1.   Short title

   2.   Application

   3.   Interpretation

   4.   Establishment, membership and protection of tribunals

   5.   Proceedings of tribunal

   6.   General powers of tribunal

   7.   Orders of tribunal

   8.   Appeals

   9.   Statutory tenancies

   10.   Implied covenants in statutory tenancies

   11.   Powers of tribunal to vary terms of statutory tenancies

   12.   Order for possession of premises

   13.   Determination of statutory tenancy by tenant

   14.   Jurisdiction of courts

   15.   General law of landlord and tenant applicable

   16.   Penalties

   17.   Power of High Court to make Rules

   18.   Duration of Act


43 of 1955

An Act to Make Provision for the Temporary Control of Certain Premises and for Purposes connected therewith

[1ST JANUARY 1956]

1.   Short title

   This Act may be cited as the Temporary Control of Premises Act.

2.   Application

   This Act shall apply to all premises to which the Rent and Mortgage Interest (Restriction) Ordinance, 1944 (now repealed) applied on the 31st December, 1955, and which were subject to a tenancy at such date:

   Provided that this Act shall not apply to any such premises which are, on the 1st January, 1956, let under a tenancy agreement which—

   (a)   has been drawn by a legal practitioner; and

   (b)   has been duly stamped and registered before such date; and

   (c)   has, at such date, at least one year to run.

3.   Interpretation

   In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

   “landlord” means any person other than a tenant who is, or would be but for this Act, entitled to possession of the premises and any other person from time to time deriving title under the original landlord, and includes a sublessor;

   “let” includes sublet;

   “order” includes any decision, determination, judgment or finding;

   “premises” means any premises to which this Act applies;

   “prescribed date” means the date prescribed by the Minister in accordance with section 11;

   “statutory tenancy” means a tenancy created by operation of section 9;

   “tenancy agreement” means any agreement between a landlord and a tenant whereby premises are let or agreed to be let;

   “tenant” includes a subtenant and any person from time to time deriving title under the original tenant;

   “tribunal” means a rent tribunal established under section 4.

4.   Establishment, membership and protection of tribunals

   (1) The Minister may, by notice published in the Gazette, establish a rent tribunal for any area of Malawi.

   (2) A tribunal shall consist of a chairman and such other members as the Minister may, by notice published in the Gazette, from time to time appoint.

   (3) The Minister may appoint, either generally or for any period, a deputy chairman of a tribunal to act as chairman of such tribunal in the absence of the chairman.

   (4) A tribunal may appoint and employ officers, valuers, inspectors, clerks and other staff for the better carrying out of this Act.

   (5) No matter or thing done by any chairman, member, officer, or agent of a tribunal, if done bona fide in the execution or purported execution of this Act, shall subject any such person to any action, claim, liability or demand whatsoever.

5.   Proceedings of tribunal

   (1) The chairman, or in his absence the deputy chairman, shall preside at all meetings of a tribunal.

   (2) Three members shall constitute a quorum at any meeting of a tribunal.

   (3) All matters considered by a tribunal shall be decided by the votes of a majority of the members present. In the event of an equality of votes, the chairman shall have a casting vote in addition to his deliberative vote.

   (4) A tribunal may take into consideration any evidence which it considers relevant, notwithstanding that such evidence would not be admissible in a court of law.

   (5) All notices or other documents issued under the hand of the chairman of a tribunal shall be deemed to have been issued by such tribunal.

   (6) The proceedings of a tribunal shall ordinarily be open to the public, but a tribunal may, in its discretion, direct that the public be excluded from any proceedings or part thereof.

   (7) A record shall be kept of all proceedings of a tribunal, including a summary of any evidence given before it.

   (8) A tribunal shall give at least seven days’ notice of the date appointed for the hearing of any matter to all parties concerned.

   (9) Before any decision of a tribunal is made, any person having an interest therein, or his representative, shall be given an opportunity to be heard.

   (10) Any interested party may be represented before a tribunal by a legal practitioner or by any person whom the tribunal may, in its discretion, admit to be heard on his behalf.

   (11) The proceedings of a tribunal shall be deemed to be judicial proceedings.

   (12) In so far as no sufficient provision is made by Rules made in accordance with section 17 a tribunal may regulate its own procedure.

6.   General powers of tribunal

   A tribunal shall have power to do all things which it is required or empowered to do by or under this Act, and in particular shall have power—

   (a)   to enter and inspect, or to authorize any person in writing under the hand of the chairman to enter and inspect, any premises for the purpose of enabling it to determine any question being considered by it;

   (b)   to administer oaths and to order persons to attend and give evidence or to produce or give discovery and inspection of documents in like manner as in proceedings in the High Court;

   (c)   to award costs of any proceedings before it and to direct that such costs shall be taxed upon such scale and in such manner as may be prescribed or to award a specific sum as costs, provided that each party to any such proceedings shall bear his own costs unless the tribunal shall for special reasons otherwise determine;

   (d)   to determine whether or not any premises are premises to which this Act applies;

   (e)   to determine the terms and conditions of a tenancy agreement or statutory tenancy;

   (f)   to make an order for the recovery of possession of premises, subject to section 12;

   (g)   upon such grounds as it may consider sufficient, to review once any order made by it within one month of the making of such order, except where an appeal or reference by way of case stated has been entered in the High Court, and on such review the tribunal may reopen and rehear wholly or in part the proceedings in respect of which such order was made and take fresh evidence and may reverse, vary or confirm its previous order.

7.   Orders of tribunal

   (1) A certified copy of any order of a tribunal shall be admissible in evidence in the proceedings of any tribunal or any court as prima facie proof of such order.

   (2) Any person, upon application to a tribunal, shall be entitled to a certified copy of any order made by such tribunal, upon payment of such fee as may be prescribed.

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