CHAPTER 393
FREEHOLD TITLES (CONVERSION) AND GOVERNMENT LEASES ACT

[PRINCIPAL LEGISLATION]

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

   Section

Title

PART I
PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS

   1.   Short title.

   2.   Interpretation.

   3.   Application to certain rights of occupancy.

PART II
CONVERSION OF ESTATES AND INTERESTS

   4.   Interpretation of Part II.

(a) Conversion and Diminution of Interest in Real Property

   5.   Conversion of freehold estates into Government leases.

   6.   Continuance of other interests correspondingly diminished.

   7.   Derivative leases.

   8.   Effect of renewal of Government leases.

   9.   Settled land and rent charges.

(b) Consequential Provisions

   10.   Trustees may retain converted interests.

   11.   Description of property as real property, and equitable conversion.

   12.   Contracts.

   13.   Claims not defeasible by absence of freehold estates.

   14.   No new entails in personality.

(c) Final Determination of Interests

   15.   Final determination of interests.

PART III
GOVERNMENT LEASES

(a) Grants and Renewals

   16.   Grants and renewals.

(b) Terms and Conditions of Government Leases

   17.   General conditions.

   18.   Rent.

   19.   Summary proceedings for recovery of rent.

   20.   Road frontage premium.

   21.   Dealings with Government leases.

   22.   Disposition without consent to be void.

   23.   Development requirements.

   24.   Unexhausted improvements.

   25.   Removal of fixtures.

   26.   Forfeiture.

(c) Subleases and Mortgages

   27.   Implied covenant by sublessor and mortgagor.

   28.   Covenants in subleases granted before annexure of development requirements.

   29.   Covenants in mortgages.

   30.   Agreements.

(d) Relief against Forfeiture

   31.   Relief.

(e) Miscellaneous

   32.   The Republic as landlord.

   33.   Commissioner to exercise functions on behalf of Republic.

   34.   Assignee of Government lease entitled to call for certain title.

   35.   Taxes, rates and charges.

   36.   Variation of Government leases.

PART IV
DEVELOPMENT REQUIREMENTS

   37.   Interpretation of Part IV.

(a) Annexure of Development Requirements

   38.   [Repealed.]

   39.   Urban holdings.

   40.   Large rural holdings.

   41.   Small rural holdings: building development.

   42.   Small rural holdings: other development.

   43.   Annexure on grant or assignment.

   44.   Annexure on applications under sections 47 and 48.

   45.   Continuing requirements.

   46.   Notice of annexure of development requirements.

(b) Modification and Extinguishment of Easements, etc., and Covenants, and Acquisition of Certain Subleases and Profits

   47.   Easements, etc., and covenants.

   48.   Compulsory acquisition of subleases of parts of leased land, and profits.

   49.   Compensation for compulsory acquisition.

   50.   Charge for compensation.

PART V
THE LAND TRIBUNAL

   51.   Land Tribunal.

   52.   Appeals to Tribunal.

   53.   Powers of Tribunal on appeals under section 52.

   54.   Decisions of Tribunal to be final, and duties of Commissioner.

PART VI
MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

(a) General and Administrative

   55.   Rights of entry, and power to call for information.

   56.   Service of notices, etc.

   57.   Authentication of certain notices and copies of orders.

   58.   Delegation of Commissioner's powers.

   59.   Exemption from certain duties and fees.

   60.   Rules.

(b) Amendment of Land Register

   61.   Amendment of land register.

(c) Amendment and Construction of Laws, and Saving

   62.   No new grants of freehold.

   63.   General amendment.

   64.-65.   [Omitted.]

   66.   Exemption.

SCHEDULES

CHAPTER 393
THE FREEHOLD TITLES (CONVERSION) AND GOVERNMENT LEASES ACT

An Act to convert freehold estates in land into leasehold estates and to provide for the corresponding diminution of other estates and interests in and over land, to declare the incidents of such leasehold estates and to provide for the development of land.

[1st July, 1963]

Acts Nos.
24 of 1963
48 of 1964
4 of 1965
39 of 1966
44 of 1969
4 of 1970

PART I
PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS (ss 1-3)

1.   Short title

   This Act may be cited as the Freehold Titles (Conversion) and Government Leases Act.

2.   Interpretation

   (1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires–

   "appointed day" means the first day of July, 1963;

   "Commissioner" means the Commissioner for Lands and includes any person to whom the relevant function, power or duty of the Commissioner has been delegated under section 58;

   "compulsory purchase order" means an order made under section 48 as varied in accordance with any directions of the Land Tribunal, and any order substituted in accordance with any such directions;

   "Court" means the High Court;

   "development requirements" means development requirements annexed to leased land under Part IV of this Act as varied in accordance with any directions of the Land Tribunal, and any requirements substituted in accordance with any such directions;

   "fee simple" includes an estate of absolute ownership created before the twenty-sixth day of January, 1923, and any other absolute estate or interest which is, or if it had been registered under the Land Registration Act * prior to the appointed day would have been, registered as a freehold estate;

   "Government lease" means the term vested in any person by section 5 or a grant made under section 16, and includes any renewal;

   "Land Tribunal" means the Tribunal established by section 51;

   "leased land" means land held for a Government lease;

   "Minister" means the Minister responsible for land;

   "mortgage" includes a lien or charge by deposit of title deeds, a registered charge and a submortgage, and "mortgagee" shall be construed accordingly;

   "person of full age" includes a corporation;

   "registered land" and "land register" have the meanings respectively ascribed to those expressions in the Land Registration Act;

   "Registrar" means, in the case of registered land, the Registrar of Titles appointed under the Land Registration Act *, and in the case of land which is not registered land means the Registrar of Documents appointed under the Registration of Documents Act *, and includes any person authorised under those enactments to exercise the powers and functions conferred on such Registrars respectively;

   "sublease" includes a lease of land which on the appointed day becomes held by a tenant, and any sublease, and "sublessee" shall be construed accordingly;

   "tenant" means the person who for the time being holds any leased land for a Government lease, and includes his personal representatives and other statutory assignees, and any person who acquires a title to such lease by adverse possession;

   "will" includes a codicil.

   (2) In this Act, references to development conditions in relation to rights of occupancy means those conditions and covenants relating to the use, development and exploitation expressly or impliedly contained in a contract for, or certificate issued in respect of, a right of occupancy.

   (3) For the purposes of this Act, a freehold estate which is extinguished under section 5 shall be deemed to have converted into a Government lease and references in this Act to the conversion of interests and converted interests shall be construed accordingly.

3.   Application to certain rights of occupancy

   (1) Nothing in Parts II, III, IV or V of this Act shall apply to any right of occupancy granted under the Land Act * to any land subject thereto, other than a right of occupancy granted before the appointed day over land held at the time of such grant for an estate of freehold, and the land subject thereto.

   (2) A right of occupancy granted before the appointed day over land held at the time of the grant for an estate of freehold, and a term created out of such right of occupancy shall be deemed to be a "derivative lease" and an "interest" for the purposes of this Act.

PART II
CONVERSION OF ESTATES AND INTERESTS (ss 4-15)

4.   Interpretation of Part II

   In this Part, unless the context otherwise requires–

   "derivative lease" means a lease or a sublease granted before the appointed day over land which, by virtue of the provisions of section 5, becomes vested in any person for a Government lease, other than any such lease or sublease which expires or is otherwise determined before that day;

   "interest" means any estate, term, interest, charge, lien, right, title, equity or other property in over land or in or over an incorporeal hereditament, whether the same be vested or contingent, legal or equitable, and whether created by statute or grant or acquired by user, and includes the benefit of any covenant which touches and concerns land, but does not include any such interest which expires or is otherwise determined before the appointed day;

   "land" includes an undivided share of land, but does not include incorporeal hereditaments;

   "possession" includes the receipt of the rents and profits, and the right to receive the same.

(a) Conversion and Diminution of Interest in Real Property (ss 5-9)

5.   Conversion of freehold estates into Government leases

   (1) All land, which immediately before the appointed day is vested in any person of full age for an estate of fee simple in possession shall, on the appointed day, vest in such person for an term of ninety-nine years from the appointed day; and thereupon such estate in fee simple shall be extinguished.

   (2) All land, which immediately before the appointed day is settled land within the meaning of the Settled Land Acts, 1882 to 1890 *, other than land vested in a person of full age for an estate in fee simple in possession, shall, on the appointed day, vest in the trustees of the settlement or, if there are none and until trustees are appointed, in the Public Trustee, for a term of ninety-nine years from the appointed day; and thereupon every legal estate of freehold in the land created by or under the settlement shall cease to subsist at law and shall be converted into equitable interests in the term vested in the trustees or the Public Trustee, as the case may be.

6.   Continuance of other interests correspondingly diminished

   (1) The extinguishment, conversion or diminution of any interest in accordance with the provisions of this Act, or of any order of the Court under section 9, shall not destroy or defeat any other interest created or derived from or subsisting against any such first-mentioned interest, or subsisting in or against any land which, prior to the appointed day, was vested in any person for any such first-named interest; but every such other interest shall, according to its nature, title and extent and subject to the rents, services and conditions (if any) on which the same is held and to accrue rights and liabilities–

   (a)   be deemed to have been created or derived from and shall subsist against the converted or diminished interest, or shall subsist in or against the land held for such converted or diminished interest, as the case may be; and

   (b)   be itself converted and diminished to the extent, if any, necessitated by any conversion or diminution of the interest out of which it is deemed to have been created or derived or against which it subsists, and to the extent expressly provided in this Act or by order of the Court under section 9,

unless it is itself expressly extinguished by this Act or by an order of the Court under section 9:

   Provided that nothing in this section shall be construed as varying inter se the respective interests of persons beneficially entitled in succession under any settlement or trust to any converted or diminished interest.

   (2) For the avoidance of doubts it is hereby declared that–

   (a)   no interest granted or subsisting before the appointed day shall be destroyed or defeated for the reason that, apart from the provisions of this paragraph, it is only capable of being created out of, or subsisting as or against, or being appurtenant to, a freehold estate or of being enjoyed or created by or subsisting against a person in whom an estate of inheritance is vested, and that the relevant freehold estate or estate of inheritance is hereby converted to an interest or less than freehold; and

   (b)   subject to the proviso to subsection (1) of this section, the conversion of an interest under this section shall extend to the conversion of estates of inheritance or perpetual interests, or interests equivalent to such estates, into interests for terms of years.

7.   Derivative leases

   (1) Where–

   (a)   on the appointed day, the unexpired term of any derivative lease equals or is less than the statutory term, the term of that lease shall remain unchanged;

   (b)   on the appointed day, the unexpired term of any derivative lease exceeds the statutory term, the term of that lease shall be diminished to the statutory term;

   (c)   the term of any derivative lease granted before and to commence after the appointed day, together with the period between the appointed day and the day on which the lease is to commence, exceeds the statutory term, the term of that lease shall be diminished to the statutory term less such period;

   (d)   on the appointed day, land is vested in any person for a derivative lease for a life or lives, at a rent or fine, the lease shall unless sooner determined, determine at the expiration of the statutory term.

   (2) Where any derivative lease which is renewable either perpetually or for a term or terms is renewed on or after the appointed day for a term which, together with the period which has elapsed since the appointed day, would exceed the statutory term, the renewal shall have effect only for a term (if any) equal to the difference between the statutory term and such period; and any right to renew such lease after the expiration of the statutory term is hereby extinguished.

   (3) Subject to the provisions of section 8, in this section and in section 12, "statutory term" means a term equal to the term of the Government lease for which the land is held less the last ten days:

   Provided that in the case of derivative lease which is–

   (a)   a lease of the grantor's reversion, and, by reason of the provisions of this section such lease would expire unless sooner determined, on the same date as the expiration of a derivative lease on which such first-mentioned lease is immediately expectant, the statutory term of the former shall be one day longer than the statutory term of the latter or one day shorter than the term of the grantor or his successor in title, whichever is the less;

   (b)   itself created out of a derivative lease (not being a lease of the grantor's reversion), the "statutory term" means a term one day less than the term (as determined in accordance with the provisions of this section) of the lease out of which it is created.

8.   Effect of renewal of Government leases

   (1) Where any Government lease is renewed in accordance with the provisions of this Act–

   (a)   the statutory term in relation to any derivative lease which–

      (i)   but for the provisions of paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of section 6, or of section 7, would have been subsisting on the date of renewal; and

      (ii)   has not otherwise determined prior to the date of renewal,

      shall be deemed to have been the aggregate of the term of Government lease and any such renewal or renewals, less the last ten days;

   (b)   the provisions of subsection (1) of section 6 shall have effect in relation to any other interest, which–

      (i)   but for the provisions of paragraph (b) would have been subsisting on the date of renewal; and

      (ii)   has not otherwise determined prior to the date of renewal,

      as if the term of the Government lease to which the relevant land is subject had been the aggregate of the original term and of any such renewal or renewals.

   (2) The provisions of this section in relation to any interest shall have effect subject to any agreement made after the appointed day.

   (3) In this section "renewal" includes a grant of Government lease under section 16 on a surrender for the purposes of a re-grant.

9.   Settled land and rent charges

   (1) Any person entitled to any beneficial interest, whether legal or equitable or vested on contingent, created by or under a settlement within the meaning of the Settled Land Acts, 1882 to 1890 (not being an interest in any property held on trust for sale) may apply to the Court for an order varying the limitations or trusts of the settlement, or revoking the same and substituting new limitations or trusts.

   (2) If, on any such application, the Court is satisfied that, by reason of the conversion or diminution by or under this Act of any interest in land which is subject to or created by the settlement, or of any change in the relative values of the beneficial interests created by or under the settlement, it is just and equitable that fresh provision be made in order to give effect to the intentions of the settlement or to re-define the several beneficial interests, it may vary the limitations or trusts of the settlement or revoke the same and substitute new limitations or trusts.

   (3) Without prejudice to the generality of the jurisdiction conferred by subsection (2), the Court may, on an application under this section–

   (a)   vest the settled land in the trustees of the settlement or other trustees on trust for sale, either with or without a power of postponement, free from the limitations and trusts of the settlement, but subject to trusts of the proceeds of sale;

   (b)   make provision for the redemption of any legal or equitable rent charge, notwithstanding that it was not created by or under the settlement;

   (c)   create limitations or trusts corresponding to the limitations or trusts subsisting in the settled land immediately before the appointed day, notwithstanding that, apart from this section, the interest created is not an interest which may be created in a term of years;

   (d)   convert legal interests into equitable interests;

   (e)   bar any entail, other than an entail vested in a tenant after possibility of issue extinct, or convert any entail vested in any such tenant into a life estate;

   (f)   in any case in which it is satisfied that a determinable fee vested in a natural person is unlikely to determine during the lifetime of any person in existence entitled to the reversion, or that a right of entry which arises on the breach of any condition subject to which an estate of inheritance was granted to a natural person is unlikely to be exercisable during the lifetime of any person in existence entitled to exercise the same, or in any case in which it vests land subject to a determinable or conditional fee in trustees for sale, extinguish such possibility of reverter or right of entry;

   (g)   confer on trustees or on the tenant for life such powers of management, advancement and maintenance as in the circumstances are desirable.

   (4) An order of the Court under this section shall have effect as a settlement or grant to trustees of the relevant interest by the settlor, and shall operate to extinguish, in addition to every interest expressly extinguished, the interest of any person under any limitation or trust which is varied or revoked which exceeds the interest of such person under the limitations or trusts as so varied or substituted.

   (5) The vesting of any interest in trustees for sale by an order under this section shall not affect any priority as between competing interests acquired before the date of the order.

(b) Consequential Provisions (ss 10-14)

10.   Trustees may retain converted interests

   (1) A trustee–

   (a)   in whom a Government lease is vested by this Act shall not be liable for breach of trust by reason only of his continuing to hold the same, notwithstanding any prohibition against investment in a term of years, or any direction to realise terms of years, contained in a trust instrument or will made before the appointed day;

   (b)   shall not be liable for breach of trust by reason only of his continuing to hold any other interest converted or diminished in accordance with the provisions of this Act, notwithstanding any prohibition, contained in a trust instrument or will be made before the appointed day, against holding the same or investing in any interest on which such first-mentioned interest is charged.

   (2) The provisions of this section shall be in addition to the provisions of section 4 of the Trustee Act, 1893, Amendment Act, 1894 *.

11.   Description of property as real property, and equitable conversion

   (1) Where in any written law, instrument, contract or will made before the appointed day property is described by reference to its real nature (whether or not that term is used expressly), or a distinction is made between real and personal property, and the devolution of such property under such written law, instrument, contract or will after that day is dependent on such description or distinction, then, for the purposes of the identification and devolution of the property, a Government lease shall be deemed to be real property.

   (2) Where in any written law, instrument, contract or will made before the appointed day trustees are directed to expend money on the purchase of real property (whether or not that term is used expressly), and to hold the same on trust for, or to convey the same to any person, and such purchase has not been made before the appointed day, the same may be expended on the purchase of a Government lease, or of any investments authorised or by the general law, but the identification of the beneficiaries or grantee shall be determined as if this Act had not been passed.

12.   Contracts

   No contract made before the appointed day–

   (a)   for the grant of any freehold estate by the Republic or the President, shall become void or voidable by reason of the provisions of section 62; but every such contract shall be construed as a contract for the grant of a Government lease:

         Provided that every person who claims that he is entitled under such a contract to a grant of a Government lease under this paragraph shall give notice of his claim to the Commissioner within six months after the appointed day, and, if any such person fails to do so, such contract shall be void and notwithstanding the provisions of the Law of Contract Act *, any sums paid shall be irrecoverable;

   (b)   for the disposition of any freehold estate, shall become void or voidable by reason of the conversion of such estate into a term of years or of a legal estate into an equitable interest, or by any other diminution, by or under the provisions of this Act; but every such contract shall be construed as if it were a contract for the term or interest into which the estate is converted or for the diminished interest, as the case may be;

   (c)   for the disposition of any other interest, shall become void or voidable by reason of the conversion or diminution in accordance with the provisions of this Act of such interest or of the conversion or diminution in accordance with the provisions of this Act of any other interest out of which such first-mentioned interest is to be created; but every such contract shall be construed as if it were a contract for such first-mentioned interest as so converted or diminished, or as if such first-mentioned interest were to be created out of such other interest as so converted or diminished, as the case may be:

         Provided that a contract for a lease for a term greater than the term vested in the proposed grantor on the appointed day shall be construed as a contract for a lease for the unexpired term vested in the grantor on the appointed day less the last day.

13.   Claims not defeasible by absence of freehold estates

   No claim by prescription or user to any incorporeal hereditament made on or after the appointed day, whether the enjoyment or user by reason of which the claim is made commenced before, on or after the appointed day, shall be defeated on the ground that there is no freehold or absolute estate in the dominant or servient tenement, but where in accordance with the law in force immediately prior to the appointed day any such claim lay in favour of an estate of inheritance in a dominant tenement as against an estate of inheritance in a servient tenement, then on and after the appointed day such claim may be made in favour of the Government lease in a dominant tenement against the Government lease in servient tenement.

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