Acquisition of Land Act


Published: 1913-07-07

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Acquisition of Land Act
ACQUISITION OF LAND [CH.252 – 1





LRO 1/2008 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

ACQUISITION OF LAND
CHAPTER 252


ACQUISITION OF LAND

LIST OF AUTHORISED PAGES
1 - 2 LRO 1/2008
3 - 18 Original
19 - 20 LRO 1/2008
21- 29 Original


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

SECTION

1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.
3. Appointment of assessors.
4. Preliminary investigation.
5. Payment for damage.


Declaration of Intending Acquisition
6. Declaration that particular land is required for a public purpose and publication thereof.


Acquisition of Land
7. Modes of acquisition.
8. Agreement.
9. Parties under disability may sell and convey.
10. Other powers of parties under disability.
11. Appointment of assessor on disagreement and making of assessment.
12. Procedure by compulsory purchase where value of selected land does not exceed $4,000.
13. Award by magistrate on compulsory purchase.
14. Appeal from magistrate’s award on compulsory purchase.
15. Compulsory acquisition where no agreement and value of selected land exceeds $4,000.


Application of Compensation
16. Application of compensation.
17. Modes of application of purchase money or compensation deposited with Treasurer.


Possession
18. When possession obtainable.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2008

19. Land held by Governor-General vests in Treasurer.Leaseholds
20. Selected land comprised in lease.
21. Tenant for a year.
22. Production of lease.
23. Wooden house.



Mortgages
24. Payment of mortgages.
25. Where part only of mortgaged lands taken.
26. Acquisition on default of conveyance.



Other Land Affected
27. Compensation in respect of other land affected.



Compensation
28. Amount of compensation.
29. Addition for compulsory purchase.
30. Costs.



Award
31. Award to be in writing.
32. No stamp duty or recording fees.
33. No suit to set aside award or apportionments.
34. Errors or mistakes.



Record
35. Record of awards.
36. Declaration of vesting to be recorded.



Apportionment
37. Stating particulars of apportionment in award.
38. Magistrate to decide proportions on disagreement.
39. Costs of proceedings for apportionment.

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Special Case
40. Special case.
41. Order in special case.
42. Powers of court in special case.
43. Amended or substituted award.
44. Evidence and production of documents.


Miscellaneous
45. Power of Governor-General to appoint a person other than a magistrate for an inquiry.
46. Appointment of agents.
47. Unclaimed money to go to Consolidated Fund after 20 years.
48. Rules of court.
49. Rules by Minister.
50. Claim for compensation when barred.
51. Act not to extend to Crown land resumed for roads, etc.
52. Offences.
53. Recovery of penalties.





ACQUISITION OF LAND [CH.252 – 5



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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

CHAPTER 252

ACQUISITION OF LAND

An Act to facilitate the acquisition of land for public
purposes.

[Commencement 7th July, 1913]

1. This Act may be cited as the Acquisition of Land
Act.

2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —
“assessment” means a valuation of the selected land

made by an assessor under and in accordance
with the provisions of this Act;

“assessor” means an assessor appointed and
registered under this Act;

“award” means the amount of compensation awarded
under this Act by a magistrate either as
magistrate or acting as umpire or by the court
sitting alone or with assessors;

“court” means the Supreme Court;
“magistrate” means, in the case of New Providence, a

stipendiary and circuit magistrate, and in the
case of the Out Islands, the commissioner of the
district in which any selected land is situate;

“Minister” means the Minister responsible for the
Acquisition and Disposition of Lands;

“persons interested” includes every person claiming
an interest whether on his own behalf or as
trustee for other persons beneficially interested,
or as guardian of a minor or committee of a
lunatic or idiot, but does not include a yearly
tenant or tenant by the month or at will;

“promoters” means a Minister or any statutory
corporation by or on behalf of which selected
land may be acquired under this Act;

14 of 1913
15 of 1916
1 of 1952
34 of 1964
46 of 1964
S.I. 25 of 1969
E.L.A.O., 1974
10 of 1979
5 of 1987

Short title.

Interpretation.

E.L.A.O., 1974.

34 of 1964, s. 2.;
E.L.A.O., 1974.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

“public purpose” includes, subject to the provisions
of Article 27 of the Constitution —

(a) any purpose authorised by Parliament;
(b) any purpose for which any statutory corporation

requires any land:
Provided that in the case of any land

required by a statutory corporation the value
thereof or compensation payable therefor by
agreement between the promoters and the
persons interested therein does not exceed the
sum of four thousand dollars or such value or
compensation has been certified in writing by an
assessor not to exceed the sum of four thousand
dollars;

(c) any public undertaking the execution of which is
vested in the Governor-General or a Minister;

(d) any purpose for which land is, in the opinion of
the Governor-General, required for providing
hotel accommodation, or promoting the tourist
traffic of The Bahamas, or providing increased
harbour and dock facilities, or the agricultural
development of The Bahamas, or any other
public undertaking;

(e) for the purpose of any undertaking under the
provisions of the Acquisition of Land (Special
Application) Act, 1957;

(f) any endeavour by or undertaking of the
Government to make available land by way of
sale, lease or otherwise for the housing of
persons of low or middle incomes;

“selected land” means any land required for a public
purpose;

“statutory corporation” means any corporate body
constituted by an Act of Parliament to
undertake duties or to perform functions for the
benefit of the public;

“summons for assessment” means a summons issued
by the Registrar of the court to initiate proceed-
ings for an assessment by the court with or
without assessors.

34 of 1964, s. 2.

5 of 1987, s. 2.

1 of 1952, s. 2.;
34 of 1964, s. 2.;
21 of 1957.

10 of 1979, s. 2.

34 of 1964, s. 2.

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3. (1) It shall be lawful for the Governor-General —
(a) to appoint assessors being persons willing to

serve when required, and skilled in the valuation
of property of the several descriptions of real
property common in The Bahamas;

(b) to substitute assessors, for any assessors who
may die, depart from The Bahamas, or desire to
discontinue serving, and to remove any assessor
for misconduct or other cause;

(c) to fix a scale of fees payable to assessors for
serving under this Act.

(2) A list of assessors so appointed and any scale of
fees fixed shall be published annually in the Gazette and
kept in the Registry of the court; the name of any assessor
appointed or substituted shall on such appointment or
substitution also be published in the Gazette.

(3) An assessor shall be compellable to serve on an
assessment when required so to do by the Governor-
General, the court, or a magistrate unless he shall satisfy
the Governor-General, the court or the magistrate, as the
case may be, that he is for good cause unable to serve or
ought for good cause to be excused from service, and in
case of neglect or default to serve as required after having
been duly required by notice from the Governor-General,
the court or a magistrate so to do shall be liable to a penalty
of forty dollars.

(4) No assessor shall proceed to act in the matter of
an assessment or otherwise under the provisions of this Act
unless he shall have first made and signed before a judge of
the Supreme Court or a magistrate a declaration in the
following form —

“I......., Registered Assessor, do solemnly and sincerely
declare that in all matters submitted to me or with which I
may have to deal under the provisions of the Acquisition of
Land Act, I will faithfully, honestly and impartially execute
my duties to the best of my judgment, skill and ability.”
All declarations so made shall be kept in the Registry

of the court and shall be transmitted to such Registry by
any magistrate taking the same.

4. (1) Whenever it appears to the Minister that land
in any locality is likely to be needed for any public purpose
a notification to that effect shall be published in the Gazette,


Appointment of
assessors.

Registration and
fees of assessors.

Assessor
compellable to
serve on an
assessment.

5 of 1987, s. 2.

Declaration to be
signed by
assessors.

Preliminary
investigation.
E.L.A.O., 1974.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

and the magistrate shall cause public notice of the
substance of such notification to be given at convenient
places in his district, and thereupon any person either
generally or specially authorised by the Minister and his
servants and workmen may do all or any of the following
things, namely —

(a) enter upon and survey and take levels of any
land in such locality;

(b) dig or bore into the subsoil;
(c) do all other acts necessary to ascertain whether

the land is adapted for such purpose;
(d) set out the boundaries of the land proposed to be

taken and the intended line of the work (if any)
proposed to be made thereon;

(e) mark such levels, boundaries and line by placing
marks and cutting trenches;

(f) where otherwise the survey cannot be
completed, the levels taken, or the boundaries or
line of work marked, cut down and clear any
standing crop, fence, tree or bush;

(g) do all such other acts as may be incidental to or
necessary for any of the purposes aforesaid.

(2) No person shall enter into any building or upon
any enclosed court or garden attached to a dwelling house
(unless with the consent of the occupier thereof) without
previously giving such occupier at least seven days’ notice
in writing of his intention to do so.

5. So soon as conveniently may be after any entry
made under section 4 of this Act the person entering shall
pay for all damage done, and in cases of dispute as to the
amount to be paid for such damage, the matter shall be
referred to the magistrate whose decision shall be final,
subject to an appeal to the Supreme Court.

Declaration of Intending Acquisition
6. (1) Whenever it appears to the Minister that any

particular land is needed for a public purpose a notice to
that effect signed by the promoters shall be published in
the Gazette and posted on some conspicuous part of such
land, but no such notice shall be published or posted unless


Payment for
damage.

Declaration that
particular land is
required for a
public purpose
and publication
thereof.
E.L.A.O., 1974.

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the compensation to be paid for such land is to be paid out
of public revenue or out of the funds of some statutory
corporation.

(2) Such notice shall state the following particulars —
(a) the district in which the land is situate;
(b) the particular purpose for which it is required;
(c) its approximate area and all other particulars

necessary for identifying it, and if a plan has
been made of the land, the place where and time
when such plan may be inspected;

(d) an intimation that all persons interested in the
land shall, within thirty days from the publica-
tion of the notice or the posting of the same,
state in writing to the promoters the nature of
their respective interests in the land and the
amount and particulars of their claims to
compensation for such interests.

(3) Subject to a right of appeal to the Supreme
Court as to the legality of the proposed acquisition which
shall be filed within thirty days of the publication of the
notice or the posting of the same, the notice shall be
conclusive evidence that the land is needed for a public
purpose, and is selected land within the meaning and for
the purposes of this Act.

(4) The promoters shall also cause the notice or a
copy thereof to be served upon the occupier of such land
and on all mortgagees and on all such other persons as may
be known to them to be interested therein:

Provided that, if such mortgagee or person so
interested shall be absent from The Bahamas and his
address be known, notice may be sent to him by registered
airmail post.

Acquisition of Land
7. Selected land may be acquired in either of the

following ways —
(a) by private agreement for purchase;
(b) by compulsory purchase.
8. Subject to the provisions of this Act it shall be

lawful for the promoters to agree with the persons
interested in any selected land for the absolute purchase


Conclusive
evidence.
34 of 1964, s. 4.

Notice to be
given to occupier,
etc.

Modes of
acquisition.

Agreement.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

for a consideration in money of such land and of all estates
and interests in such land of what kind soever, and any
such agreement may be recorded in the same manner as an
award under this Act.

9. It shall be lawful for all parties seised or
possessed of or entitled to any selected land or any estate
or interest therein to sell and convey or release the same to
the promoters, and to enter into all necessary arrangements
for the purpose; and particularly it shall be lawful for all or
any of the following parties so seised, possessed or entitled
as aforesaid to sell, convey or release (that is to say) all
corporations, tenants in tail or for life, married women
seised in their own right or entitled to dower, guardians,
committees of lunatics or idiots, trustees or feoffees in trust
for charitable or other purposes, executors and adminis-
trators, and all parties for the time being entitled to the
receipt of the rents and profits of any such land in
possession or subject to any estate in dower or to any lease
for life or for lives and years or for years of any less
interest; and the power so to sell and convey or release as
aforesaid may lawfully be exercisable by all such parties
other than married women entitled to dower or for lives or
years or for any less interest not only on behalf of
themselves and their respective heirs, executors, adminis-
trators or successors but also for and on behalf of every
person entitled in reversion, remainder or expectancy after
them or in defeasance of the estates of such parties; and as
to such married women whether they be of full age or not
as if they were sole and of full age; and as to such
guardians on behalf of their wards; and as to such
committees on behalf of the lunatics and idiots of whom
they are the committees respectively, and that to the same
extent as such wives, wards, lunatics and idiots
respectively could have exercised the same power under
the authority of this Act if they had respectively been under
no disability; and as to such trustees, executors and
administrators, on behalf of their cestui que trustent,
whether infants, unborn issue, lunatics, femmes couvertes
or other persons and that to the same extent as such cestui
que trustent respectively could have exercised the same
powers under the authority of this Act if they had
respectively been under no disability.

Parties under
disability may
sell and convey.

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10. The power to release lands from any rent, charge
or incumbrance and to agree for the apportionment of any
such rent, charge or incumbrance may lawfully be
exercised by every party hereinbefore enabled to sell and
convey or release lands.

11. If the promoters and the persons interested in
any selected land are unable to agree on the purchase
money, the promoters shall apply to the Governor-General
to appoint an assessor to make an assessment of the
selected land, and it shall be the duty of the assessor so
appointed to make an assessment and to forward the same
to the Treasurer for transmission to the promoters. The
Treasurer shall also transmit to the promoters with the
assessment any claims from persons interested received by
him.

12. (1) If —
(a) the promoters and the persons interested are

unable to agree for the purchase of the selected
land; and

(b) the assessment made by the assessor appointed
by the Governor-General does not exceed the
sum of four thousand dollars,

the magistrate of the district in which the selected land is
situate shall at the written request of the promoters to be
made within two months after the first publication in the
Gazette of the declaration prescribed by section 6 of this
Act cause public notice to be given at convenient places in
his district or near the selected land stating —

(i) the particulars of the selected land and that the
selected land has been appropriated for public
purposes;

(ii) that the promoters intend to take or have taken
possession of the same;

(iii) that claims for compensation for all interests
should be made to him;

(iv) that all persons interested therein are required to
appear personally or by agent before the
magistrate at a time and place in such notice
mentioned (such time not being earlier than
twenty-one days after the posting of the notices)
and to state the nature of their respective
interests in the selected land and the amount and
particulars of their claim to compensation for
such interests.

Other powers of
parties under
disability.

Appointment of
assessor on
disagreement and
making of
assessment.
S.I. No 25 of
1969.

Procedure by
compulsory
purchase where
value of selected
land does not
exceed $4,000.
34 of 1964, s. 8.;
5 of 1987, s. 2.

CH.252 – 12] ACQUISITION OF LAND





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(2) The magistrate shall also within the time
aforesaid serve notices to the same effect on the occupier
(if any) of such land and on all such persons known or
believed to be interested therein or to be entitled to act for
persons so interested as reside or have agents authorised to
receive service on their behalf within the district in which
the land is situate:

Provided that, if any such person resides elsewhere
and has no such agent, the notice may be sent to him by
post.

(3) Notices may be served by being left at the usual
places of abode of the persons interested, or, if such
persons be a corporation, at the principal office within The
Bahamas of such corporation. If any of the persons
interested is absent from The Bahamas or cannot be
ascertained, notices may be served by being affixed on
some conspicuous part of the selected land.

13. At the time and place mentioned in the notice or
at any adjournment or postponement thereof, the
magistrate shall proceed to hold an inquiry as to the
amount of compensation payable to the persons interested
and for that purpose shall have power to summon and
examine witnesses on oath and compel the production of
documents, and may inspect the selected land, and call to
his assistance such expert advice as to him may seem
proper, and shall make his award. In any such inquiry the
parties shall have the right to appear and be represented by
counsel.

14. (1) Any party aggrieved by the award of the
magistrate may within twenty-one days of the notification
of the award give notice in writing to the magistrate and to
the other parties that he declines to accept the award and
has filed an appeal in the Supreme Court.

(2) Pending the hearing of any appeal the magistrate
may, if he thinks fit, order the promoters to deposit with
the Treasurer the amount claimed by the persons interested
together with any costs payable by the promoters or where
no claim has been made the amount fixed by the
magistrate.

Notice to
occupier, etc.

Service of
notices.

Award by
magistrate on
compulsory
purchase.

Appeal from
magistrate’s
award on
compulsory
purchase.
34 of 1964, s. 9.

Deposit of
compensation
money.

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15. (1) If —
(a) the promoters and the persons interested have

been unable to agree on the acquisition of the
same by private purchase;

(b) the value of the selected land exceeds the sum of
four thousand dollars,

the value of the selected land and the compensation
payable for all or any interests therein, shall be determined
by the court according to the following provisions.

(2) On the application of the promoters or any person
interested, a summons for assessment shall be issued by the
Registrar of the court. Such summons shall be returnable
within twenty-one days and shall be served on all persons,
other than the applicant therefor, resident in The Bahamas
and the attorney or agent of any such persons not resident in
The Bahamas whose names shall have been mentioned by
the applicant as being interested in the selected land.

(3) On the return of the summons for assessment the
court shall satisfy itself as far as may be as to the persons
other than the applicant or persons served interested in the
selected land and may adjourn the further hearing of the
summons to allow of their being served, and shall, subject
to such adjournment, if any, appoint a day for the
assessment thereof by a judge with or without assessors as
herein provided, and may direct the service on any person,
other than the applicant, alleged to be interested in the
selected land, of a notice requiring him to state on or
before a day to be therein named the nature of his alleged
interest, if any, and the sum which he claims as
compensation in respect thereof.

(4) On the return of the summons for assessment the
court shall also direct the promoters and the persons
alleged to be interested, or such of them as the court shall
think fit, to appoint on or before a day to be fixed by the
court two assessors, one to be nominated by the promoters
and the other by the persons interested, for the purpose of
aiding the court in determining the amount of compensa-
tion in manner herein directed:

34 of 1964, s. 10;
5 of 1987, s. 2.

Compulsory
acquisition where
no agreement and
value of selected
land exceeds
$4,000.

Summons for
assessment.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

Provided that assessors shall not be appointed unless
the court otherwise directs in cases where it is of opinion
on satisfactory evidence that the amount of compensation
will not exceed two thousand dollars, but in every such
case the amount of such compensation unless otherwise
expressly directed by the court, shall be determined by a
judge without assessors:

Provided also that, if the persons interested in any
case elect that the amount of compensation shall be
determined and assessed by a judge alone without
assessors, it shall be lawful for a judge, irrespective of the
amount claimed, to make his award alone.

(5) If —
(a) the persons interested in the selected land, if

more than one, fail to agree upon the assessor to
represent them;

(b) on the summons for assessment, no person
appears on behalf of the persons interested;

(c) it appears to the court that no person so appears
on behalf of the persons interested,

the court shall in the case (a) appoint an assessor on their
behalf from among those named by such parties, and in the
cases (b) and (c) appoint an assessor to attend the
determining of the amount of compensation on behalf of
any person who may be interested in such land.

(6) For the purpose of hearing and disposing of the
summons for assessment and for the purpose of the
assessment and generally for all purposes of dealing with
applications incidental thereto or connected therewith, the
judge shall exercise all such powers as by the Supreme
Court Act may be exercised by him in respect of any action
or proceeding at law applicable to the trial of an action for
damages.

(7) The judge and assessors (if any) shall, on a day,
to be named in the order of the court, proceed to hold an
enquiry as to the amount of compensation payable to the
persons interested and to determine the compensation to be
awarded. Such enquiry shall be had in such place and at
such time and adjourned to such place and time as the court
shall direct and shall be public; and the Registrar of the
court shall attend the court in the same manner and
perform the same duties with respect to such enquiry and


5 of 1987, s. 2.

Appointment of
assessor in
certain
circumstances.

Powers of the
court.

Ch. 53.

Enquiry to be
held.

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determining of compensation as he would perform with
respect to the trial of any action, and the procedure in the
trial of a civil action shall be followed as far as the same
shall be applicable and the parties shall be entitled to the
same right of retaining and being heard by counsel as in an
action at law. The persons interested shall be deemed the
plaintiff and the promoters the defendant, and the
proceedings shall be deemed to be proceedings in the
court.

(8) The parties shall have power to subpoena any
person as a witness and to enforce the attendance of such
witness, and any witness failing to attend without sufficient
cause or who shall appear but refuse to be examined or to
give evidence touching the subject-matter in question, shall
be proceeded against in the same manner as any other
person failing to attend or refusing to be examined or to
give evidence as a witness before the court.

(9) The opinion of each assessor shall be given
orally and shall be recorded in writing by the judge.

(10) In the case of a difference of opinion between
the judge and the assessors or either of them upon a
question of law or .practice or usage having the force of
law the opinion of the judge shall prevail.

(11) In the case of difference of opinion between the
judge and one or both of the assessors as to the amount of
compensation or as to the amount of any item thereof the
decision of the judge shall prevail.

(12) The amount of costs and all questions relating
thereto shall be determined by the judge alone.

Application of Compensation
16. (1) With respect to the purchase money or

compensation coming to parties having limited interests, or
prevented from treating, or not making title, or being
absent from The Bahamas, or who cannot be found, or
neglecting or refusing to furnish particulars of their right or
interest as required by this Act within two months from the
period of the value of the same being arrived at under this
Act, or refusing to appear before the magistrate or the court
as the case may be, or refusing to execute any proper
contract or conveyance for the sale thereof within the said
two months the following provisions shall have effect —

Power to compel
attendance of
witnesses.

Assessor’s
opinion.

Law and practice
to be settled by
court.

Difference of
opinion between
judge and
assessors.

Costs.

Application of
compensation.
15 of 1916, s. 2.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(a) if the purchase money or compensation which
shall be payable is payable in respect of any
selected land or any interest therein purchased or
taken by the promoters from any corporation,
tenant for life or in tail, married woman seised in
her own right or entitled to dower, guardian,
committee of a lunatic or idiot, trustee, executor
or administrator, or person having a partial or
qualified interest only in the selected land and
not entitled to sell or convey the same except
under the provisions of this Act;

(b) if the persons interested or any of them in any
selected land on tender of the purchase money or
compensation either agreed or awarded to be
paid in respect of their respective interests refuse
to accept the same, or neglect or fail to make out
a title to the selected land or to the interest
therein claimed by them to the satisfaction of the
promoters, or if they or any of them refuse to
convey or release such land as directed by the
promoters, or if any person interested be absent
from The Bahamas, or cannot after diligent
enquiry be found, or fail to appear before the
magistrate or the court as the case may be,

the promoters shall pay the purchase money or compensa-
tion payable in respect of the selected land or any such
interest therein to the Treasurer and the Treasurer shall
carry it to the credit of the person interested in the land,
estate or interest, but if the party is not known then to the
credit of the promoters in a particular account to remain
subject in all such cases to the order, control and
disposition of the court.

(2) If any money payable under this Act shall not
amount to or exceed the sum of two hundred dollars the
same shall be paid to and among the persons interested in
such shares and proportions as the Attorney-General shall
certify in writing that the same shall be paid. Any payment
made by the promoters under such certificate shall absolve
the promoters from any further liability for the sum so paid
but shall not prejudice the right of any party who shall
prove his right or title thereto in a court of competent
jurisdiction to recover the same from any person to whom
such payment was made or from his legal representative:

When parties
refuse to convey
or do not show
title or cannot be
found purchase
money may be
paid to
Treasurer.

Purchase money
payable to parties
under disability
to be paid to
Treasurer.

Purchase money
under $200 to be
paid and
distributed on
Attorney-
General’s
certificate.
5 of 1987, s. 2.

ACQUISITION OF LAND [CH.252 – 17



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Provided that, in the case of the coverture, infancy,
idiocy, lunacy or other incapacity of any such party, then
such money shall be paid for his or her use to the husband,
guardian, committee or trustee of such party.

17. (1) Money deposited with the Treasurer under
the provisions of this Act to remain subject to the order,
control and disposition of the court shall remain so
deposited until the same be applied to some one or more of
the following purposes that is to say —

(a) in the discharge of any debt or incumbrance
affecting the land in respect of which such
money shall have been paid or affecting other
land settled therewith, to the same or the like
uses, trusts or purposes;

(b) in the purchase of other land to be conveyed,
limited and settled upon the like trusts, uses and
purposes and in the same manner as the land in
respect of which such sums of money shall have
been paid, stood settled;

(c) if such money shall be paid in respect of any
buildings taken under the authority of this Act,
in removing or replacing such buildings or
substituting others in their stead in such manner
as the court shall direct;

(d) in the payment to any party becoming absolutely
entitled to such money.

(2) Such money may be so applied as aforesaid upon
an order of the court made in a summary way of procedure
on the petition of the party who would have been entitled to
the rents and profits of the lands in respect of which such
money shall have been paid to the Treasurer and until the
money can be so applied it may upon the like order be
invested by the Treasurer if it exceeds the sum of one
thousand two hundred dollars, in such manner as the court
may order, and the interest, dividends and annual proceeds
thereof paid to the party who would for the time being have
been entitled to the rents and profits of the lands:

Provided that, in the case of money paid to the
Treasurer in respect of any lease for a life or lives or years
or for a life or lives and years or any estate in lands less
than the whole fee simple thereof, or of any reversion
dependent on any such lease or estate, the court may on the
petition of any party interested in such money in a


Modes of
application of
purchase money
or compensation
deposited with
Treasurer.

Procedure before
court.

5 of 1987, s. 2.

CH.252 – 18] ACQUISITION OF LAND





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

summary way of procedure, order that the same shall be
laid out, invested, accumulated and paid in such manner as
the court may consider will give to the parties interested in
such money the same benefit therefrom as they might
lawfully have from the lease, estate or reversion in respect
of which such money shall have been paid or as near
thereto as may be:

Provided also that, when money is paid to the
Treasurer in the case of the owner of any selected land or
of any interest therein as purchase money or compensation
either agreed or awarded to be paid in respect thereof,
being an owner who has refused to accept the same or
neglected or failed to make out a title to such land or the
interest therein claimed by him to the satisfaction of the
promoters or who has refused to convey or release such
land or interest as directed by the promoters or who is
absent from The Bahamas, or after diligent enquiry cannot
be found, or has failed to appear before the magistrate or
the court as the case may be, the court may, on petition of
any party making claim to the money so paid to the
Treasurer or any part thereof or to the land in respect
whereof it shall have been paid or any part of such land or
any interest in the same, in a summary way of procedure
order such money to be laid out or invested or may order
distribution thereof or payment of the interest or dividends
thereof according to the respective estates, titles or interests
of the parties making claim to such money or land or any
part thereof and may make such order in the premises as to
the court shall seem fit.

Possession
18. (1) Upon payment or tender of all the purchase

money or compensation agreed or awarded to be paid and
of all costs payable to the persons interested in respect of
any selected land purchased or taken by the promoters; or
whenever any of the respective cases shall happen wherein
the money is herein authorised or directed to be paid to the
Treasurer and such payment has been made to him, or, if in
the opinion of the Minister it is necessary for a public
purpose that possession of the selected land should be
obtained by the promoters before such payment or tender,
it shall be lawful for the Minister by notice in the Gazette
to declare that the selected land has been appropriated for


When possession
obtainable.

E.L.A.O., 1974

34 of 1969, s. 11.

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LRO 1/2008 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

the public purpose mentioned in such notice and there-
upon except as hereinafter in this section provided the
selected land and the fee simple and inheritance thereof
and all the estate, use, trust and interest of all parties
therein shall thenceforth become vested in and become the
property of the promoters for such public purpose, and the
promoters may enter upon and take possession of the same,
and in all cases in which delivery of possession shall be
refused the magistrate may issue his warrant to any peace
officer to enter upon the land the possession of which is
refused or withheld and to take possession thereof and to
deliver possession to such person as shall in the warrant be
nominated to receive the same, being a person in that
behalf appointed by the promoters, and such peace officer
is hereby authorised and required to take and deliver
possession accordingly:

Provided that, if possession of the selected land be
taken before such payment or tender, the promoters shall
pay, in addition to the purchase money or compensation
agreed to be paid or awarded to be paid, interest on such
purchase money or compensation at the rate of five dollars
per centum per annum from the time of the publication of
such notice in the Gazette until payment of such purchase
money or compensation.

(2) Where for the purposes of this Act the promoter
is a Minister who is not a corporation sole the selected land
shall not vest in him by virtue of subsection (1) of this
section, but shall vest in the Treasurer in his capacity as a
corporation sole to be held by him in trust for Her Majesty
in right of Her Government of The Bahamas for public
purposes.

(3) Where the Minister responsible for housing is
the promoter for the purposes of paragraph (f) of the
definition of the expression “public purposes”, the selected
land shall be deemed to be acquired by him pursuant to the
carrying out by him of his functions under the Housing
Act.

19. All land heretofore vested in the Governor in
Council or Governor-General under the provisions of this
Act or any other Act shall be deemed to be and is hereby
vested in the Treasurer.

34 of 1964, s. 11;
E.L.A.O., 1974.

10 of 1979, s. 3

Ch. 199.

Land held by
Governor-
General vests in
Treasurer.
34 of 1964, s. 12.

CH.252 – 20] ACQUISITION OF LAND





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2008

Leaseholds
20. (1) If any land shall be comprised in a lease for a

term of years unexpired, part only of which land is selected
land, the rent payable in respect of the land comprised in
such lease shall be apportioned between the selected land
and the unselected land; and such apportionment may be
settled by agreement between the lessor and lessee of such
land on the one part and the promoters on the other part,
and, if such apportionment be not so settled, it shall be
settled by the magistrate subject to a right of appeal to the
Supreme Court; and after such apportionment the lessee of
the unselected land shall, as to all future accruing rent, be
liable only to so much of the rent as shall be so apportioned
in respect of the unselected land; and as to the unselected
land and as against the lessee, the lessor shall have the
same rights and remedies for the recovery of such portion
of rent, as previously to such apportionment he has for the
recovery of the whole rent reserved by such lease; and all
the covenants, conditions and agreements of such lease,
except as to the amount of rent to be paid, shall remain in
force with regard to the unselected land, in the same
manner as they would have done in case such land had
been included in the lease.

(2) Every such lessee as aforesaid shall be entitled
to receive from the promoters compensation for the
damage done to him in his tenancy by reason of the
severance of the selected land.

21. If any such land shall be in the possession of any
person having no greater interest therein than as a tenant
for a year, or from year to year, and if such person be
required to give up possession of any land so occupied by
him before the expiration of his term or interest therein he
shall be entitled to compensation for the value of his
unexpired term or interest therein, and for any just
allowance which ought to be made to him by the incoming
tenant; or for any loss or injury he may sustain, or if a part
only of such land be required, compensation for the
damage done to him in his tenancy by severing the land
held by him, or otherwise injuriously affecting the same;
and the amount of such compensation shall subject to a
right of appeal to the Supreme Court be determined by the
magistrate in case the parties differ about the same; and


Selected land
comprised in
lease.

Apportionment.

34 of 1964, s. 13.

Lessee entitled to
compensation.

Tenant for a
year.

34 of 1964, s. 14.

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upon payment or tender of the amount of such compensa-
tion all such persons shall respectively deliver up to the
promoters, or the person appointed by them to take
possession thereof, any such selected land in their
possession.

22. If any party, having a greater interest than as a
tenant at will, claim compensation in respect of any
unexpired term or interest under any lease or grant of any
such land the magistrate may require such party to produce
such lease or grant in respect of which such claim shall be
made, or the best evidence thereof in his power; and if,
after notice made in writing by the magistrate, such lease
or grant, or such best evidence thereof be not produced
within twenty-one days, the party claiming compensation
shall be considered as a tenant holding only from year to
year, and to be entitled to compensation accordingly.

23. In all cases in which there is a wooden house
standing on but not affixed to the freehold of any selected
land and not being the property of the person interested in
such land the owner of such house shall be entitled to
receive from the promoters by way of compensation a sum
to defray the expense of removing such house to any other
site, and of repairing any damage caused to such house by
its being removed. Any person aggrieved by the amount of
compensation offered under this section may appeal to the
Supreme Court whose decision shall be final.

Mortgages
24. The promoters may purchase or redeem the interest

of the mortgagee of any land which may be acquired under this
Act, whether they shall have previously purchased the equity
of redemption of the land or not, and whether the mortgagee
thereof be entitled thereto in his own right or in trust for any
other party, and whether he be in possession of the land by
virtue of the mortgage or not, and whether the mortgage affects
the selected land solely or jointly with any other unselected
land; and in order thereto the promoters may pay or tender to
the mortgagee the principal and interest due on the mortgage
together with his costs and charges (if any) and also six
months’ additional interest, and thereupon the mortgagee


Production of
lease.

Wooden house.

34 of 1964, s. 15.

Payment of
mortgages.

CH.252 – 22] ACQUISITION OF LAND





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

shall immediately convey his interest in the selected land
comprised in the mortgage to the promoters, or as they
shall direct, or the promoters may give notice in writing to
the mortgagee that they will pay off the principal and
interest due on the mortgage at the end of six months
computed from the day of giving the notice and if they
shall have given any such notice, or if the party entitled to
the equity of redemption of the land shall have given six
months’ notice of his intention to redeem the same, then at
the expiration of either of such notices, or any intermediate
period upon payment or tender by the promoters to the
mortgagee of the principal money due on the mortgage,
and the interest which would have become due at the end
of six months from the time of giving either of such
notices, together with his costs and expenses (if any), the
mortgagee shall convey or release his interest in the land
comprised in the mortgage to the promoters or as they shall
direct.

25. If a part only of any such mortgaged lands be
required and if the part so required be of less value than the
principal money, interest and costs secured on the
remaining part of such lands and the mortgagee shall not
consider the remaining part of such lands a sufficient
security for the money charged thereon, or be not willing to
release the part so required, then the value of such part, and
also the compensation (if any) to be paid in respect of the
severance thereof or otherwise, shall be settled by
agreement between the mortgagee and the party entitled to
the equity of redemption of such land on the one part, and
the promoters on the other; and, if the parties aforesaid fail
to agree respecting the amount of such value or
compensation, the same shall be determined as in other
cases of disputed compensation and the amount of such
value or compensation, being so agreed upon or deter-
mined, shall be paid by the promoters to such mortgagee in
satisfaction of his mortgage debt so far as the same will
extend and thereupon such mortgagee shall convey or
release to them, or as they shall direct, all his interest in
such mortgaged lands the value whereof shall have been so
paid; and a memorandum of what shall have been so paid
shall be endorsed on the deed creating such mortgage, and
shall be signed by the mortgagee; and a copy, of such
memorandum shall at the same time (if required) be


Where part only
of mortgaged
lands taken.

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furnished by the promoters at their expense to the party
entitled to the equity of redemption of the lands comprised
in such mortgage deed.

26. If in any of the cases aforesaid upon such
payment or tender the mortgagee shall fail to convey or
release his interest in the mortgage as directed by the
promoters or if he fail to adduce a good title thereto, then the
promoters may pay into the Treasury the principal and
interest, together with the costs (if any) due on the mortgage
and if such payment be made before the expiration of six
months’ notice aforesaid such further interest as would at
that time become due; and thereupon as well as upon such
conveyance by the mortgagee (if any such be made), all the
estate and interest of the mortgagee and of all persons in
trust for him or for whom he may be a trustee in the land
shall vest in the promoters absolutely, and they shall be
entitled to immediate possession thereof in case the
mortgagee was himself entitled to such possession.

Other Land Affected
27. When land other than selected land is damaged

or injured in effecting the purposes for which selected land
is acquired under this Act the persons interested therein
shall be entitled to fair and reasonable compensation for
such damage or injury and if such persons, or any of them
are unable to agree with the promoters as to the amount of
such compensation the amount shall be assessed by the
magistrate or the court as the case may be in conformity
with the provisions of this Act.

Compensation
28. In determining the amount of compensation to

be awarded under this Act the magistrate or the court
sitting with or without assessors, as the case may be, and
any other assessor appointed under the provisions of this
Act shall take into consideration the matters mentioned in
paragraph (a) of this section and shall not take into
consideration the matters mentioned in paragraph (b) of
this section —

(a) (i) the market value of the selected land at date
of the declaration made under section 6 of
this Act;

Acquisition on
default of
conveyance.

Compensation in
respect of other
land affected.

Amount of
compensation.

34 of 1964, s. 16.

CH.252 – 24] ACQUISITION OF LAND





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(ii) the damage (if any) sustained by the persons
interested at the time of awarding compen-
sation by reason of severing such land from
other land of the persons interested;

(iii) the damage (if any) sustained by the persons
interested at the time of awarding compen-
sation by reason of the acquisition injur-
iously affecting other property belonging to
him whether real or personal in any other
manner or his actual earnings;

(iv) if in consequence of the acquisition he is
compelled to change his residence or place
of business, the reasonable expenses (if
any) of such change;

(v) any accommodation works offered by the
promoters and the execution of which is to
the satisfaction of the magistrate or of the
court sitting with or without assessors
secured to the persons interested;

(b) (i) the degree of urgency which has led to the
acquisition;

(ii) any disinclination of the persons interested
to part with the selected land;

(iii) any damage sustained by the persons
interested which if caused by a private
person would not constitute a good cause
of action;

(iv) any damage which after the time of award-
ing compensation is likely to be caused by
or in consequence of the use to which the
selected land will be put;

(v) any increase in the value of the selected
land likely to accrue from the use to which
it will be put when acquired;

(vi) any increase in the value of unselected
land likely to accrue from the use to which
selected land will be put;

(vii) any outlay or improvements on selected
land made, commenced or effected with the
intention of enhancing the compensation to
be awarded under this Act.

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29. In addition to the amount of compensation
awarded under this Act the magistrate or the court, as the
case may be, shall further award a sum of ten per centum
on the market value of the selected land mentioned in
subparagraph (i) of paragraph (a) of section 28 of this Act
in consideration of the compulsory nature of the
acquisition, but the provisions of this section shall not
apply to any compensation given for any damage or loss
sustained by reason of the taking of any selected land or by
reason of severance.

30. (1) When the amount awarded does not exceed
the sum offered by the promoters the costs of all
proceedings shall be borne by the persons interested.

(2) Where the amount awarded exceeds the sum so
offered but the magistrate or the court, as the case may be,
considers that the claims of the persons interested were
extravagant or that they were negligent in putting their case
to the promoters, the magistrate or the judge, as the case
may be, may in his discretion make such order as to the
costs as he may think fit:

Provided that any costs under this section shall not
include any costs incurred in trying any question respecting
the title to the land or any rights thereto or interests therein
arising between or among two or more persons making
conflicting claims in respect thereof.

(3) The costs (if any) may be recovered as if they
were costs incurred in a suit in the court and as if the award
were the decree therein.

(4) Subject to the provisions of this Act, in all cases
of money paid to the Treasurer under this Act, it shall be
lawful for the magistrate or the judge, as the case may be,
to order all costs attending the payment of such moneys
and of all proceedings relating thereto except such as are
occasioned by litigation between adverse claimants to be
borne by the promoters, and all such costs shall be paid by
warrant out of the Consolidated Fund in the usual manner.

(5) All reasonable costs, charges and expenses
incurred by the persons interested for all conveyances and
assurances of any land purchased or acquired and of any
outstanding terms or interest therein and of deducing,
evidencing and producing title to such land, terms of


Addition for
compulsory
purchase.

Costs.

E.L.A.O., 1974.

CH.252 – 26] ACQUISITION OF LAND





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

interest and of making out such abstracts and attested
copies as the promoters may require, and all other
reasonable expenses incident to the investigation, deduc-
tion and verification of titles shall be borne by the
promoters, and shall be paid out of the Consolidated Fund
by warrant in the usual manner.

Award
31. Every award shall be in writing signed by the

magistrate, judge and assessors or assessor (if any)
concurring therein or the judge alone, as the case may be,
and shall specify —

(a) a description of the land and the date when it
was gazetted as selected land;

(b) the amount awarded under subparagraph (i) of
paragraph (a) of section 28 of this Act and the
amounts (if any) respectively awarded under
subparagraphs (ii), (iii) and (iv) of the same
paragraph, together with the grounds of award-
ing each of the said amounts;

(c) the amount of costs incurred in the proceedings
and by what persons and in what proportions
they are to be paid.

32. No award, agreement or conveyance under this
Act shall be liable to any stamp duty and no fees shall be
payable for recording the same or any other document
made under the provisions of this Act.

33. Subject to the provisions of this Act no suit shall
be brought to set aside an award or apportionment under
this Act.

34. Any error or mistake arising from miscalculation
or from any clerical omission or slip appearing in an award
may at any time be corrected by the authority finally
determining the amount of compensation.

Record
35. Every award made under this Act shall be

registered or recorded at the Registry of Records where the
selected land is situate in New Providence, and at the office
of the magistrate where such land is situate in an Out


E.L.A.O., 1974.

Award to be in
writing.

No stamp duty or
recording fees.

No suit to set
aside award or
apportionments.

Errors or
mistakes.

Record of
awards.

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Island, and every record made under the provisions of this
section shall be received as evidence in any court to the
same extent as the award of which it purports to be a
record would be entitled to be received, if produced, but
not further.

36. When selected land vests in promoters under the
provisions of section 18 of this Act, a declaration of such
vesting shall be made by the promoters or by their duly
constituted agent and shall be recorded at the Registry of
Records.

Apportionment
37. Where there are several persons interested, if such

persons agree in the apportionment of the compensation, the
particulars of such apportionment shall be specified in the
award, and as between such persons the award shall be
conclusive evidence of the correctness of the apportionment.

38. Where the several persons interested are unable
to agree on the apportionment of the compensation the
magistrate or the court, as the case may be, shall decide the
proportions in which the persons interested are entitled:

Provided that in the case of a decision under this
section by a magistrate, there shall be a right of appeal to
the Supreme Court.

39. The cost of all proceedings for apportioning the
amount of compensation shall be borne by such of the
persons interested in such proportions as the magistrate or
the court shall determine.

Special Case
40. A magistrate may make his award in the form of

a special case for the opinion of the court.
41. In every special case the court may make such

order as to it may seem proper, and may direct that such
order shall become part of the award.

Declaration of
vesting to be
recorded.

Stating
particulars of
apportionment in
award.

Magistrate to
decide
proportions on
disagreement.

34 of 1964, s. 18.

Costs of
proceedings for
apportionment.

Special case.

Order in special
case.

CH.252 – 28] ACQUISITION OF LAND





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

42. In every special case the court may —
(a) remit the award to the consideration of the

magistrate stating the case;
(b) instruct the magistrate as to the principles on

which he shall proceed on further consideration;
(c) direct the magistrate to amend the award or to

substitute a fresh award for the same.
43. Where the magistrate amends an award or

substitutes a fresh award for the same, such amended or
substituted award shall have the force and effect of the
original award and may be recorded accordingly.

44. For the purpose of a special case the court may
make such further inquiries and call such witnesses and
take such further evidence and compel the production of all
such documents as may be necessary.

Miscellaneous
45. The Governor-General may appoint a person

other than a magistrate as defined by this Act to hold any
particular inquiry or other proceeding under this Act, and
such person shall for the purposes of such inquiry be
deemed to be a magistrate as defined by this Act.

46. The Governor-General, a Minister or a statutory
corporation may appoint any person to execute and do any
act or thing on behalf of such Governor-General, Minister
or statutory corporation, as the case may be, for the
purposes of this Act.

47. All money paid into the Treasury under this Act
and unclaimed for twenty years after payment in shall be
carried to the Consolidated Fund and all claims thereto
shall be for ever barred.

48. The Rules Committee under section 75 of the
Supreme Court Act may make rules dealing with the
matters following —

(a) notices;
(b) payment into and out of the Treasury;
(c) procedure and practice under this Act;
(d) special cases;

Powers of court
in special case.

Amended or
substituted
award.

Evidence and
production of
documents.

Power of
Governor-
General to
appoint a person
other than a
magistrate for an
inquiry.
Appointment of
agents.

34 of 1964, s.

Unclaimed
money to go to
Consolidated
Fund after 20
years.

Rules of court.
Ch. 53.

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(e) court fees and attorneys’ and counsels’ costs
and fees;

(f) prescribing forms of agreements, conveyances
and other documents for use under this Act.

49. Subject to the provisions of section 48 of this
Act, the Minister may make rules for generally carrying into
effect the objects of this Act.

50. No claim for compensation in respect of any
land which may be entered upon, surveyed, set out,
appropriated or taken under the authority of this Act, shall
be admitted or entertained unless the same shall be made
within twelve months after the day on which such land
shall have been so entered upon, surveyed, set out,
appropriated or taken, as the case may be.

51. Nothing in this Act contained shall be construed
or deemed to confer upon any person any right to
compensation in respect of any land resumed in the name
of Her Majesty as required for roads or other public works
in pursuance of any condition, reservation or power of
resumption contained in any grant of Crown land.

52. Any person who assaults or beats or obstructs or
aids or abets any person to assault or beat, or obstruct an
assessor or any other person acting in the execution of any
duty under this Act, shall be liable to a penalty of one
hundred dollars.

53. All penalties imposed by this Act shall be
recovered in a summary manner before a stipendiary and
circuit magistrate, or before any magistrate to whom the
Attorney-General shall issue his fiat for the purpose.

46 of 1964, Sch.;

Rules by
Minister.
46 of 1964, Sch.;
E.L.A.O., 1974.

Claim for
compensation
when barred.

Act not to extend
to Crown land
resumed for
roads, etc.

Offences.

5 of 1987, s. 2.

Recovery of
penalties.

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