Thompson v Property Holdings Ltd

JudgeWilliams, C.J.
Judgment Date04 March 1988
CourtDivisional Court (Barbados)
Docket NumberNo. 12 of 1986
Date04 March 1988

Divisional Court

Williams, C.J.; Husbands, J.

No. 12 of 1986

Property Holdings Ltd.

Mr. C.L. Bolden for the appellant.

Mr. A.A. Archer for the respondent.

Real property - Landlord and tenant — Whether land is tenantry within meaning of s. 2 of Tenantries Freehold Purchase Act, No. 53 of 1980.

Williams, C.J.

The Tenantries Freehold Purchase Act, 1980-53 which came into operation on November 1, 1980 is according to its long title “an Act to provide a right for tenants of lots in certain tenantries to purchase the freehold in those lots; to alter section 16 of the Constitution to assure the constitutionality of that right; and to provide for matters related or incidental thereto.” Section 4(1) provides, inter alia, that notwithstanding any other law or any term or condition of any lease, contract or licence relating to a tenancy, it is a term or condition of every tenancy within a plantation tenantry that the tenant, as of right and at his option may, if he is a qualified tenant, purchase the freehold of the lot of which he is a tenant at a price to be determined in accordance with Part 1 of the Second Schedule or by agreement between the parties, whichever is the smaller amount. The provisions of the Act that are relevant to this appeal are set out hereunder. Section 4(2) provides that, subject to section 31, a qualified tenant of a lot is a tenant:

  • “(a) who, at 1st November 1980, is residing on the lot and has been so residing

    • (i) for 5 consecutive years immediately preceding that day, or

    • (ii) for 5 years out of the 7 years immediately preceding that day; or

  • (b) who, at any particular time after 1st November, 1980, is a tenant who has, at that particular time,

    • (i) been residing on the lot for 5 consecutive years, or

    • (ii) been residing on the lot for 5 out of the immediately preceding 7 years.”


Section 5(1) enacts that subject to sections 16 and 22 (which have no relevance to the points in issue) a qualified tenant may exercise his right to purchase the freehold of the lot of which he is the tenant by giving notice to the landlord in accordance with Part 1, of his intention to do so, and section 5(2) that when a qualified tenant gives his landlord notice under subsection (1), it becomes the duty of the landlord to convey the freehold of the lot to the tenant forthwith at a price to be determined pursuant to section 4(1).


Section 7(1) provides that where a qualified tenant wishes to exercise his right under Part 1, he shall give notice to the landlord or his attorney in Form 1 set out in the Third Schedule.


Section 29 enables the Chief Town Planner to certify for the purposes of Part 1 that a lot is unsuitable for purpose of the freehold therein and enables the landlord if the tenant so desires, to relocate the tenant on another lot within the tenantry or in another tenantry which is suitable for the purchase of the freehold. Section 30 enables the Minister to relocate a tenantry of a lot unsuitable for purchase as a freehold where the landlord is the Crown.


Section 31 provides that where a tenant has been relocated under section 29 or 30 from a lot within a tenantry to another lot within that tenantry or another tenantry and he desires to purchase that lot, the period of time during which he was a tenant on the lot from which he was relocated counts as time to determine whether he is a qualified tenant for the purposes of section 4(2).


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