that any parcel of land which immediately before the 1st day of June, 1949, was an excepted holding for the purposes of this Act shall be deemed to continue to be an excepted holding for such purposes during the continued subsistence of any contract of tenancy in relation thereto which subsisted on such 1st day of June, 1949, and during any extension or renewal of such contract;

   "practice of good husbandry" in relation to any small holding, means the practice of methods which do not affect adversely neighbouring holdings or the capital value of the small holding, and which are generally recognised as applying to holdings of the same character and in the same neighbourhood as the small holding; and in assessing whether or not good husbandry has been practised consideration shall be given to-

   (a)   the extent to which accepted measures and methods for the conservation of soil are adopted; and

   (b)   the standard of maintenance of-

         (i)   drains, embankments and ditches;

         (ii)   measures introduced for the conservation of soil;

         (iii)   gates, fences, walls and hedges;

         (iv)   farm buildings, water tanks, ponds and catchments;

         (v)   the fertility of the soil;

   "prescribed tree" means any tree belonging to a class of trees prescribed by the Minister;

   "Regional Committee" means any Regional Committee constituted in accordance with regulations made under this Act;

   "rice tenancy" means any tenancy in relation to a small holding upon which it is contemplated at the time that the contract is entered into that the tenant will cultivate swamp rice;

   "small holding" means any parcel of land intended for cultivation or pasturage, with or without buildings thereon, consisting of not less than one acre nor more than ten acres held under a contract of tenancy so, however, that any parcel of land which immediately before the 1st day of June, 1949, was a small holding for the purposes of this Act shall be deemed to continue to be a small holding for such purposes during the continued subsistence of any contract of tenancy in relation thereto which subsisted on such 1st day of June, 1949, and during the continuance of any extension or renewal of such contract of tenancy;

   "unimproved market value" means in relation to any contract of tenancy the price which a willing purchaser would pay to a willing vendor for the land the subject of the contract of tenancy, less any sum by which the value of the land may have been increased by reason of any improvement made thereon by the tenant,

   "Valuation Board" means a Valuation Board constituted in accordance with the provisions of section 21.

Contract of Tenancy

3   Form of contract

   (1) A contract of tenancy shall be in writing in duplicate and shall be signed by the parties thereto and attested.

   (2) The form of contract of tenancy prescribed in the First Schedule may be used with such variations as circumstances may require.

4   Contracts of tenancy to be filed

   (1) Forthwith upon the execution of any contract of tenancy under this Act every landlord shall deliver a signed copy of such contract to the tenant.

   (2) Every landlord shall keep a file containing all contracts of tenancy entered into by him.

   (3) Every landlord shall permit any file kept by him under subsection (2) to be inspected at all reasonable times by any person authorised in writing for that purpose by the Minister.

   (4) Every landlord who contravenes or fails to comply with any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable upon summary conviction before a Resident Magistrate to a fine not exceeding in the case of a first offence four dollars and in the case of a second or subsequent offence ten dollars and in any case to a further fine not exceeding two dollars for each month during which such contravention continues after conviction thereof.

5   Stamp duty on contract of tenancy

   (1) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in the Stamp Duty Act, the stamp duty payable upon a contract of tenancy shall be the sum of two cents when the rent reserved does not exceed two dollars per annum and five cents when the rent reserved exceeds two dollars per annum.

[LN 382/1970.]

   (2) The duties referred to in subsection (1) may be denoted by one or more adhesive stamps which are to be cancelled by the landlord by whom the contract of tenancy is executed.

   (3) The stamp duty shall be borne by the landlord.

6   Copy of contract to be furnished tenant

   Every landlord shall on being required so to do by any tenant and being paid the sum of ten cents furnish to such tenant a copy of the contract of tenancy to which he is a party.

7   Restriction on crop sharing tenancies, etc

   (1) Subject to the provisions of subsection (2) and of section 8 the consideration for a contract of tenancy shall not be or include a part of the crop derived from the small holding or a part of the proceeds of sale of such crop rendered to the landlord, or any equivalent of rent given in kind or in labour to the landlord in return for the use and occupation of the holding:

   Provided that nothing in this section contained shall be deemed to apply to any establishment tenancy.

   (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 the prescribed period whereby provision is made for the landlord to receive in accordance with such conditions as may be prescribed not more than the prescribed percentage of any prescribed crop grown upon the land to which such contract relates.

8   Special provisions relating to economic trees and prescribed trees

   (1) Every landlord may at the time when he enters into a contract of tenancy by the inclusion in such contract of an express term to that effect reserve to himself the exclusive right-

   (i)   to fell or cut timber from any economic tree;

   (ii)   to reap the produce of any prescribed tree growing upon such holding;

   (iii)   in the case of rice tenancies, in any area prescribed by the Minister or forming any part of any property so prescribed to graze cattle upon the holding for the period between the reaping of one crop of rice and the preparation of the land for planting the next crop.

   (2) Where the landlord reserves for himself any of the exclusive rights referred to in subsection (1) it shall be lawful for him to enter by himself or his servants or agents upon the small holding in respect of which the right is reserved at all reasonable times between the hours of sunrise and sunset for the purpose of exercising the right so reserved.

   (3) Where any damage is occasioned in the course of the exercise of any of the rights referred to in subsection (1) or in subsection (2) to any crop growing upon the small holding or to any stock owned by the tenant upon the small holding or to any buildings or fixtures belonging to the tenant situated upon the small holding the landlord shall be liable to pay to the tenant by way of compensation for such damage the full value of the loss occasioned to the tenant by such damage.

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