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Agriculture

tenant, act, landlord, compensation, tenancy and crops

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AGRICULTURE (see also article in Vol. I.).—The new provisions of the Agricultural Holdings Act, 1906, together with the various Acts from 1883, are now consolidated in the Act of 1908. The general law is contained in the original article. An Act of 1905 contains provisions making a railway company liable for fires caused by sparks from engines, with power for the employees of the company to enter upon any land to extinguish such fire ; the claim must be sent within seven days, with particulars of damage in fourteen days.

By the Act of 1906, which came into force on the 1st of January 1909, and the provisions of which are now substantially re-enacted in the Act of 1908, which repealed it, the tenant is compensated for an improvement in such a sum as fairly represents the value of the improvement to the incoming tenant. All questions which under the Act, or the contract of tenancy, are referred to arbitration, are to be taken before a single arbitrator. The arbitrator, on the application of either party, is to specify the amount awarded for any particular improvement or matter, and the award must fix a day between one and two months after, for the payment of the compensation and costs.

Ground game.—If the tenant has suffered damage to his crops from ground game, the right to kill not being vested in him, nor any one claiming under him, other than the landlord, the tenant not having permission in writing to kill, he is entitled to compensation from the landlord, if the 345 &image is over one shilling per acre of the ai m damaged, and any agreement to the contrary or in limitation of such compensation is void. The amount, in default of agreement, is to be fixed by arbitration, but nothing can be rtzovered unless notice in writing is given to the landlord as soon as possible after the tenant becomes aware of the damage, and opportunity is given to the landlord to inspect. This opportunity to inspect must be afforded— (a) in the case of growing crops, before being reaped, raised or con sumed, and (b) in the case of reaped or raised crops, before removal.

Notice in writing of the claim, and particulars, must be _given within one month of tin_ end of the year, or the end of a period of twelve months, as agreed. If the landlord can prove that, under a tenancy com mencing before the Act, the compensation is payable by him, or the rent was fixed allowing for an agreed amount as compensation, the arbitrator may make the appropriate deduction from the amount otherwise payable. Where the right to kill is vested in some other person, the landlord is to be indemni fied against all claims for compensation. " Game " includes for this pur pose deer, pheasants, partridges, grouse and black game.

Cropping. — Notwithstanding any custom or contract of tenancy or agreement as to cropping or the disposal of crops, the tenant can practise any system of cropping, and dispose of the produce without incurring any penalty, forfeiture, or liability. But this right of the tenant can be exercised only when he has made, or as soon as possible makes, provision to protect the holding from injury or deterioration, by returning to the holding the full equivalent manurial value of all crops sold or removed in contravention of the contract or agreement. And the right does not extend to a tenancy from year to year, before the tenant quits, or any period, after notice to quit has been given or received which results in his quitting ; or, in any other case, in regard to the year before the expiration of the tenancy. Should the tenant act so as to injure or deteriorate the holding, or be likely to do so, the landlord, without prejudice to any other right, can recover damages for this at any time, and if necessary obtain an injunction. In default of agreement such damages are to be settled by arbitration. The tenant is not entitled to compensation for improvements made to protect the holding from injury or deterioration under the Act. This cropping does not apply to grass land, which by the terms of tenancy is to be retained as grass land throughout the tenancy.

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