Agricultural Small Holdings Act

Link to law: http://laws.gov.ag/acts/chapters/cap-12.pdf
Published: 1939

Agricultural Small Holdings (CAP. 12 1

CHAPTER 12

THE AGRICULTURAL SMALL HOLDINGS ACT

Arrangement of Sections
Section

1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.
3. Form of contract of tenancy.
4. Consideration for contract.
5. Registration of contract.
6. Certified copy of contracts.
7. Stamp Duty and fees.
8. Determination of tenancy.
9. Notice to quit.

10. Assignment of contract.
11. Sub-letting prohibited.
12. Extension or renewal of contract.
13. Tenant holding over with consent.
14. Evidence of registered contracts.
15. Contracts not in writing and unregistered Contracts.
16. Marketing of crops.
17 . Liability for existing contracts on sale or devolution of

estate.
18. Contracts in respect of mortgaged lands.
19. Rights of landlord.
20. Compensation for improvements.
2 1. Method of assessment.
22. Compensation for disturbance.
23. Forfeiture of right to compensation.
24. Jurisdiction of Magistrates.
25. Recovery of possession of small holding.
26. Provisions of this Act to prevail.
27. Contracting out prohibited.
SCHEDULE A.
SCHEDULE B.
SCHEDULE C.

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Agricultural Small Holdings (CAP. 12 3

AGRICULTURAL SMALL HOLDINGS

(1st February, 1939.) 1211938.
1111939.

711954.
S.R.O. 2211956.

I . This Act may be cited as the Agricultural Small short title.
Holdings Act.

2. In this Act- Interpretation.

"attested" means attested before and explained by the
Registrar or a Solicitor of the Supreme Court or
a Magistrate or Justice of the Peace or any person
duly authorized in writing in that behalf by the
Governor-General;

< < contract of tenancy" means a contract creating a yearly
tenancy, or a tenancy for a term longer than a year
or a tenancy at will, in respect of a small holding;

"Registrar" means the Registrar of the High Court;

"rules of good husbandry" means the application of
such measures for the conservation of soil, the
maintenance of fertility, and generally for the
preservation of the capital value of the holding as
are deemed to be a fair and reasonable standard
due regard being paid to the standards prevailing
in the neighbourhood;

"small holding" means a 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 held under
a contract of tenancy.

3. ( 1 ) A contract of tenancy shall be in writing and Form of contract
of tenancy.

shall be signed by the parties thereto and attested.

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4 CAP. 12) Agricultural Small Holdings

schedule A. (2) The form of contract of tenancy prescribed in
Schedule A may be used with such variation as circumstances
may require.

Consideration for 4. (1) The consideration for a contract of tenancy may
contract. 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 small holding.

(2) Wherever in any contract of tenancy provision is
made therein for the delivery by the tenant to the landlord
of the whole crop from time to time the rent being stated
as part thereof and payment is to be made to the tenant,
for the remainder of such crop, the amount payable to the
tenant by the landlord shall be calculated at the local market
price obtaining at the time of each delivery of such crop.

Registration of
contract.

5 . (1) A contract of tenancy shall be registered by the
landlord with the Registrar within one month of the execu-
tion thereof, and upon receipt by the Registrar of a contract
of tenancy duly signed and attested such contract shall be
deemed to be registered under the provisions and for the
purpose of this Act.

(2) The Registrar shall keep a special register book (to
be called the Register of Agricultural Small Holding Con-
tracts) in which all such contracts received by him as aforesaid
shall be properly recorded by filing the same.

(3) A landlord who fails to register a contract of tenancy
within the period prescribed by this section shall be liable
on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding two hundred
and fifty dollars.

Certified copy of
contracts.

6. On the payment of the prescribed fee, any person
schedule B. shall be entitled to be supplied with a copy of a registered

contract of tenancy and of all documents filed therewith and
endorsements thereon duly certified under the hand of the
Registrar.

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Agricultural Small Holdings (CAP. 12 5

7. (1) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary con- Stamp Duty and
tained in the Stamp Act, the stamp duty payable upon a g;.;;no.
contract of tenancy shall be the sum of fifteen cents.

(2) The fees prescribed in Schedule B shall be charged Schedule B-
in respect of the several matters therein mentioned and shall
be paid by means of stamps affixed to or embossed on the
contract or certified copy thereof as the case may be.

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

8. (1) A contract of tenancy may, notwithstanding Determination of
tenancy.

any period of tenancy stipulated therein be determined-

(a) by the landlord without notice-

(i) where the tenant is convicted of larceny of
agricultural produce or livestock or of being
in possession of agricultural produce or
livestock suspected to have been stolen or
unlawfully obtained, or where the tenant is
serving a term of imprisonment exceeding one
year;

(ii) where the tenant sub-lets or assigns the small
holding without the consent of the landlord
previously obtained in writing;

(b) by the landlord by three months notice to quit-

(i) where the tenant receives money from the
landlord to be expended upon the cultivation
of the small holding and does not so expend it;

(ii) where the tenant commits a breach, which is
not capable of being remedied, of any term,
or condition of the tenancy and the interests
of the landlord are materially prejudiced
thereby;

(iii) upon certificate by an officer of the
Agricultural Department appointed by the
Governor-General in that behalf that the
tenant is not cultivating the holding according
to the rules of good husbandry and that the

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6 CAP. 12) Agricultural Small Holdings

interests of the landlord are materially
prejudiced thereby:

Provided that no such certificate shall be
granted unless and until the landlord has given
the tenant, by notice in writing, a reasonable
opportunity to remedy his default;

(iv) if any part of the rent in respect of a small
holding shall be in arrear or if any of the terms
of the consideration for the contract of ten-
ancy shall not be performed or observed by
the tenant:

Provided that in the case of rent in arrear,
if the tenant pays such rent to the landlord
within the period of notice, then and in such
case the notice to quit shall be deemed to be
cancelled and shall be of no force and effect;

(c) by the tenant without notice where the land-
lord commits a breach of any term or condition of the
contract and the interests of the tenant are materially
prejudiced thereby.

(2) Where no term of tenancy is specified in a contract
of tenancy, or where the tenancy is from year to year, a
year's notice to quit shall be required.

Notice to quit. 9. (1) Every notice to quit served under the provi-
sions of this Act shall be in writing and signed by the landlord
or tenant as the case may be, or his agent or solicitor. It
shall describe clearly the small holding which is sought to
be recovered or intended to be quitted and the proper day
on which possession is to be delivered up and shall not be
ambiguous or optional.

Schedule C. (2) The forms of notice to quit prescribed in Schedule C
with such variations as circumstances may require shall be
used.

(3) Service of a notice to quit may be effected either
personally on the person to be served or by leaving the same
with some adult person at his last or most usual place of
abode, or if the person to be served cannot be found and
the place of his abode either is not known or admission thereto

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Agricultural Small Holdings (CAP. 12 7

cannot be obtained then by posting the same on some con-
spicuous place on the small holding.

(4) It shall not be necessary that a notice to quit under
section 8 (1) (b) should expire at the end of the current term
of the tenancy, but it may be given at any time.

10. (1) A tenant, with the consent in writing of the Assignment
contract.

landlord previously obtained, may assign his interest in a
registered contract at any time to any person or persons,
and a note of every such assignment shall be endorsed on
the registered contract.

(2) Upon such assignment the assignee shall have the
same rights and be subject to the same liabilities under the
contract as his assignor had and was subject to.

1 . A tenant shall not sub-let a small holding without Sub-letting
the consent of the landlord previously obtained in writing. prohibited.

12. (1) A contract of tenancy may be extended or Extension Or
renewal of renewed from time to time by the parties thereto giving notice contra,t.

thereof to the Registrar.

(2) The notice shall be in writing signed by the parties
and attested, and shall be filed by the Registrar with the
registered contract.

13. Where the term of tenancy specified in a con- Tenant holding
over with tract of tenancy has expired and the tenant remains in posses- cons,nt~

sion of the small holding with the consent, express or implied,
of the landlord, but without such notice of renewal or exten-
sion as aforesaid, the occupation shall be deemed to create
a tenancy from year to year on the conditions contained in
the original registered contract of tenancy.

14. In all proceedings whatever with reference to any Evidence
registered

registered contract- contracts.

(1) the registered contract shall be conclusive evidence
of the terms therein contained;

(2) the signatures of the parties to such contract and
of the attesting witness, and also the signatures to any

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8 CAP. 12) Agricultural Small Holdings

endorsements thereon and to any documents filed therewith
shall be presumed to be genuine; and it shall not be necessary
to prove the said signatures, but the production of the con-
tract and documents coming from the proper custody shall
be sufficient proof of the contract and of any endorsements
thereon and of any such documents;

(3) every fact contained in an endorsement shall be ,
presumed to be true until the contrary is proved;

(4) the production of a certified copy of a registered
contract shall be proof of the registration of such contract;

(5) a certified copy of a registered contract and
documents filed therewith shall be prima facie proof of the
terms of such contract, of the several documents filed
therewith and of the several endorsements thereon, and of
every fact which would be evidence by the production of
the registered contract and documents from the proper
custody.

Contracts not in
writing and 15. Where a person is let into possession of a small
unregistered holding and the contract of tenancy in respect of such holding
Contracts. is not in writing, or, if in writing, has not been registered,

the tenancy shall be deemed to be a tenancy from year to
year upon the terms and conditions customary in registered
contracts in the district in which the small holding is situate,
and in the absence of any such contracts, upon the terms
and conditions contained in the form of contract set out in

Schedule A. Schedule A, or as near thereto as circumstances shall per-
mit; and in any proceedings the Magistrate may make such
order as may be just and reasonable in the circumstances.

Marketing of
crops.

16. (1) A contract of tenancy may provide for the
marketing by the landlord on account of the tenant, of staple
crops derived from the small holding, provided that in such
case no charge shall be made for supervision, administra-
tion or other services by or on behalf of the landlord in excess
of two and a half per centum of the proceeds of the sale from
which such charge may be deducted.

(2) Actual expenses reasonably incurred by the landlord
in respect of the marketing of the crops sold shall be deducted

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Agricultural Small Holdings (CAP. 12 9

from the amount found due after deducting the charge
aforesaid.

(3) Subject to the provisions of this section, the amount
to be paid by the landlord under any such arrangement shall
be not less than can be secured in the open market for pro-
duce of the same kind and quality.

17. O n the alienation or devolution of ownership of Liability for
existing contracts

a small holding, the incoming owner of the holding shall on ,,Ie
be bound by any contract subsisting at the time of such aliena- devolution of

estate.
tion or devolution, and the incoming owner shall be liable
for the performance of such contract in the same manner
and to the same extent as, but for such alienation or devolu-
tion, the former owner would have been 'liable.

18. (1) A contract of tenancy subsisting at the time contracts in
respect of of the creation of a mortgage upon any small holding shall lands.

bind the mortgagee and any person claiming through him.

(2) The owner of any land subject to a mortgage shall
not enter into a contract of tenancy in respect of such land
or any part thereof without obtaining the consent of the mort-
gagee which shall be contained in a writing signed by the
mortgagee and filed by the landlord with the Registrar:

Provided that a contract entered into bonafide by the
tenant with the landlord, shall bind the mortgagee.

(3) Any owner of land contravening the provisions of
subsection (2) shall be liable on summary conviction to a
fine not exceeding one hundred and twenty dollars.

19. The landlord or his agent shall have the right of E:;r;I
inspection of a small holding at all reasonable times; and
in case of the disability of the tenant, arising from illness,
injury, or other reasonable cause, to maintain his holding
in proper order, the landlord may, but shall not be obliged
to, do any necessary work which should have been done by
the tenant under the terms of his contract, and may deduct
fmrn any moneys to come to the tenant the actual cost of
such work, exclusive of that of supervision.

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10 CAP. 12) Agricultural Small Holdings

Compensation for
improvements.

20. (1) Upon the determination of a contract of
tenancy, the tenant of the small holding shall be entitled to
receive from the landlord compensation for improvements,
including structural improvements, made with the consent
of the landlord.

(2) In the case of sugar cane cultivation, compensation
shall be paid for canes growing upon the holding in thel
ordinary course of cultivation and for subsequent crops not
extending beyond first ratoons and, provided that the tenant
has cultivated and managed the holding in accordance with
the rules of good husbandry, for subsequent cane crops not
extending beyond the second ratoons:

Provided that no compensation shall be payable in
respect of any sugar cane planted, without the consent in
writing of the landlord, after service of a notice to quit.

Method of
assessment.

21. In ascertaining the amount of compensation
payable to a tenant any sum due to the landlord in respect
of-

(a) rent;

(6) any breach of the terms and conditions of the
tenancy;

(c) wilful or negligent damage committed or per-
mitted by the tenant;

(4 the value of any benefit which the landlord has
given or allowed the tenant in consideration of the' tenant
executing the improvements; and

(e) any unpaid advances made to the tenant by the
landlord,

shall be taken into account in reduction of the amount of
compensation, and any sum due to the tenant in respect of
any breach of contract or otherwise in respect of the holding
shall be added to the amount of compensation.

Compensation for 22. In addition to compensation for improvements,
disturbance. the tenant shall be entitled to receive compensation for distur-

bance, equivalent to one year's rent of the holding, where
the landlord-

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(a) without good and sufficient cause and for
reasons inconsistent with good estate management ter-
minates the tenancy by notice to quit; or

( b ) having been requested in writing at least three
months before the expiration of the tenancy to grant
a renewal thereof refuses to do so or causes the tenant
to quit by demanding an unreasonable increase in rent
or an unreasonable consideration in lieu of rent; or

(c) by his conduct causes the tenant to quit the
holding.

23. The right to compensation for disturbance shall Forfeiture of
right to be forfeited where the tenancy is duly determined for any compensation.

of the causes mentioned in paragraphs (i) and (ii) of section
8 (1) (a) and paragraphs (i), (ii), (iii), and (iv) of section
8 (1) ( 6 ) .

24. (I) All claims to recover possession of small ~ u ~ ~ s ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Magistrates. of
holdings and all disputes and differences arising out of con-
tracts of tenancy shall be within the jurisdiction of a
Magistrate and shall be heard and determined on the Civil
Side of the Magistrate's Court; and the provisions of the
Magistrate's Code of Procedure Act shall apply mutatis Cap.255.
mutandis to all proceedings brought before a Magistrate by
virtue of this Act so far as the same can be made applicable
thereto and are not inconsistent with any of the provisions
of this Act.

(2) A Magistrate shall have power to appoint persons
to assist him in the determination of questions of compensa-
tion on the application of either party to a contract of tenancy
before the institution of proceedings, or in his own discre-
tion after the institution of proceedings.

(3) A Magistrate may make such order as he may think
fit in respect of the expenses and remuneration of such
persons:

Provided that the amount of such remuneration shall
not exceed the sum of nine dollars and sixty cents per
valuation.

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12 CAP. 12) Agricultural Small Holdings

Recovery of
possession of
small holding.

25. If upon determination of a tenancy by notice to
quit or otherwise the tenant neglects or refuses to quit and
deliver up possession of the small holding, the landlord may
take proceedings before a Magistrate to recover possession
of the same; and the provisions of sections 5, 6, 7, 8 , 9,

Cap. 406. 1 1, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 of the Small Tenements Act shall
apply, mutatis mutandis, to such proceedings so far as the same
can be made applicable thereto and are not inconsistent with
any of the provisions of this Act.

Provisions of this
Act to prevail.

26. Where there is any conflict or inconsistency be-
tween the provisions of this Act and the provisions of any
other Act, the provisions of this Act shall prevail:

Provided that nothing in this Act contained shall be
deemed to affect any law for the time being in force in rela-
tion to any land settlement scheme undertaken by the
Government.

Contracting out 27. The provisions of this Act shall apply notwith-
prohibited. standing any provisions to the contrary contained in any

contract of tenancy, and in case any of the provisions of a
contract of tenancy are inconsistent with any of the provi-
sions of this Act the contract shall be read and construed
so as to be consistent with the provisions of this Act.

SCHEDULE A Ss. 3(2) and 15

An agreement made the day of 19 ,
Between of
(hereinafter called the landlord which expression wherever the con-
text so allows includes his heirs, personal representatives and
assigns) of the one part and of

(hereinafter called the tenant which expression
wherever the context so allows includes his heirs, personal represent-
atives and assigns) of the other part whereby the landlord agrees
to let and the tenant agrees to take all that parcel of land with

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Agricultural Small Holdings (CAP. 12 13

buildings thereon (hereinafter called the holding) containing in
the whole acres
or thereabout situate at in Antigua and Barbuda

and bounded as follows, that is to say,
Northerly Southerly
Easterly and Westerly
or however otherwise the same may be butted or bounded known
distinguished or described subject to the following terms and
conditions-

. The tenancy shall commence on the day of
19 , and shall continue from year to year but be determinable
by either party giving to the other not less than one year's notice
in writing in the form prescribed by the Agricultural Small Holdings
Act.

1. The tenancy shall continue for a term of
years from the date hereof.

2. The rent shall be $ a year payable in
advance and shall be recoverable at any time after the same becomes
due and payable by action or distress.

2. (1) The consideration for this contract shall be a
( ) share of the crops or of the gross proceeds of the sale
of the crop derived from the holding rendered to the landlord.

(2) The tenant shall keep a true and accurate record of the
proceeds of sale of the crop, and shall afford the landlord a
reasonable opportunity from time to time to inspect such record.

(3) The tenant shall render to the landlord his share of the
crop immediately upon reaping the same.

(3) The tenant shall pay to the landlord his share of the pro-
ceeds of sale of the crop on (here specify time).

2. The consideration for this contract shall be the render-
ing to the landlord by the tenant of labour as follows-

(Here specify the nature and t e r m of labour to be rendered)

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14 CAP. 1 2 ) Agricultural Small Holdings

3. The tenant agrees-

(1) to pay the rent hereby reserved in the manner aforesaid.

(1) to fulfil the obligations on his part contained in clause
2 of this agreement;

(2) not to assign or sub-let the holding without the consent
in writing of the landlord previously obtained;

(3) to manage, cultivate and manure the holding in a good
and husbandlike manner in accordance with the methods of hus-
bandry usual in the district;

(4) to keep the ditches and gutters cleaned out and the drains
and watercourses open and free from obstruction and in working
order.

4. The landlord may, at the request of the tenant, under-
take the marketing for and on behalf of the tenant of the crops
or any of them derived from the holding, and upon the terms,
hereinbelow set forth-

(Here specify the crops and terms)

5 . The landlord shall have the right of inspection of the
holding at all reasonable times; and in case of the disability of
the tenant arising from illness, injury, or other reasonable cause,
to maintain the holding in proper order, the landlord may, but
shall not be obliged to, do any necessary work which should have
been done by the tenant under the terms of his contract, and may
deduct from any moneys to come to the tenant the actual cost
of such work exclusive of that of supervision.

6 . The landlord agrees to permit the tenant on his paying
the rent hereby reservedlfulfilling the obligations on his part con-
tained in clause 2 hereof, and observing and performing the several
conditions and stipulations of his part herein contained peaceably
and quietly to hold and enjoy the holding during the term hereby
created without any interruption by the landlord or any person
rightfully claiming under or in trust for him.

7. This contract is subject to the provisions of the
Agricultural Small Holdings Act, and all disputes and differences
whatsoever-arising out of this contract shall be determined in
accordance with the provisions in that behalf of the aforesaid Act.

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Agricultural Small Holdings (CAP. 12 15

As witness our hands the day and year first above written

Signed by the said
before and in the presence
of-

Signed by the said
before and in the presence
of-

SCHEDULE B S. 7 (2)

$ c
1. Attestation of contract ...................................... 0 24
2. Registration of contract ........................................ Nil
3. Certified copy of contract ................................. 0 24

SCHEDULE C

To
I hereby (as agent or solicitor for X.Y. your landlord and

on his behalf) give you notice to quit and deliver up possession
on the day of 19 , of the small
holding situate at in the parish of
in Antigua and Barbuda which you hold of melhim
as tenant thereof under a contract of tenancy dated the
day of 19 , under the provisions of the
Agricultural Small Holdings Act (Cap. 12).

Dated the day of 19 .

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16 CAP. 12) Agricultural Small Holdings

To
I hereby (as agent or solicitor for X.Y. your tenant and on his

behalf) give you notice that it is mylhis intention to quit and deliver
up possession on the day of
19 , of the small holding situate at in the
parish of in Antigua and Barbuda
now held by melhim as your tenant under a contract of tenancy
dated the day of 19 ,
under the provisions of the Agricultural Small Holdings Act
(Cap. 12).

Dated the day of 19 .
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