LAND DEVELOPMENT (PROTECTION OF PURCHASERS) ACT, 1960 (ACT 2)

LAND DEVELOPMENT (PROTECTION OF PURCHASERS) ACT, 1960 (ACT 2)

DATE OF PRESIDENTIAL ASSENT:

DATE OF GAZETTE NOTIFICATION:

AN ACT to protect purchasers of land, and their successors, whose titles are found to be defective after a building has been erected on the land.

1. Power to cure defective titles

(1) Where

(a) a  person  has  taken  a  conveyance  of  land  in  a  prescribed  area  at  any  time  after  31st December,  1944,  whether  before  or  after  the  date  on  which  the  area  became  a  prescribed area, and

(b) the purchaser or a person claiming through the purchaser has in good faith erected a building on the land, and

(c) proceedings are brought to obtain a possession order in relation to the land on the ground that a person other than the purchaser or a person claiming through the purchaser is entitled to the land,

the High Court, where it considers that if this Act had not been passed the possession order would fall to be made by reason that the conveyance taken by the purchaser did not operate to confer on the purchaser the title to the land, but that to make the order would cause hardship and injustice to the person against whom it would fall to be made, may, instead of  making the possession order, make an order providing that the conveyance taken by the purchaser shall be considered for all purposes to have operated to confer on the purchaser the title to the land.

(2) Where  an  order  is  made  under  subsection  (1),  and  the  Court  considers  that  the  order  would  by itself cause hardship and injustice to a person, the Court may make a further order requiring the person in whose favour the order under  subsection (1) is made to pay to that person a sum of money by way of compensation.

(3) The  aggregate  of  the  sums  ordered  to  be  paid  under  subsection  (2) shall not exceed an amount equal to twice the value of the land at the date of the purported conveyance to the purchaser.

(4) The  Court  may  exercise  the  powers  conferred  by  this  section  in  any  proceedings  although  the proceedings  were  instituted  before  the  commencement  of  this  Act,  and,  in  proceedings  on  appeal, although that the decision appealed against was given before the commencement date.

2. Reopening of past cases

(1) Where

(a) a person took a conveyance of land in a prescribed area at some time after 31st December, 1944 and before the date on which the area became a prescribed area, and

(b) the purchaser, or a person claiming through the purchaser, in good faith erected a building on the land, and

(c) a possession order was made in relation to the land in proceedings finally disposed of before the date on which the area became a prescribed  area, and was so made by reason that the conveyance taken by the purchaser did not operate to confer on the purchaser the title to the land,

the person against whom the possession order was made may, at any time within twelve months after the date on which the area became a prescribed area, apply to the High Court for an order under this section.

(2) Where  the  Court  considers  that  the  making  of  the  possession  order  would  cause  hardship  and injustice  to  the  person  against  whom  it  was  made,  the  Court  may  make  an  order  setting  aside  the possession  order  and  providing  that  the  conveyance  taken  by  the  purchaser  shall  be  considered  for  all purposes to have operated to confer on the purchaser the title to the land.

(3) An order under subsection (2) shall not be taken to render unlawful anything done in the period before the making of the order or to found a claim for mesne profits for any other compensation in respect of occupation during that period.

(4) Where an order is made under subsection (2) and the Court considers that the order would by itself cause  hardship  and  injustice  to  a  person,  the  Court  may  make  a  further  order  requiring  the  person  in whose favour the order under  subsection (2) is made to pay to that person a sum of money by way of compensation.

(5) The  aggregate  of  the  sums  ordered  to  be  paid  under  subsection  (4) shall not exceed an amount equal to the aggregate of

(a) twice the value of the land at the date of the purported conveyance to the purchaser, and

(b) the  value  at  the  date  when  the  order  under  subsection  (4)  is  made  of  the  improvements carried out on the land since the making of the possession order.

(6) Where an order is made under subsection (2) and it is proved

(a) that a lease or any other right to the occupation of the land was granted by a person who, by virtue of the order, is to be taken to have had no right to make the grant, and

(b) that the person or the person’s successor received  a payment in respect of the grant by way of  premium,  rent  in  advance  or  otherwise  which  was  wholly  or  partly  attributable  to  any period after the making of the order, the Court may make a further order requiring the person against whom the order under  subsection (2) is made to refund to the person who made the payment or successor the amount of the payment or the part attributable to the period, as may be appropriate.

(7) The  Court  shall  not  make  an  order  under  subsection  (2)  if,  after  the  making  of  the  possession order, the land was conveyed to a person who took in good faith and for a valuable consideration, but in lieu of this the Court may make an order requiring a party to the proceedings before it, being a person who has been unjustly enriched by virtue of the defect in the purchaser’s title to pay to the person against whom the possession order was made a sum of money by way of compensation.

(8) Where the person against whom the possession order was made has since died, subsections (1) and (7) shall apply as if references to that person were references to the person who would be entitled to the land if, at the time of that person’s death, the person had been entitled thereto.

3. Provisions as to payments

An order requiring the payment of a sum of money under this Act may provide that the sum shall be payable by instalments or on a future date specified in the order, and may further require the giving of security for the sum payable under the order.

4. Interpretation

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

conveyance” includes a transfer of land by customary law;

possession order” means an order requiring the delivery up of possession of land or setting aside a conveyance or making a declaration of title or otherwise in defeasance of title to land;

prescribed  area”  means  an  area  prescribed  for  the  purposes  of  this  Act  by  a  legislative instrument made by the Minister responsible for Lands;

purchaser” means a person who takes a conveyance in the circumstance referred to in  section 1 or section 2.

(2) For the purposes of this Act a person shall be considered to have erected a building if that person has carried out the greater part of the work required for the erection of it.

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