Agricultural Small Holdings (Regulation of Rentals) Act

Link to law: http://laws.gov.ag/acts/chapters/cap-13.pdf
Published: 1953

Agricultural Small Holdings (CAP. 13 1
(Regulation of Rentals)

CHAPTER 13

THE AGRICULTURAL SMALL HOLDINGS
(REGULATION O F RENTALS) ACT

Arrangement of Sections
Section

Short title.
Interpretation.
Establishment of Agricultural Rent Board.
Procedure and meetings of the Board.
Functions of the Board.
Right of appeal.
Rental in excess of standard rent.
Restriction on demand of premium.
False entries in rent books.
Rent Inspectors.
General penalty.
Offence by companies.
Operation of Act.

AGRICULTURAL SMALL HOLDINGS
(REGULATION OF RENTALS)

(16th March, 1953.) 1911952.

1. This Act may be cited as the Agricultural Small short title-
Holdings (Regulation of Rentals) Act.

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2 CAP. 13) Agricultural Small Holdings
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Interpretation. 2. In this Act-

"Board" means the Agricultural Rent Board constituted
in accordance with the provisions of section 3;

"controlled area" means any area or estate declared
by order of the Governor-General to be a controlled
area;

"small holding" means any parcel of land intended for
cultivation or pasturage, with or without buildings
thereon, consisting of not less than a quarter of an
acre and not more than twenty-five acres.

Establishment of
Agricultural Rent

3 . (1) The Governor-General may establish, for the
Board. purposes of this Act, an Agricultural Rent Board which shall

exercise the powers conferred and perform the duties imposed
by this Act.

(2) The Board shall consist of not less than three nor
more than five members, to he appointed by the Governor-
General. At least one member of the Board shall be a govern-
ment officer.

(3) The Governor-General shall appoint one of such
members to be Chairman of the Board.

(4) The members of the Board shall, subject to the pro-
visions of subsection (6), hold office for such period, not
exceeding two years, as the Governor-General may deter-
mine, but shall be eligible for reappointment.

(5) The Governor-General may appoint any person to
act in the place of the Chairman or any other member of
the Board in case of the absence or inability to act of the
Chairman or other member.

(6) Any member of the Board other than a government
officer may at any time resign his office by instrument in
writing. Such instrument shall, in the case of the Chairman
of the Board, be addressed to the Governor-General, and,
in the case of any other member of the Board, to the Chair-
man, who shall forthwith cause it to be forwarded to the
Governor-General. From the date of the receipt of such
instrument by the Governor-General or the Chairman, as

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Agricultural Small Holdings (CAP. 13 3
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the case may be, such member shall cease to be a member
of the Board.

(7) The Governor-General may appoint a Secretary to
the Board.

(8) No person shall act as a member of the Board in
any matter in which, if he were a Judge, he would not be
entitled to act on the ground of interest.

(9) The establishment of the Board and all appointments
under this section shall be notified in the Gazette.

4. (1) The Board shall meet so often at such time Procedure and
meetings of the

and at such place as to the Board may seem expedient. Board.

(2) Three members of the Board, including the Chair-
man or acting Chairman, shall form a quorum.

(3) The Board shall be deemed to be fully constituted
for the purposes of this Act notwithstanding any vacancy
or vacancies among the members.

(4) All matters and questions shall be decided by a
majority of votes. The Chairman or acting Chairman shall
have an original vote and a casting vote if the votes be equally
divided.

(5) The Board shall have all the powers of the Supreme
Court to summon witnesses, to administer oaths and to
compel the production of documents, so as to elicit all such
information as the Board may consider necessary, without
being bound by the rules of evidence in civil or criminal
proceedings:

Provided that if any witness objects to answer any ques-
tion or to produce any document on the ground that it will
tend to incriminate him, or on any other lawful ground, he
shall not be required to answer such question or to produce
such document, nor shall he be liable to any penalties for
objecting so to do.

(6) The Board may take into consideration any rele-
vant facts within the knowledge of any member of the Board
notwithstanding the absence of formal proof of such facts:

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4 CAP. 13) Agricultural Small Holdings
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Provided that such facts are within the personal
knowledge of such member of the Board or were found to
be proved at a meeting of the Board:

Provided further that before any such facts are taken
into consideration the party or parties present before the
Board shall be informed of the substance of such facts and
given the opportunity, if they so desire, of adducing evidence
in regard thereto.

(7) An order of the Board shall operate from such date,
whether before or after the date on which the order is made,
as may be specified in the order, or if no such date is specified,
from the date of the order. Any such order may be proved
by the production of a copy of the order purporting to be
signed by the Chairman of the Bqard.

(8) An interested party may be represented before the
Board by counsel or solicitor.

(9) Every summons issued under subsection (5) shall
be signed by the Chairman of the Board and shall state the
time when and the place where the person summoned is
required to attend and the particular document which he
is required to produce, and the summons shall be served
on the person mentioned therein by delivery to him a copy
thereof or by leaving a copy thereof at his usual or last known
place of abode in Antigua and Barbuda with some adult
person.

(10) Every person who without lawful excuse fails or
neglects to attend any meeting of the Board in obedience
to any summons or fails, subject to the provisions of subsec-
tion (5), to answer any question put to him by the Board
or any member thereof, or to produce any document the
production of which is required by the Board, or to supply
any information required by the Board shall be guilty of an
offence against this Act and shall on summary conviction
be liable to a fine not exceeding two hundred and fifty dollars.

(11) Any person who wilfully gives a false answer to
any question material to the subject of enquiry which may
be put to him during the course of any- proceedings before
the Board shall be guilty of an offence against this Act.

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Agricultural Small Holdings (CAP. 13 5
(Regulation of Rentals)

(12) The proceedings of the Board shall be open to the
public and a record shall be kept by the Chairman of the
Board of all proceedings brought before the Board, of the
evidence of any relevant facts taken into consideration under
the provisions of subsection (6), of the decision arrived at
by the Board, and of the names of the members taking part
in the proceedings.

(13) Subject to the provisions of this section, the Board
shall have power to regulate its own proceedings.

5 . (1) The Board shall have the power and duty to z:;?~ of the
determine the standard rent of small holdings situate in any
controlled area in Antigua and Barbuda.

(2) The landlord or prospective landlord or the tenant
or prospective tenant of a small holding situate in any con-
trolled area may at any time apply to the Board to deter-
mine the standard rent for such small holding.

(3) The Board may at any time, by notice in writing
served on the landlord of a small holding situate in any con-
trolled area, require him to apply to the Board within a time
specified in the notice to determine the standard rent for
such small holding. If the landlord fails so to apply the Board
may fix the standard rent as though he had so applied and
the landlord shall be guilty of an offence against this Act.

(4) Notice of every application under subsection (2) or
subsection (3) shall be served by the applicant on all interested
parties.

(5) When application has been made to the Board under
this section the Board shall notify the parties of the date,
time and place of the hearing of the application and may
determine the standard rent on such application notwith-
standing the non-attendance of the applicant or any person
interested before the Board.

(6) The standard rent of a small holding when deter-
mined by the Board shall be the rent which, in the opinion
of the Board, might reasonably have been expected in respect
of a similar letting of similar premises with the same amenities
and facilities in the same locality on the 1 st of July, 195 1,

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6 CAP. 13) Agricultural Small Holdings
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if the rates and taxes payable in respect of the small holding
on that date had been the same as those which are payable
at the time of the determination of the standard rent by the
Board, with an addition, in any case in which the annual
value of the premises has increased by reason of
improvements to the premises or their amenities or facilities
(not being ordinary repairs or maintenance) effected by the
landlord at his own expense since that date, of such amount
as the Board may think just on account of any increase in
the cost of effecting the like improvements between the 1st
of July, 1951, and the date the improvements were effected.

(7) When the standard rent for a small holding has been
determined by the Board, no further application to deter-
mine such standard rent shall be entertained by the Board
unless the Board is satisfied that since the date of such
previous determination there has been a material change in
either the nature or the terms and conditions of the tenancy
or in the circumstances affecting the determination of the
standard rent and that no such change is due to the tenant's
neglect or default.

(8) The Board may, in its discretion, wherever it shall
seem convenient to the Board so to do-

(a) entertain an application under this section
relating to two or more small holdings; or

(6) require an application to be made under subsec-
tion (3) in respect of two or more small holdings.

(9) On the hearing of any application under this Act
(whether it be in relation to a small holding let or intended
to be let or a small holding in respect of which the Board
has required the landlord to apply for the determination of
the standard rent thereof or otherwise) the Board shall try
the whole matter of the application and shall give judgment
or make order thereon, and shall give any direction it may
consider necessary to enable it to give a final judgment or
to make an order, and may from time to time adjourn the
hearing of the application.

(10) Without prejudice to the generality of the provisions
of the preceding subsection, the Board shall have jurisdic-
tion to enquire into and, where necessary, to determine-

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Agricultural Small Holdings (CAP. 13
(Rqqulation of Rentals)

(a) whether the relationship of landlord and tenant
exists;

( 6 ) the nature, terms and conditions of every
tenancy or proposed tenancy (whether the contract of
tenancy is wholly or partly under seal or wholly or partly
in writing or wholly or partly verbal) and the category
of letting or proposed letting;

(c) the extent of the premises let or intended to be
let by the tenant, and the facilities and amenities granted
to or enjoyed by the tenant or intended to be granted
to or enjoyed by the tenant.

6. (1) If either party is aggrieved by the decision of Right of appeal-
the Board such party may appeal therefrom to a Judge of
the High Court by way of summons in Chambers within
fifteen days from the date of the decision, and shall serve
a notice on the Chairman of the Board of his intention to
appeal against such decision:

Provided that notwithstanding the lapse of such period
of fifteen days any such party may appeal against the deci-
sion if he shows to the satisfaction of a Judge of the High
Court that owing to absence from Antigua and Barbuda, .
sickness or other reasonable cause, he was prevented from

I

appealing within such period, and that there has been no
unreasonable delay on his part.

(2) O n receipt of the aforesaid notice the Chairman of
the Board shall without delay transmit to the Registrar of
Antigua and Barbuda all papers relating to such appeal.

(3) Such summons shall be served by the appellant on
the other party (if any) to the proceedings two clear days
before the return thereof and shall state concisely the grounds
of appeal.

(4) The Judge may adjourn the hearing of the appeal
and may upon the hearing thereof reverse or modify the deci-
sion of the Board or make such other order in the matter
as he may think just.

(5) O n the determination of an appeal the Judge may
make such order as to payment of costs as appears to be

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8 CAP. 13) Agricultural Small Holdings
(Repulation of Rentals)

just, and may fix a sum to be paid by way of costs in lieu
of directing a taxation thereof.

Rcntat in excess
of standard rent.

7. (1) After the standard rent of a small holding has
been determined the rent of the small holding shall be
irrecoverable by the landlord from the tenant to the extent
that it exceeds the standard rent, and any such excess which
is paid by the tenant shall be recoverable by him or persons
claiming through him from the person to whom it was paid
or his personal representative, and may without prejudice
to any other method of recovery be deducted from any rent
or money due or subsequently becoming due from the tenant
to the person to whom the excess was paid or his personal
representative.

(2) Any landlord who knowingly receives any rent in
excess of the standard rent determined by the Board under
section 5 shall be guilty of an offence against this Act.

(3) The Court before which any landlord is convicted
of an offence against subsection (2) may, without prejudice
to any other right which the tenant may have to recover the
rent overpaid, order the landlord to repay the same.

Restriction on 8. (1) A person shall not, as a condition of the grant,
demand of
premium. renewal or continuance of a tenancy of a small holding situate

in any controlled area, require the payment of any fine,
premium or other like sum, or the giving of any considera-
tion in addition to the rent, or to the standard rent, as the
case may be, and when such payment or consideration shall
be made or given the amount or value thereof shall be
recoverable by the person by whom it was made or given
or by his personal representative.

(2) Any person after the commencement of this Act
requiring any payment or the giving of any consideration
in contravention of this section, and any person making any
such payment or giving any such consideration, shall be guilty
of an offence against this Act, and if a person convicted of
requiring any payment or the giving of any consideration
as aforesaid has received such payment or consideration, the
Court in which the conviction is obtained may order him
to repay the amount or value of the same to the person from
whom it was received.

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Agricultural Small Holdings (CAP. 13 9
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9. If any person in any rent book or similar docu- Falseentriesin
rnent makes any entry showing or purporting to show any rent books.
tenant as being in arrear in respect of any sum which by
virtue of this Act is irrecoverable, or where any such entry
has, before the standard rent has been determined, been made
by or on behalf of the landlord, if the landlord on being
requested by or on behalf of the tenant so to do refuses or
neglects to cause the entry to be deleted, that person or
landlord shall be guilty of an offence against this Act and
shall on summary conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding
one thousand dollars.

10. (1) The Governor-General may appoint one or Rent Inspectors.
more persons to be Rent Inspectors for the purposes of this
Act.

(2) It shall be the duty of the Rent Inspector to make
enquiries with a view to ascertaining whether the provisions
of this Act are being duly complied with, to investigate any
cases of suspected non-compliance and in his name to take
all proceedings before a Magistrate in respect of offences
against this Act.

(3) The landlord and the tenant of a small holding
situate in any controlled area shall, on demand by a Rent
Inspector, forthwith-

(a) inform him of the standard rent of the small
holding and of the actual rent paid for the small holding;

(b) produce to him any available documentary
evidence of the standard rent and of the actual rent paid;

and if a landlord or tenant shall fail so to do without just
excuse, he shall be guilty of an offence against this Act.

(4) A Rent Inspector may at all reasonable times enter
upon any small holding for the purpose of making any
enquiry or investigation authorized by subsection (2).

(5) Any person who shall obstruct a Rent Inspector in
the exercise of the powers conferred by this section shall be
guilty of an offence against this Act and shall on summary
conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding one thousand
dollars.

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10 CAP. 13) Agricultural Small Holdings
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General penalty. I. Any person guilty of an offence against this Act
for which no special penalty is provided by this Act shall
be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding three
thousand dollars, or to imprisonment for a period not
exceeding three months, or to both such fine and
imprisonment.

Otfence by 12. Where a person convicted of an offence against
compauies. this Act is a company, every director of the company, and

every officer of the company concerned in the management
thereof shall be guilty of a like offence unless he proves that
the act constituting the offence took place without his
knowledge or consent.

Operation of ~ c t . 13. Nothing in this Act shall bind the Crown or shall
prejudice any rights or powers of the Government.
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