HL Deb 10 August 1896 vol 44 cc319-22

(1.) The Land Law Acts, except Section seven of the Land Law (Ireland) Act, 1881 (which amends the Landlord and Tenant (Ireland) Act, 1870, in respect of compensation for improvements), shall not apply to the following tenancies:— (a.) To a tenancy in any holding which is not substantially either agricultural or pastoral in its character, or partly agricultural and partly pastoral, or the main object of the letting of which was for a residence: (b.) To a tenancy in any holding which substantially consists of—

  1. (i) land being or forming part of a home farm; or
  2. (ii) land which when first demised was demesne, and which the provisions of the contract of tenancy, or the circumstances of the case, show was intended to be preserved as demesne or resumed as demesne by the landlord; or
  3. (iii) land incorporated in a demesne by the tenant, and forming part of a demesne at the time the application to fix a fair rent is made:
(c.) To a tenancy in a holding (other than a holding let to be used wholly or mainly for a dairy farm) which is let to be used wholly or mainly for the purpose of pasture—
  1. (i) if it is of the rateable value of upwards of fifty pounds; or
  2. (ii) if the tenant does not actually reside on the holding, or where the holding adjoins or is ordinarily used with another holding, then on the latter holding.

(2.) Where a distinct and substantive part of the property held under one demise is demesne land, or is not agricultural or pastoral in its character, or is an incorporeal hereditament, and the court consider that that part is not the substantial part of such property, the court may, if they are of opinion that, apart from the fixing of a fair rent, the separation of the property into two parts will not diminish the value of the landlord's interest therein, direct that that part shall thenceforth be, or, if it is an incorporeal hereditament, be treated as, a separate holding, and shall, unless the tenancy has expired, be held at such rent during the continuance of the tenancy as the court determine to be the proper proportion of the rent reserved by the demise, and the court may fix a fair rent for the remainder of the property held under the demise, and the said Acts shall apply to that remainder as if it were a separate holding.

(3.) Where a holding is held by joint tenants or tenants in common, and such tenants have worked and occupied separate portions thereof, and the division of the holding was made prior to the passing of the Land Law (Ireland) Act, 1887, the court, on the application of any joint tenant or tenant in common, may, if it think that it is just, and that no portion of the holding, when divided, will be of less than ten pounds valuation, fix a fair rent upon the portion of the holding so separately occupied.

(4.) Nothing in this section shall extend to any holding in respect of which a judicial rent has been fixed before the commencement of this Act.


moved to omit the words "during the continuance of the tenancy."

Amendment agreed to.


moved the following proviso to Sub-section (2):— Provided, however, that the tenancy in respect of the portion so treated as a separate holding shall be determinable at any time by the landlord on giving six calendar months' previous notice of his intention so to do. The object of the proviso was to provide that if a holding, partly agricultural and partly non-agricultural, had been divided and, therefore, one part of it was outside the Act, it should be in the power of the landlord, on giving six months' notice, to resume possession of that part which was not under the Land Acts.


said he was afraid they could not accept the Amendment. If the tenancy was a tenancy-at-will the landlord could, of course, terminate the tenancy of that part of the holding which the Court decided not to be within the Land Acts; but if the tenancy were a leasehold then they thought that the lease should run on, and that the tenant should hold both that part of the holding which came under the Acts and that which did not come under the Acts, according to the terms of his covenant.

Amendment by leave, withdrawn.


had an Amendment on the Paper to leave out Subsection (3), but before his Lordship moved,


said the House was rather in a singular position with regard to this sub-section. He was told that it was, as a matter of fact, struck out of the Bill in Committee, but it was printed in its place in the Bill. He presumed they must regard it as not, strictly speaking, in the Bill. He had, however, a suggestion to make to the noble Earl, and that was that they should reinstate the sub-section in the Bill, striking out the words, "that no portion of the holding, when divided, will be of less than £10 valuation," and then putting in at the end of the clause, with the object of protecting the landlord in the manner which the noble Earl desired, these words:— Provided that such order fixing a fair rent shall not have the effect of increasing the liability of the landlord for rates and taxes in respect of the holding, and such order shall not he made if the Court are of opinion that the interests of the landlord in the holding will lie injuriously affected thereby otherwise than by the mere fixing of a fair rent. It seemed to him that these words gave the landlord the full amount of protection which the noble Earl could desire for him.


acknowledged the courtesy of the noble Marquess for taking into consideration the mistake made in reference to this sub-section. He would just like to say that, though that was one of the objections put before him as to the clause, it was not the chief one, which was the permission to subdivide at all. If he was in order, he would suggest that the consideration of the matter might be put off for an hour or two, or until a later stage of the Bill. [Ministerial cries of "No, no!"] Under all the circumstances he would be disposed to accept the proposition made—["hear, hear!"]—but he thought the words "consent in writing" by the landlord might be inserted. ["No, no!"] Did he understand the noble Marquess to consent to this?


said it would be impossible to accept those words. As he was advised, the clause was intended to deal with cases of joint tenancy where the tenants held in a sort of rundale, and where a de facto division of the holding had taken place, each tenant taking a section of the holding but remaining liable for the rent of the whole. It would be an unheard-of thing that the consent of the landlord in writing to the division of the holding should be obtained. If that was stipulated, the effect would be to render the clause absolutely nugatory.


said that, as he understood the clause, it would only come into effect where tenants occupied separate portions. He did not understand that rundale would be affected by it.


said the original tenancy would have been a joint tenancy, and the tenants would subsequently have divided it among themselves.


appealed to the Government to postpone the sub-section to a later stage in order that it might be more fully understood. ["No, no!"]


also made an appeal that the matter might be postponed.


put the Question that the sub-section, as amended, be reinstated, and declared "The Contents have it." Immediately several Lords exclaimed, "Not-content!" and, after the lapse of a few seconds,


addressing the Earl of Arran, said, "Do I understand the noble Lord to challenge a Division?"



The House was cleared for a Division, but, on the Question again being put,


declared, "The Contents have it."

Sub-section ordered to be re-inserted.

Clause 6,—