REGISTERED LAND

CHAPTER 58:01
REGISTERED LAND

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

   SECTION

PART I
PRELIMINARY

   1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation

   3.   Reconciliation with other laws

PART II
ORGANIZATION AND ADMINISTRATION

Division 1—Land Registries and Officers

   4.   Registration districts

   5.   Land registries

   6.   Appointment of officers

   7.   General powers of Registrar

   8.   Indemnity of officers

   9.   Seal of registry

Division 2—The Land Register

   10.   The Land Register

   11.   Compilation of Land Register

   11A.   Transitional provisions relating to rights, etc., acquired under charges etc., registered under Cap. 58:02

   12.   Manner of registration

   13.   Cancellation of obsolete entries

   14.   New editions of register

Division 3—Maps, Parcels and Boundaries

   15.   Registry map

   16.   Power to alter registry map and to prepare new editions

   17.   Further surveys

   18.   General boundaries

   19.   Fixed boundaries

   20.   Maintenance of boundary features

   21.   Interference with boundary features

   22.   Combinations and subdivisions

   23.   Change of boundaries

PART III
EFFECT OF REGISTRATION

   24.   Interest conferred by registration

   24A.   Effect of registration with provisional title

   25.   Rights of proprietor

   26.   Voluntary transfer

   27.   Overriding interests

   27A.   Conversion of provisional title

   28.   Entries to constitute actual notice

PART IV
SEARCHES AND CERTIFICATES

   29.   Searches and copies

   29A.   Land certificates and certificates of lease

   29B.   Production of certificate

   29C.   Lost or destroyed certificates

   30.   Evidence

PART V
DISPOSITIONS

Division 1—General

   31.   Subsequent dealings

   32.   Protection of persons dealing in registered land

   33.   Additional fee for delayed registration

   34.   Power to compel registration

   35.   Priority of registered interests

   36.   Stay of registration

   37.   Merger of registered interests

Division 2—Leases

   38.   Leases

   39.   Periodic tenancies

   40.   Registration of leases

   41.   Lessor’s consent to dealing with lease

   42.   Lease of charged land

   43.   Duration of leases

   44.   Future leases

   45.   Holding over

   46.   Agreements implied in leases on part of lessor

   47.   Agreements implied in leases on part of lessee

   48.   Meaning of “in repair”

   49.   Lessor’s right of forfeiture

   50.   Effect of forfeiture on subleases

   51.   Notice before forfeiture

   52.   Relief against forfeiture

   53.   Variation and extension of leases

   54.   Substitution of leases

   55.   Subleases

   56.   Surrender of leases

   57.   Determination of leases

   58.   Voluntary registration of leases

   59.   Mining leases

Division 3—Charges

   60.   Form and effect of charges

   61.   Second or subsequent charges

   62.   Presumption that money paid is interest

   63.   Agreements implied in charges

   64.   Chargee’s consent to transfer

   65.   Variation of charges

   66.   Right of redemption

   67.   Right of third party to transfer of charge

   68.   Chargee’s remedies

   69.   Appointment, powers, remuneration and duties of receiver

   70.   Chargee’s powers of leasing

   71.   Power of sale

   72.   Application of purchase money

   73.   Variation of powers

   74.   No right of entry into possession or foreclosure

   75.   Discharge of charge

   76.   Satisfaction of charge

   77.   Further advances

   78.   Consolidation

Division 4—Transfers

   79.   Transfer

   80.   Certificates as to payment of rates

   81.   Transfer to take effect immediately

   82.   Conditions repugnant to interest transferred

   83.   Transfer of part

   84.   Transfer of lease

   85.   Effect of transfer on agreements in lease

   86.   Transfer subject to charge

   87.   Transfer subject to lease

   88.   Transfer of unregistered lease

Division 5—Easements, Restrictive Agreements, Profits and Licences

   89.   Easements

   90.   Restrictive agreements

   91.   Profits

   92.   Release and extinguishment of easements, profits and restrictive agreements

   93.   Discharge and modification of easements, profits and restrictive agreements

   94.   Licences

Division 6—Co-proprietorship and Partition

   95.   Registration of more than one proprietor

   96.   Characteristics of joint proprietorship and severance thereof

   97.   Characteristics of proprietorship in common

   98.   Partition of land owned in common

   99.   When Registrar may order sale

   100.   Procedure where share small

   101.   Partition of family land

Division 7—Succession on Death

   102.   Succession on death

PART VI
INSTRUMENTS

   103.   Form of instruments

   104.   Execution of instruments

   105.   Verification of execution

   106.   Stamps

   107.   Disposal of instruments

   108.   Minors

   109.   Agents and persons under disability

   110.   Gift to person under disability

   111.   Powers of attorney

   112.   Effect of registered power of attorney

PART VII
TRANSMISSIONS, TRUSTS AND FAMILY REPRESENTATION

   113.   Transmission on death of joint proprietor

   114.   Transmission on death of sole proprietor or proprietor in common

   115.   Effect of transmission by death

   116.   Transmission on bankruptcy

   117.   Liquidation

   118.   Transmission in other cases

   119.   Trusts

   120.   Co-trustees

   121.   Family representation

   122.   Replacement of family representative

PART VIII
RESTRAINTS ON DISPOSITION

Division 1—Inhibitions

   123.   Power of court to inhibit registered dealings

   124.   Effect of inhibition

   125.   Cancellation of inhibition

Division 2—Cautions

   126.   Lodging of cautions

   127.   Notice and effect of caution

   128.   Withdrawal and removal of caution

   129.   Second caution in respect of same matter

   130.   Wrongful cautions

Division 3—Restrictions

   131.   Restrictions

   132.   Notice and effect of restriction

   133.   Removal and variation of restrictions

PART IX
PRESCRIPTION

   134.   Acquisition of land by prescription

   135.   Principles of possession

   136.   Procedure on application

   137.   Acquisition of easements and profits by prescription

PART X
RECTIFICATION AND INDEMNITY

   138.   Rectification by Registrar

   139.   Rectification by court

   140.   Right to indemnity

   141.   Amount of indemnity

   142.   Procedure for claiming indemnity

   143.   Recovery of indemnity paid

   144.   Errors in survey

PART XI
DECISIONS OF REGISTRAR AND APPEALS

   145.   Power of Registrar to state case

   146.   Appeals

   147.   Effect of appeal on disposition

   148.   Appeal rules

PART XII
MISCELLANEOUS

   149.   Addresses

   150.   Service of notices

   151.   Meaning of “opportunity of being heard”

   152.   Offences

   153.   Fees

   154.   Recovery of fees and expenses

   155.   Enforcement of Registrar’s orders for payment

   156.   Jurisdiction of courts

   157.   Rules

   158.   Saving of rights

   159.   Act to bind Government

   160.   Other law

6 of 1967
32 of 1970
18 of 1971
1 of 1981

An Act to make provision for the Registration of Title to Land, and for dealings in land so registered, and for purposes connected therewith

[9TH MAY 1967]

PART I
PRELIMINARY

1.   Short title

    This Act may be cited as the Registered Land Act.

2.   Interpretation

   In this Act, except where the context otherwise requires—

   “Allocation Officer” and “Allocation Record” have the meanings assigned to “Allocation Officer” and “Allocation Record” in the Customary Land (Development) Act;

   “application book” means the application book kept under section 5 (d);

   “charge” means an interest in land securing the payment of money or money’s worth or the fulfilment of any condition, and includes a subcharge and the instrument creating a charge;

   “chargee” means the proprietor of a charge;

   “chargor” means the proprietor of charged land or of a charged lease or charge;

   “court”, save as is otherwise expressly provided, means the High Court or a subordinate court held by a Resident Magistrate;

   “dealing” includes disposition and transmission;

   “disposition” means any act by a proprietor whereby his rights in or over his land, lease or charge are affected, but does not include an agreement to transfer, lease or charge;

   “easement” means a right attached to a piece of land which allows the proprietor of the piece either to use the land of another in a particular manner or to restrict its use to a particular extent, but does not include a profit;

   “to file” means to place in the relative piece file;

   “guardian” means any person responsible (whether under customary law or otherwise) for protecting the interests of any person who is under a disability, whether by reason of age, unsoundness of mind or any other cause;

   “incumbrance” means a lease, charge, easement, restrictive agreement or profit;

   “instrument” includes any deed, judgment, decree, order or other document requiring or capable of registration under this Act;

   “interest in land” includes ownership of land;

   “land” includes land covered with water, all things growing on land and buildings and other things permanently affixed to land;

   “Land Register” means the Land Register compiled under Division 2 of Part II;

   “lease” means the grant with or without consideration, by the proprietor of land of the right to the exclusive possession of his land, and includes the right so granted and the instrument granting it, and also includes a sublease, but does not include an agreement for lease;

   “lessee” means the holder of a lease;

   “lessor” means the proprietor of leased land;

   “licence” means a permission given by the proprietor of land or a lease which allows the licensee to do some act in relation to the land or the land comprised in the lease which would otherwise be a trespass, but does not include an easement or a profit;

   “piece” means an area of land separately delineated on the registry map and given a number;

   “periodic tenancy” means a tenancy from year to year, half-year to half-year, quarter to quarter, month to month, week to week or the like;

   “personal representative” means executor of the will or administrator of the estate or part of the estate;

   “private land” bears the same meaning as in section 2 of the Land Act;

   “profit” means the right to go on the land of another and take a particular substance from that land;

   “proprietor” means the person registered under this Act as the owner of land or a lease or a charge;

   “the register” means the leaf of the land register kept in respect of a piece of land or of a registered lease;

   “to register” means to make an entry, note or record in the register, and “registered”, “unregistered” and “registration” bear a corresponding meaning;

   “Registrar” means—

   (a)   the Chief Land Registrar or the Deputy Chief Land Registrar, appointed under section 6; or

   (b)   where a Land Registrar or an Assistant Land Registrar has been authorized under section 6 (4) to exercise or perform any particular power or duty, that Land Registrar or Assistant Land Registrar so far as concerns that power or duty;

   “registration district” means a land registration district constituted under section 4;

   “registration section” means a division of a registration district established under section 15 (3);

   “registry” means a land registry established under section 5;

   “registry map” means the map or series of maps referred to in section 15;

   “transfer” means the passing of land, a lease or a charge by act of the parties and not by operation of law, and also the instrument by which such passing is effected;

   “transmission” means the passing of land, a lease or a charge from one person to another by operation of law on death or insolvency or otherwise howsoever, and includes the compulsory acquisition of land under any written law;

   “trustee” includes personal representative;

   “valuable consideration” includes marriage, but does not include a nominal consideration.

3.   Reconciliation with other laws

   Except as otherwise provided in this Act, no other written law and no practice or procedure relating to land shall apply to land registered under this Act so far as it is inconsistent with this Act:

   Provided that, except where a contrary intention appears, nothing contained in this Act shall be construed as permitting any dealing which is forbidden by the express provisions of any other written law or as overriding any provision of any other written law requiring the consent or approval of any authority to any dealing.

PART II
ORGANIZATION AND ADMINISTRATION

Division 1—Land Registries and Officers

4.   Registration Districts

   (1) For the purposes of this Act, the Minister may, by order, constitute a part or parts of Malawi a land registration district or land registration districts and may at any time vary the limits of any such district.

   (2) The Minister in such order may exclude from registration any kind of land or dealing which he considers cannot conveniently be registered in any such district.

5.   Land registries

   There shall be maintained in each registration district a land registry, in which there shall be kept—

   (a)   a register, to be known as the land register, in accordance with Division 2 of this Part;

   (b)   a copy of the registry map;

   (c)   piece files containing the instruments which support subsisting entries in the land register and any filed plans and documents;

   (d)   a book, to be known as the application book, in which shall be kept a record of all applications numbered consecutively in the order in which they are presented to the registry;

   (e)   an index, in alphabetical order, of the names of the proprietors of land, leases and charges, showing the numbers of the pieces in which they are interested; and

   (f)   a register and a file of powers of attorney.

6.   Appointment of officers

   (1) There shall be appointed a Chief Land Registrar, who shall be responsible for administering the land registries in accordance with this Act.

   (2) There may be appointed a Deputy Chief Land Registrar and so many Land Registrars and Assistant Land Registrars as may be necessary for the carrying out of this Act.

   (3) The Deputy Chief Land Registrar shall have all the powers and may perform all or any of the duties conferred and imposed on the Chief Land Registrar by this Act or by any rules made thereunder, except the power of authorization conferred by subsection (4).

   (4) The Chief Land Registrar may in writing authorize any Land Registrar or Assistant Land Registrar to exercise or to perform all or any of the powers or duties conferred or imposed on the Chief Land Registrar by this Act or by any rules made thereunder, and may at any time revoke or vary any such authorization:

   Provided that no such authorization shall be deemed to divest the Chief Land Registrar of any of his powers or duties, and he may, if he thinks fit, exercise and perform all his powers or duties notwithstanding any such authorization.

   (5) All officers exercising powers or performing duties conferred or imposed by this Act shall be subject to the general or special directions of the Minister.

7.   General powers of Registrar

   The Registrar may exercise the following powers in addition to any other powers conferred on him by this Act, that is to say—

   (a)   he may require any person to produce any instrument, certificate or other document or plan relating to the land, lease or charge in question, and that person shall produce the same;

   (b)   he may summon any person to appear and give any information or explanation respecting land, a lease or a charge, or any instrument, certificate or other document or plan relating to the land, lease or charge in question, and such person shall appear and give such information or explanation;

   (c)   he may refuse to proceed with any registration if any instrument, certificate or other document, plan, information or explanation required to be produced or given is withheld or any act required to be performed under this Act is not performed;

   (d)   he may administer oaths or take a declaration in lieu thereof, and may require that any proceedings, information or explanation affecting registration shall be verified on oath or by statutory declaration;

   (e)   he may order that the costs, charges and expenses incurred by him or by any person in connexion with any investigation or hearing held by him for the purposes of this Act shall be borne and paid by such persons and in such proportions as he may think fit.

8.   Indemnity of officers

   The Chief Land Registrar shall not, nor shall any other officer of the Registry, be liable to any action or proceedings for or in respect of any act or matter done or omitted to be done in good faith in the exercise or supposed exercise of the powers of this Act, or any rules made thereunder.

9.   Seal of registry

   Each registry shall have a seal, and every instrument purporting to bear the imprint of such a seal shall be received in evidence and, unless the contrary is shown, shall be deemed without further proof to be issued by or under the direction of the Chief Land Registrar.

Division 2—The Land Register

10.   The Land Register

   (1) The Land Register shall comprise a register in respect of every piece required by this Act to be registered, and a register in respect of each lease required by this Act to be registered.

   (2) Each register shall show—

   (i)   whether the land is public land or private land; and

   (ii)   where the land is private land, and the Adjudication Record prepared under the Adjudication of Title Act, 1971, so records, that the title is provisional.

   (3) Each register shall be divided into three sections as follows—

   A—the property section, containing a brief description of the land or lease, together with particulars of its appurtenances and, where the title is provisional, of the information recorded in the Adjudication Record under section 16 (1) (d) of the Adjudication of Title Act, 1971, and a reference to the registry map and filed plan, if any;

   B—the proprietorship section, containing the name and, where possible, the address of the proprietor and a note of any inhibition, caution or restriction affecting his right of disposition;

   C—the incumbrances section, containing a note of every incumbrance.

   (4) No entry shall be required in the proprietorship section of the register relating to any piece which is described as public land.

11.   Compilation of Land Register

   (1) Whenever an Allocation Record has become final under section 27 of the Customary Land (Development) Act and the Allocation Officer has delivered the Allocation Record to the Land Registrar or Assistant Land Registrar in charge of the registration district concerned, such Land Registrar or Assistant Land Registrar shall prepare a register for each piece of intended private land, intended public land and recorded customary land shown in the Allocation Record and for any lease which requires registration and shall register therein any of the particulars in the Allocation Record which require registration.

   (2) Whenever an Adjudication Record has become final under section 23 of the Adjudication of Title Act, 1971, and the Adjudication Officer has delivered the Adjudication Record to the Registrar, the Registrar shall prepare a register for each piece shown in the Adjudication Record and for any lease required to be registered, and shall register therein any of the particulars in the Adjudication Record which require registration.

11A.   Transitional provisions relating to rights, etc., acquired under charges, etc., registered under Cap. 58:02

    Nothing in this Act shall affect the rights, liabilities and remedies of the parties under any mortgage, charge, equitable mortgage or other form of security which, immediately before the registration under this Act of the land affected thereby, was registered under the Deeds Registration Act, and such rights liabilities and remedies shall be exercisable and enforceable in accordance with the law which was applicable thereto immediately before the registration of the land under this Act.

12.   Manner of registration

   (1) The first registration of any piece shall be effected by the preparation of a register or registers in accordance with section 10 and the signing by the Registrar of the particulars of the proprietorship and the particulars of incumbrances, if any appearing thereon.

   (2) Every subsequent registration shall be effected by an entry in the land register in such form as the Chief Land Registrar may from time to time direct, and by the cancellation of the entry, if any, which it replaces.

   (3) No subsequent registration shall be made in regard to land or a lease of land within a Land Control Division declared under the Local Land Boards Act unless the Registrar is satisfied that the dealing in such land or a lease which requires registration has been given the consent of a Local Land Board or that no consent is required or a general consent has been given by the Minister in accordance with such Act. The Registrar shall file a copy of any consent given by a Local Land Board.

13.   Cancellation of obsolete entries

   The Registrar may cancel any entry in the register which he is satisfied has ceased to have any effect.

14.   New editions of register

   The Registrar at any time may open a new edition of a register showing only subsisting entries and omitting therefrom all entries that have ceased to have any effect.

Division 3—Maps, Parcels and Boundaries

15.   Registry map

   (1) The Director of Surveys shall, as soon as practicable, prepare and thereafter maintain a map or series of maps, to be called the registry map, for every registration district.

   (2) Where for any registration district, or for a part thereof, no map has been so prepared, the Registrar may himself cause a map or series of maps to be prepared for that registration district, or for that part, and thereafter maintained, and such maps or series of maps shall be deemed to be the registry map until the Director of Surveys prepares a map or maps under subsection (1) and delivers it to the Registrar.

   (3) On the registry map, every registration district shall be divided into registration sections, which shall be identified by distinctive names, and the registration sections may be further divided into blocks, which shall be given distinctive number or letters or combinations of numbers and letters.

   (4) The pieces in each registration section or block shall be numbered consecutively, and the name of the registration section and the number and letter of the block, if any, and the number of the piece shall together be a sufficient reference to any piece.

   (5) The Registrar may, at any time, cause registration sections or blocks to be combined or divided, or cause their boundaries to be varied.

   (6) A plan may be filed in respect of a particular piece to augment the information available from the registry map, and the filing of the plan shall be noted in the register.

16.   Power to alter registry map and to prepare new editions

   (1) Where the Registrar is maintaining the registry map he may, or in any other case he may require the Director of Surveys to, correct the line or position of any boundary shown on the registry map with the agreement of every person shown by the register to be affected by the correction, but no such correction shall be effected except on the instructions of the Registrar in writing in the prescribed form, to be known as a mutation form, and the mutation form shall be filed:

   Provided that the Registrar or the Director, as the case may be, may correct an error in the registry map which does not affect the interest of any person.

   (2) Whenever the boundary of a piece is altered on the registry map, the piece number shall be cancelled and the piece shall be given a new number.

   (3) Where the Registrar is maintaining the registry map he may, or in any other case he may require the Director of Surveys to, prepare a new edition of the registry map or any part thereof, and there may be omitted from the new map any matter which the Registrar considers obsolete.

17.   Further surveys

   The Registrar may cause a survey to be made for any purpose connected with this Act, but, where the registry map is maintained by the Director of Surveys such survey shall be used to amend the registry map only if it is approved by the Director of Surveys.

18.   General boundaries

   (1) Except where, under section 19, it is noted in the register that the boundaries of a piece have been fixed, the registry map and any filed plan shall be deemed to indicate the general boundaries only of the piece.

   (2) Where any uncertainty or dispute arises as to the position of any boundary, the Registrar, on the application of any interested party, shall, on such evidence as the Registrar considers relevant, determine and indicate the position of the uncertain or disputed boundary.

   (3) Where the Registrar exercises the power conferred by subsection (2), he shall make a note to that effect on the registry map and in the register and shall file such plan or description as may be necessary to record his decision.

   (4) No court shall entertain any action or other proceedings relating to a dispute as to the boundaries of registered land unless the boundaries have been determined as provided in this section.

   (5) Except where, as aforesaid, it is noted in the register that the boundaries of a piece have been fixed, the court or the Registrar may, in any proceedings concerning the piece, receive such evidence as to its boundaries as it or he thinks fit.

19.   Fixed boundaries

   (1) If the Registrar in his discretion considers it desirable to indicate on a filed plan, or otherwise to define in the register, the precise position of the boundaries of a piece or any parts thereof, or if any interested person makes application to the Registrar, the Registrar shall give notice to the owners and occupiers of the land adjoining the boundaries in question of the intention to ascertain and fix the boundaries.

   (2) The Registrar shall, after giving all persons appearing by the register to be affected an opportunity of being heard, cause to be defined by survey the precise position of the boundaries in question, file a plan containing the necessary particulars and make a note in the register that the boundaries have been fixed, and thereupon the plan shall be deemed to define accurately the boundaries of the piece.

   (3) Where the dimensions and boundaries of a piece are defined by reference to a plan verified by the Director of Surveys, a note shall be made in the register, and the piece shall be deemed to have had its boundaries fixed under this section.

20.   Maintenance of boundary features

   (1) Every proprietor of land shall maintain in good order the fences, hedges, stones, pillars, walls, survey marks and other features which demarcate his boundaries, whether established pursuant to the requirements of any other written law or pursuant to an order of the Registrar or of the proprietor’s own accord.

   (2) The Registrar may in writing order the demarcation within a specified time of any boundary in such permanent manner as he may direct, and any person who fails to comply with such an order shall be liable to a fine of £10.

   (3) The Registrar may in writing order which of adjoining proprietors shall be responsible for the care and maintenance of any feature demarcating a common boundary, and any proprietor so ordered to be responsible who allows the boundary feature or any part of it to fall into disrepair or to be destroyed or removed shall be liable to a fine of £10.

21.   Interference with boundary features

   (1) Any person who defaces, removes, injures or otherwise impairs any boundary feature or any part of it unless authorized to do so by the Registrar shall be liable to a fine of £100 and to imprisonment for two months.

   (2) Any person convicted of such an offence, whether or not any penalty therefor is imposed upon him, shall be liable to pay the cost of restoring the boundary feature, and such cost shall be recoverable as a civil debt by any person responsible under section 20 for the maintenance of the feature.

22.   Combinations and subdivisions

   (1) Where contiguous pieces are owned by the same proprietor and are subject in all respects to the same rights and obligations, the Registrar, on application by the proprietor, may combine these pieces by closing the registers relating to them and opening a new register or registers in respect of the piece or pieces resulting from the combination.

   (2) Upon the application of the proprietor of a piece for the division of his piece into two or more pieces, the Registrar shall effect the division by closing the register relating to the piece and opening new registers in respect of the new pieces resulting from the division, and recording in the new registers all subsisting entries appearing in the closed register:

   Provided that—

   (a)   nothing shall be done under this section which would be inconsistent with this Act or any other written law; and

   (b)   no piece which is subject to a lease shall be subdivided so as to subdivide the land comprised in such lease.

23.   Change of boundaries

   (1) The Registrar may, on the application of the proprietors of contiguous pieces who are desirous of changing the layout of their pieces, and with the consent in writing of all other persons in whose names any right or interest in such pieces is registered and of any cautioner, cancel the registers relating to such pieces and prepare new registers in accordance with the revised layout:

   Provided that, where in the opinion of the Registrar a proposed change of boundaries involves substantial changes of ownership which should be effected by transfers without invoking this section, he may in his discretion refuse to effect such change.

   (2) Upon any such change of boundaries, the new pieces shall, notwithstanding section 31, vest in the persons in whose names they are registered.

PART III
EFFECT OF REGISTRATION

24.   Interest conferred by registration

    Subject to this Act—

   (a)   the registration of a person as the proprietor of private land shall confer on that person the rights of owner of that land as private land;

   (b)   the registration of a person as the proprietor of a lease shall vest in that person the leasehold interest described in the lease, subject to all implied and expressed agreements, liabilities and incidents of the lease:

   Provided that if the title of the lessor is provisional the enforcement of any estate, right or interest affecting or in derogation of the right of the lessor to grant the lease shall not be prejudiced.

24A.   Effect of registration with provisional title

    Subject to this Act, the registration of any person as the proprietor of a piece of private land with a provisional title shall not affect or prejudice the enforcement of any estate, right or interest adverse to or in derogation of the title of that proprietor arising before the date of such registration, or under such instrument or in such other manner as is specified in the register of that piece, but save as aforesaid, such registration shall have the same effect as the registration of a person without such qualification.

25.   Rights of proprietor

   The rights of a proprietor, whether acquired on first registration or whether acquired subsequently for valuable consideration or by an order of court, shall be rights not liable to be defeated except as provided in this Act and the Land Act and shall be held by the proprietor, free from all other interests and claims whatsoever, but subject—

   (a)   to the leases, charges and other encumbrances, if any, shown in the register; and

   (b)   unless the contrary is expressed in the register, to such liabilities, rights and interests as affect the same and are declared by section 27 not to require noting on the register:

   Provided that—

      (i)   nothing in this section shall be taken to relieve a proprietor from any duty or obligation to which he is subject as a trustee, or as a family representative;

      (ii)   the registration of any person under this Act shall not confer on him any right to any minerals or to any mineral oils as defined in the Mining Act and the Mining Regulation (Oil) Act respectively unless the same are expressly referred to in the register.

26.   Voluntary transfer

   Every proprietor who has acquired land, a lease or a charge by transfer without valuable consideration shall hold it subject to any unregistered rights or interests subject to which the transferor held it, and subject also to the Bankruptcy Act and to the winding-up provisions of the Companies Act, but save as aforesaid such transfer when registered shall in all respects have the same effect as a transfer for valuable consideration.

27.   Overriding interests

   Unless the country is expressed in the register, all registered land shall be subject to such of the following overriding interests as may for the time being subsist and affect the same, without their being noted on the register—

   (a)   natural rights of water and support;

   (b)   rights of compulsory acquisition, sale, resumption, entry, search and user conferred by any other written law;

   (c)   leases or agreements for leases for a term not exceeding three years, and periodic tenancies within the meaning of section 39;

   (d)   any unpaid rates and other moneys which, without reference to registration under this Act, are expressly declared by any written law to be a charge upon land;

   (e)   rights acquired or in process of being acquired by virtue of any written law relating to the limitation of actions or by prescription;

   (f)   the rights of a person in actual occupation of land or in receipt of the rents and profits thereof save where inquiry is made of such person and the rights are not disclosed;

   (g)   electric supply lines, telephone and telegraph lines or poles, pipelines, aqueducts, canals, weirs and dams erected, constructed or laid in pursuance or by virtue of any power conferred by any written law:

   Provided that the Registrar may direct registration of any of the liabilities, rights and interests hereinbefore defined in such manner as he thinks fit.

27A.   Conversion of provisional title

   (1) Any proprietor registered with provisional title or any other interested person may at any time apply to the Registrar to remove the qualification to which such provisional title is subject, and if the Registrar is satisfied that such qualification has ceased to be of effect, and after such advertisement as the Registrar may think fit, the Registrar shall make an order that the title shall cease to be provisional.

   (2) On the making of an order under subsection (1) or on the application of the proprietor or of any other interested person after the expiration of twelve years from the date of first registration with a provisional title, the Registrar, subject to his being satisfied that the proprietor, or the successive proprietors, has, or have, been in possession during the said period, shall delete the word “provisional” from the register of the piece in question, and thereupon the title to such piece shall cease to be provisional.

28.   Entries to constitute actual notice

   Every proprietor acquiring any land, lease or charge shall be deemed to have had notice of every entry in the register relating to the land, lease or charge.

PART IV
SEARCHES AND CERTIFICATES

29.   Searches and copies

   (1) Any person, on application in the prescribed form, may inspect during official hours of business any register and any sheet of the registry map or any filed instrument or plan.

   (2) Any person, on application in the prescribed form, shall be entitled to a certified copy of any register or part of the registry map or any plan or instrument filed in the registry.

   (3) Any person, on application in the prescribed form, may require an official search in respect of any piece, and the Registrar shall issue a certificate of official search setting forth particulars of the subsisting entries in the register of that piece.

29A.   Land certificates and certificates of lease

   (1) The Registrar shall, if requested by any proprietor of land or of a lease where no land certificate or certificate of lease has been issued, issue to him a land certificate or a certificate of lease, as the case may be, in the prescribed form, showing all subsisting entries in the register affecting that land or lease:

   Provided that—

   (i)   only one such certificate shall be issued in respect of each piece of land or lease;

   (ii)   no certificate of lease shall be issued unless the lease is for a certain period exceeding five years.

   (2) A land certificate or certificate of lease shall be only prima facie evidence of the matters shown therein, and the land or lease shall be subject to all entries in the register whether they are shown on the certificate or not.

   (3) When there is more than one proprietor, the proprietors may concur in nominating one of their number who shall receive the certificate, and failing such concurrence the certificate shall be filed in the registry.

   (4) The fact and date of the issue of a land certificate or certificate of lease shall be noted in the register.

29B.   Production of certificate

   (1) If a land certificate or a certificate of lease has been issued, then, unless it is filed in the registry or the Registrar dispenses with its production, it shall be produced on the registration of any dealing with the land or lease to which it relates.

   (2) A note of such registration shall be made in the certificate or the certificate may be destroyed and a new certificate may be issued to the new proprietor.

   (3) If the disposition is a charge, the certificate shall be filed in the registry until the charge has been discharged.

29C.   Lost or destroyed certificates

   (1) If a land certificate or certificate of lease is lost or destroyed, the proprietor may apply to the Registrar for the issue of a new certificate, and shall produce evidence to satisfy the Registrar of the loss or destruction of the previous certificate.

   (2) The Registrar may require a statutory declaration that the certificate has been lost or destroyed.

   (3) The Registrar, if satisfied with the evidence as to the destruction or loss of the certificate, and after the publication of such notice as he may think fit, may issue a new certificate.

   (4) When a lost certificate is found, it shall be delivered to the Registrar for cancellation.

30.   Evidence

   (1) A certified copy of the register or part of the registry map or any plan or instrument filed in the registry shall be admissible in evidence in all actions and matters and between all persons or parties, to the same extent as the original, and a signature on any such certified copy purporting to be the signature of the Registrar shall be presumed to be the signature of the Registrar until the contrary is proved.

   (2) No legal practitioner, trustee, personal representative or other person in a fiduciary position shall be answerable in respect of any loss occasioned by relying on the accuracy of any such certified copy as is referred to in subsection (1).

   (3) No process for compelling the production of the register, or of the registry map, or of any filed instrument or plan, shall issue from any court except with the leave of that court, which leave shall not be granted if a certified copy will suffice, and any such process, if issued, shall bear thereon a statement that it is issued with the leave of the court.

PART V
DISPOSITIONS

Division 1—General

31.   Subsequent dealings

   (1) No land, lease or charge shall be capable of being disposed of except in accordance with this Act and the Local Land Boards Act and every attempt to dispose of such land, lease or charge otherwise than in accordance with such Acts shall be ineffectual to create, extinguish, transfer, vary or affect any right or interest in the land, lease or charge.

   (2) Nothing in this section shall be construed as preventing any unregistered instrument from operating as a contract, but no action may be brought upon any contract for the disposition of any interest in land unless the agreement upon which such action is brought, or some memorandum or note thereof, is in writing and is signed by the party to be charged or by some other person thereunto by him lawfully authorized:

   Provided that such an action shall not be prevented by reason only of the absence of writing where an intending purchaser or lessee who has performed or is willing to perform his part of a contract—

   (a)   has in part performance of the contract taken possession of the property or any part thereof; or

   (b)   being already in possession, continues in possession in part performance of the contract and has done some other act in furtherance of the contract.

   (3) The death of any person by or on behalf of whom any instrument of dealing has been executed shall not affect the validity thereof, and any such instrument may be presented for registration as if the death had not occurred.

32.   Protection of persons dealing in registered land

   (1) No person dealing or proposing to deal for valuable consideration with a proprietor shall be required or in any way concerned—

   (a)   to inquire or ascertain the circumstances in or the consideration for which such proprietor or any previous proprietor was registered;

   (b)   to see to the application of any consideration or any part thereof; or

   (c)   to search any register kept under the Deeds Registration Act.

   (2) Where the proprietor of land, a lease or a charge is a trustee or family representative, no disposition by such trustee or family representative to a bona fide purchaser for valuable consideration shall be defeasible by reason of the fact that such disposition amounted to a breach of trust or did not conform with custom.

33.   Additional fee for delayed registration

   Where an instrument is presented for registration later than three months from the date of the instrument, then, as well as the registration fee, an additional fee equal to the registration fee shall be payable for each three months which have elapsed since such date:

   Provided that—

   (a)   in no such case shall the sum of the additional fees exceed five times the original registration fee payable;

   (b)   the Chief Land Registrar may, in his sole discretion, remit any additional fee payable by virtue of this section, either in whole or in part.

34.   Power to compel registration

   (1) If he is satisfied that any person, through his wilful default, has failed to register any instrument which is registrable under this Act, the Registrar may by notice in writing order such person to present such instrument for registration, and thereupon the registration fee and any additional fee payable under section 33 shall become due and shall be payable whether the instrument is presented for registration or not.

   (2) Any person who fails to comply with an order of the Registrar under subsection (1) within one month of the service of the notice shall be liable to a fine of £25.

35.   Priority of registered interests

   (1) Subject to subsection (3), interests appearing in the register shall have priority according to the order in which the instruments which led to their registration were presented to the registry, irrespective of the dates of the instruments and notwithstanding that the actual entry in the register may have been delayed:

   Provided that where an instrument is prepared in the registry it shall be deemed to have been presented on the date on which application for its preparation was made to the Registrar.

   (2) Instruments sent by post or under cover and received during the hours of business shall be deemed to be presented simultaneously immediately before the closing of the office on that day, and instruments so sent but received between the time of closing and the next opening of the office for business shall be deemed to be presented simultaneously immediately after such opening.

   (3) Where more than one instrument or application are presented on the same day, or on different days but at so short an interval from each other that in the opinion of the Registrar there is doubt as to their order of priority, the Registrar may refuse registration until he has heard and determined the rights of the parties interested thereunder.

36.   Stay of registration

   (1) Where any person proposing to deal with registered land has, with the consent in writing of the proprietor, applied for an official search and has stated in his application the particulars of the proposed dealing, the registration of any instrument affecting the land to be comprised in or affected by the proposed dealing shall be stayed for a period (hereinafter referred to as the suspension period) of fourteen days from the time at which application for the search was made, and a note shall be made in the register accordingly.

   (2) If within the suspension period a properly executed instrument effecting the proposed dealing is presented for registration, such instrument shall have priority over any other instrument which may be presented for registration during the suspension period, and shall be registered notwithstanding any caution or other entry for which application for registration may have been made during the suspension period.

   (3) Subject to subsection (2), any instrument or document for which application for registration is made during the suspension period other than that effecting the proposed dealing shall be dealt with in the same manner, shall have the same priority and shall be as effectual as if no stay of registration had been obtained.

37.   Merger of registered interests

   Where, upon the registration of a dealing, the interests of—

   (a)   lessor and lessee;

   (b)   chargor and chargee; or

   (c)   the proprietor of a piece which is burdened with an easement, profit or restrictive agreement and the proprietor of a piece which benefits therefrom,

vest in the same proprietor, such interests shall not merge unless a surrender or discharge is registered or the pieces are combined or there is a declaration of merger, which may be contained in the instrument evidencing the dealing.

Division 2—Leases

38.   Leases

   Subject to this Act and any other written law, the proprietor of land may lease the land or part of it to any person for a definite period or for a period which though indefinite may be terminated by the lessor or the lessee, and subject to such conditions as he may think fit:

   Provided that, if only part is leased, the lease shall be accompanied by a plan or other description which the Registrar, in his absolute discretion, deems adequate to identify the part leased.

39.   Periodic tenancies

   (1) Where in any lease the term is not specified and no provision is made for the giving of notice to terminate the tenancy, the lease shall be deemed to have created a periodic tenancy.

   (2) Where the proprietor of land permits the exclusive occupation of the land or any part thereof by any other person at a rent but without any agreement in writing, that occupation shall be deemed to constitute a periodic tenancy.

   (3) The period of a periodic tenancy deemed to be created by this section shall be the period by reference to which the rent is payable, and the tenancy may be determined by either party giving to the other notice, the length of which shall, subject to any other written law, be not less than the period of the tenancy.

40.   Registration of leases

   A lease for a specified period exceeding three years, or a lease which contains an option whereby the lessee may require the lessor to grant him a further term or terms which, together with the original term, exceed three years, shall be in the prescribed form, and shall be completed by—

   (a)   opening a register in respect of the lease in the name of the lessee; and

   (b)   filing the lease; and

   (c)   noting the lease in the encumbrances section of the register of the lessor’s land or lease.

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