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Promulgates Ordinance to Protect Agricultural Tenants in Palestine

(J. T. A. Mail Service)

A draft Ordinance providing for the protection of agricultural tenants is published in the current issue of the Official Gazette. The essential points provide that not-withstanding any provision in any contract to the contrary, a landlord of Miri land shall not be entitled to terminate the tenancy of a tenant who has been cultivating a holding for a period of two years or more, unless he shall have given to the tenant in writing notice to quit not less than one year from the 1st day of October following the date of the notice; provided nothing herein shall extend to the case where the tenant has failed to pay the rent at the rate payable during the year preceding the notice within a reasonable time from the due date of payment, or has failed to cultivate the land in accordance with the rules of good husbandry; or where under any Law of Bankruptcy in force an order of bankruptcy has been made against the tenant.

In case of dispute, a Board shall determine after consultation with the local Inspector of Agriculture what, having regard to all the circumstances, is a reasonable period for the payment of rent due, and whether the tenant has failed to cultivate the land in accordance with the rules of good husbandry.

If a landlord gives notice in writing to the tenant to terminate the tenancy on account of the failure of the tenant to pay the rent in due time, or to cultivate the land in accordance with the rules of good husbandry, the tenant shall be liable to eviction unless within 15 days of the receipt of such notice he applies in writing for reference of the question to the Board. If such application is made, the Board shall give its decision within 15 days of the receipt of the application. The landlord shall send a copy of the notice to the District Commissioner.

The landlord shall not increase the rent of a holding unless he has given the tenant notice in writing of the proposed increase; and the increased rent shall not into force before one year from the first day of October following the date of the notice.

If the tenant is not willing to pay the increased rent, he shall notify the landlord, who may thereupon give him notice to quit expiring on the date when the increased rent would come into force.

Where a tenant has received a valid notice to quit, the landlord shall pay to the tenant compensation for disturbance in accordance with provisions of this Section; provided that he shall not be liable to pay compensation in any case where notice to quit is not required under Section 3 hereof.

The compensation shall be a sum representing such loss or expense directly attributable to the quitting of the land as the tenant may unavoidably incur in connection with the sale or removal of his movable property.