HC Deb 28 July 1896 vol 43 cc920-4

(1.) Where an agreement has been made for the purchase of a holding, and the Land Commission consider that the purchase money is adequate in amount, and are satisfied that the persons purporting to be the landlord or his mortgagee has, by himself or by his agent, or a receiver, been, for not less than six years, in receipt of the rents of the holding, and have ascertained in the prescribed manner that the estate in respect of which such person claims as landlord is sufficient to constitute him a person having power to sell under the Land Purchase Acts, he shall be deemed to be prima facie entitled to carry such agreement into effect; but if it appears to the Land Commission that the said estate is a leasehold for years not renewable for ever, they shall cause the prescribed notice to be given to the person who is entitled in reversion on the expiration of the lease. Provided always, that where the Land Commission are satisfied that the landlord has a good and marketable title to the holding they shall not be required to consider whether the purchase money is adequate in amount.

(2.) Where the Land Commission are satisfied that the persons purporting to be the landlord and the tenant are prima facie entitled to carry into effect an agreement for the purchase of a holding, and sanction an advance for the purchase of a holding, they shall, as soon as may be, make a vesting order to the effect that the amount of the advance be paid into the High Court to the prescribed credit to abide the order of that Court, and that on such payment the holding shall vest in the purchaser.

(3.) The vesting order shall be effectual to vest in the purchaser, and charge the purchase annuity on, the fee simple and inheritance of the holding purchased, subject—

  1. (a) to such exceptions and reservations (if any) as may be specified in the agreement 921 for purchase and approved by the Land Commission respecting any right reserved to the vendor or superior landlord as to mines, timber, and fishery, or other rights; and
  2. (b) to any public rights affecting the holding; and
  3. (c) to the provisions of this Act respecting the tenant's interest, and respecting easements, rights, and privileges',
but, save as aforesaid, discharged from all claims, whether estates, charges, reservations, covenants, conditions, interests or incumbrances whatsoever, as well as of Her Majesty the Queen, and any superior landlord, as of all other persons whomsoever (except the tenant and persons claiming under him) who are interested in the holding, whether as incumbrancers or otherwise, and all such claims shall cease as against the holding, and shall attach to the purchase money paid into the High Court in respect of the holding, in like manner as immediately before the sale they attached to the holding.

(4.) The money so paid into the High Court shall he distributed and dealt with by that Court in like manner as if it were the proceeds of the sale of an estate sold under the Landed Estates Court (Ireland) Act. 1858, and for the purpose of such distribution of or dealing with the said money, the High Court may, if it appears to such Court necessary, ascertain the amount or value of such claims as above mentioned, and cause that amount or value to be discharged, redeemed, or satisfied out of the said money.

(5.) The vesting order shall be an order securing an advance within the meaning of Section 18 of the Land Law (Ireland) Act, 1887, and that section shall apply accordingly.

(6.) The interest vested by the vesting order in the purchaser shall be deemed to be a graft upon the previous interest of the tenant in the holding, and shall be subject to any rights or equities arising from its being such graft: Provided that any then subsisting charge on such previous interest which was created under any Act in respect of some improvement on the holding, shall be a charge on the estate vested in the purchaser by the vesting order next after the purchase-annuity.

(7.) If any guarantee deposit is paid or retained, the amount thereof shall be excepted from the payment into the High Court, and held by the Land Commission, but the vesting order shall take effect and the right to the deposit be determined, as if the amount had been paid into that Court with the rest of the purchase money.

(8.) Where the Judicial Commissioner certifies that the estate is free from incumbrances (as defined by the Land Law (Ireland) Act, 1887), and that the purchase money can he paid or distributed immediately, the advance need not be paid into the High Court, and this section shall apply in like manner as if it were so paid.

MR. VICTOR CAVENDISH (Derbyshire, W.) moved to omit Clause 22, in order to obtain an explanation from the Government with regard to its provisions. So far as he understood the clause, its operation would have the effect of discouraging landlords from endeavouring to make sales. He could not imagine that that was the intention, for the whole object of Unionist policy had been to encourage purchase.


said that up to this time an agreement for sale made in these Courts was not carried out until the landlord's title was ascertained to be good and marketable. The result was that a delay of two, three, and sometimes four years took place between the time the tenant signed the agreement and the time when he got his conveyance. During that period he was not bound to pay his rent, but he paid four per cent., and then, in the event of the purchase going off, he was remitted to his original right. The object of the clause was to provide that the Court should not investigate, in the first place, whether the landlord had really a good title or not. If it found that he had a prima facie good title, if it found him dealing as owner with a holding for a certain time, the Court should then validate the agreement between him and the tenant, and should sell to the tenant, vest the property in him, have the purchase money lodged in Court, and allow any question affecting the landlord's title to be fought out over the purchase money and not over the land. But that meant that everything would be expedited and a great deal of the costs be saved to the landlord. The only inconvenience he might possibly experience was that his money might be locked up for some time in Court. But even on that point he wished to point out that the moment an incumbrance was ascertained to be a valid incumbrance it could in many cases be immediately paid off and only the balance after payment retained in Court.


doubted whether the clause, without some modification, would meet the real interests of both parties. He thought it was, to a large extent, a great improvement, but he believed that unless proof of title in Court was simplified——


was understood to say it would be simplified.


said that would, to a large extent, meet his point.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

MR. GERALD BALFOUR moved, in Sub-section (1). after the words "satisfied that," to insert the words" the person purporting to be."

Amendment agreed to.

MR. GERALD BALFOUR moved, in Sub-section (1), after the words "title to, "to insert the words" his interest in."

Amendment agreed to.

MR. MAURICE HEALY moved, in paragraph (a) Sub-section (3), to leave out the words "as to mines, timber and fishery, or other rights."

Amendment agreed to.

MR. T. M. HEALY moved, in paragraph (a), Sub-section (3), after the word "rights," to insert— in any case in which the Land Commission is satisfied in the prescribed manner that the effect of such reservation was explained to and understood by the purchaser, or the purchaser is represented by a solicitor other than the vendor's solicitor. He remarked it was understood that the Government had undertaken to provide for this point. He should be quite satisfied that, where the tenant had a separate solicitor, he should have no protection, but where a tenant had no separate solicitor, he should be protected by the Land Commissioners being satisfied that he knew of and fully understood the reservation.

Amendment agreed to.

MR. KNOX moved to add at the end of the clause:— (9.) "The Land Commission or the High Court shall not in any case be empowered to make any further requisitions as to title than a purchaser would be entitled to make under the Vendor and Purchaser Act, 1874, or any Act amending the same.

Amendment agreed to.

MR. GERALD BALFOUR moved, after the Amendment last inserted, to add:— The provisions of this section and of any other enactment in this Act with respect to purchase money and the payment thereof into court or otherwise shall, where the advance is made by means of guaranteed land stock, apply to that stock and to transfer thereof into court or otherwise, and enactments relating to the payment shall be construed accordingly.'

Amendment agreed to.

Clause 24,—