CHAPTER 185
LANDS AND DEEDS REGISTRY ACT

Arrangement of Sections

   Section

PART I
PRELIMINARY

   1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation

PART II
REGISTRATION OF DOCUMENTS

   3.   Establishment and constitution of Registry of Deeds

   4.   Documents required to be registered

   5.   Times within which registration must be effected

   6.   Documents to be void for want of registration

   7.   Priority of documents and date of registration

   8.   Optional registration of documents not required to be registered

   9.   Registers to be kept

   10.   Miscellaneous Register, contents of

   11.   Correction of errors or omissions in Registers

   12.   Documents to refer to diagram, plan or description

   13.   Identity of person presenting document for registration

   14.   Registrar to be satisfied that all duties have been paid

   15.   Registration of notarially certified copies

   16.   Details of registration

   17.   Copies to be filed consecutively

   18.   Memorandum of registration to be endorsed on original

   19.   Evasion of duty by understatement of consideration

   20.   Translations, if not in English language

   21.   Registration not to cure defects

   22.   Registry open for search

   23.   Official certificates of search Requisition

   24.   Indemnity to officers of Registry

   25.   Admissibility in evidence of certified copies

   26.   Procedure to be adopted when certified copy is tendered in evidence

   27.   Application of Bills of Sale Acts

   28.   Concessions by chiefs unaffected

PART III
PROVISIONAL CERTIFICATES AND CERTIFICATES OF TITLE

   29.   Certificate of Title required before registration

   30.   Who may obtain Provisional Certificate or Certificate of Title

   31.   Tenants for life and tenants in tail

   32.   Effect of issue of Provisional Certificate

   33.   Effect of issue of Certificate of Title

   34.   Restriction on ejectment after issue of Certificate of Title

   35.   Protection against adverse possession

   36.   Application for Provisional Certificate

   37.   Formalities of application

   38.   Procedure upon application

   39.   Issue of Provisional Certificate

   40.   Minister may prescribe different procedure when Registrar is not a barrister or solicitor

   41.   Disposal of objections to issue of Provisional Certificate

   42.   Certificate of Title to issue on original State Grant

   43.   Certificate of Title may be issued six years from Provisional Certificate

   44.   Procedure on application for Certificate of Title

   45.   Issue of Certificate of Title

   46.   Disposal of objections to issue of Certificate of Title

   47.   Interests outstanding at time of issue of Certificate

   48.   Existing encumbrances to be noted on Certificate

   49.   Certificate: how to be dated

   50.   How memorial of easement to be recorded

   51.   Joint tenants and tenants in common

   52.   Issue of Certificate of Title may be withheld for fourteen days in certain cases

   53.   Certificate not to be void though issued in name of person deceased

   54.   Certificate to be evidence of proprietorship

   55.   Proprietor may claim single Certificate in place of several

   56.   Declaration may be made in case of loss of original Certificate

   57.   Issue of Certificate on sale for non-payment of rates

PART IV
TRANSFER AND TRANSMISSION OF REGISTERED LAND

   58.   Purchaser from Registered Proprietor not to be affected by notice

   59.   No liability on bona fide purchaser or mortgagee

   60.   Creation of various estates

   61.   Transfer by Registered Proprietor

   62.   Implied covenant in transfer of equity of redemption

   63.   Memorandum of order of court or land tribunal vesting estate or interest to be entered on Register

   64.   Charge in assent

   65.   Mortgage to take effect as security

   66.   Power of sale

   67.   Discharge of mortgage: how effected

   68.   Persons claiming under transmission may apply to have same registered

   69.   Procedure on application for transmission

   70.   Caveat may be entered on behalf of beneficiaries under any will or settlement

   71.   Disclaimer of lease on bankruptcy of lessee

   72.   Entry to operate as transfer on sale or surrender

   73.   No entry of disclaimer except with leave of Court or land tribunal

PART V
TRUSTS

   74.   No entry of trusts to be made on Register except those specially authorised

   75.   Vesting in new trustees

PART VI
CAVEATS

   76.   Caveat against dealing with land

   77.   Particulars to be stated in caveat

   78.   Service of notices as to caveats

   79.   Effect of caveat against dealings

   80.   Notice of caveat to be given to persons affected

   81.   Procedure for removal of caveat

   82.   Person entering caveat without cause liable for damages

   83.   Caveat may be withdrawn

PART VII
MISCELLANEOUS

   84.   Registrar may require production of instruments

   85.   Penalty for failure to produce instruments when required by Registrar

   86.   Public rights of way

   87.   Appeal to Court or land tribunal from decision of Registrar

   88.   Registrar may submit special case

   89.   Procedure on appeals

   90.   Penalty for unqualified person acting

   91.   Mining rights

   92.   Regulations

      SCHEDULE

AN ACT

to provide for the registration of documents; to provide for the issue of Provisional Certificates of Title and Certificates of Title; to provide for the transfer and transmission of registered land; and to provide for matters incidental to or connected with the foregoing.

[Parts I (sections 1 and 2 (b), (c), (f), (j), (n), (o) and (p)) and II-1st November, 1914.]

[Parts I (section 2 (a), (d), (e), (g), (h), (i), (k), (l), and (m)) and III-VII-1st May, 1944.]

Act 15 of 1914,

Act 1 of 1925,

Act 5 of 1926,

Act 7 of 1937,

Act 5 of 1943,

Act 53 of 1950,

Act 50 of 1951,

Act 17 of 1954,

Act 20 of 1957,

Act 31 of 1958,

Act 25 of 1959,

Act 9 of 1967,

Act 46 of 1969,

Act 47 of 1970,

Act 13 of 1994,

Act 38 of 1994,

Act 40 of 2010,

GN 274 of 1964,

SI 65 of 1965.

PART I
PRELIMINARY

1.   Short title

This Act may be cited as the Lands and Deeds Registry Act.

2.   Interpretation

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

“Certificate of Title” means a certificate of title to land issued in accordance with the provisions of Parts III to VII;

“Common Leaseholds Register” means the register referred to in paragraph (b) of section 9;

“common leasehold scheme” has the same meaning as in the Common Leasehold Schemes Act;

“Court” means the High Court;

“land” means land within Zambia, and includes units and remainders under common leasehold schemes, tenements and hereditaments, but does not include any mining right as defined in the Mines and Minerals Act in or under or in respect of any land;

“Lands Register” means the register referred to in paragraph (a) of section 9;

"Lands Tribunal" means the Lands Tribunal referred to under section three of the Lands Tribunal Act, 2010;

[Ins by s 2 of Act 40 of 2010.]

“lease” means any lease other than a State Lease;

“Miscellaneous Register” means the register referred to in paragraph (c) of section 9;

“mortgage” includes a deposit of title deeds or documents with the object of creating an equitable mortgage on the property comprised in such deeds or documents and any charge;

“probate of a will” includes letters of administration with or without will annexed;

“Provisional Certificate” means a provisional certificate of title to land issued in accordance with the provisions of Parts III to VII;

“Register” means the Township Lands Register or the Lands Register, as the context may require;

“Registered Proprietor” means a person to whom a Certificate of Title or a Provisional Certificate has been issued;

“Registrar” means a person appointed under section 3;

“State Land” means land included within State Lands as defined in the Orders dealing with State Lands;

“State Lease” means a lease of State Land and includes any lease granted before the 24th October, 1964, by the Crown;

“sub-mortgage” means a mortgage by a mortgagee of rights held by him under a mortgage;

“Surveyor-General” includes a Deputy Surveyor-General and any Land Surveyor employed in the office of the Surveyor-General who may be deputed by the Surveyor-General to do any act or thing which may lawfully be done by the Surveyor-General under Part II;

“testator” includes a person dying intestate;

“will” includes codicil.

[S 2 am by Act 17 of 1954, 20 of 1957; SI 65 of 1965; Act 38 of 1994.]

PART II
REGISTRATION OF DOCUMENTS

3.   Establishment and constitution of Registry of Deeds

   (1) For the registration of documents required or permitted by this Part or any other Act or by any law to be registered, there shall be an office styled the Registry of Deeds (hereinafter termed “the Registry”) in Lusaka, and the Minister may from time to time direct, by Gazette notice, that there shall be a District Registry of Deeds (hereinafter termed a “District Registry”) in such place as shall be in such notice mentioned for any district to be thereby defined.

   (2) The registration of documents shall be performed by a Registrar appointed under this section.

   (3) There shall be appointed to the Registry a Chief Registrar and to each District Registry a District Registrar or Provincial Registrar.

   (4) There may be appointed to the Registry or a District Registry Principal Registrars, Senior Registrars, Senior Assistant Registrars, and Assistant Registrars.

   (5) There may be appointed from time to time persons to discharge temporarily the functions and duties of a Registrar.

   (6) Until such time as the duties mentioned in sub-section (2) of any officer appointed thereunder shall require that the whole of his time shall be devoted to such duties, the Minister may assign to him duties other than those connected with the Registry or a District Registry.

[S 3 am by GN 274 of 1964; SI 65 of 1965; Act 38 of 1994.]

4.   Documents required to be registered

   (1) Every document purporting to grant, convey or transfer land or any interest in land, or to be a lease or agreement for lease or permit of occupation of land for a longer term than one year, or to create any charge upon land, whether by way of mortgage or otherwise, or which evidences the satisfaction of any mortgage or charge, and all bills of sale of personal property whereof the grantor remains in apparent possession, unless already registered pursuant to the provisions of “The North-Eastern Rhodesia Lands and Deeds Registration Regulations, 1905” or “The North-Western Rhodesia Lands and Deeds Registry Proclamation, 1910”, must be registered within the times hereinafter specified in the Registry or in a District Registry if eligible for registration in such District Registry:

Provided that if a document creating a floating charge upon land has been registered under the provisions of section 99 of the Companies Act or section 32 of the Co-operative Societies Act, it need not be registered under the provisions of this Part unless and until such charge has crystallised or become fixed.

   (2) Any document required or permitted to be registered affecting land, persons, property or rights in any district for which a District Registry has been appointed may be registered either in such District Registry or in the Registry.

   (3) Upon application to register any document affecting land required to be registered as aforesaid—

      (a)   The Registrar may order that any document necessary for deducing the title of the applicant for registration to the land thereby affected or any interest therein (hereinafter referred to as a “document necessary to deduce title”), although it may not be a document required to be registered as aforesaid, shall first be produced or its absence satisfactorily accounted for, and if such document necessary to deduce title, being a document required to be registered pursuant to the provisions of this Part or of “The North-Eastern Rhodesia Lands and Deeds Registration Regulations, 1905” or “The North-Western Rhodesia Lands and Deeds Registry Proclamation, 1910”, shall not have been registered as so required by one or other of these laws, the Registrar may order that the same be first registered under this Part, unless such document necessary to deduce title is void in consequence of non-registration as hereinafter provided, in which case the Registrar shall not register the document tendered for registration unless ordered so to do by the Court or land tribunal.

[S 4(3)(a) am by s 5 of Act 40 of 2010.]

      (b)   If any person has in his possession or custody any document or evidence of title affecting the same land to the production of which the applicant or any trustee for him is entitled, the Registrar may order such person to produce the same within a time to be fixed by him at the expense of the applicant for registration and may at the expense of such applicant deal with the same as provided in paragraph (a).

      (c)   Any person aggrieved by any order of the Registrar under this sub-section may appeal to the Court or land tribunal which may annul or confirm the order of the Registrar with or without modification.

      (d)   If any person disobeys the order of the Registrar made in pursuance of paragraph (b), the Registrar may certify such disobedience to the Court or land tribunal and thereupon such person, subject to such right of appeal as aforesaid, may be punished by the Court or land tribunal in the same manner in all respects as if the order made by the Registrar were the order of the Court or land tribunal.

[S 4 am by Act 5 of 1943, 50 of 1951, 25 of 1959, 38 of 1994.]

5.   Times within which registration must be effected

   (1) All bills of sale must be registered within three months of the execution of the same.

   (2) All other documents, except probate of a will, required to be registered as aforesaid shall be registered—

      (a)   in the case of a document executed at the place where it is registered, within thirty days from its date;

      (b)   in the case of a document executed elsewhere in Zambia, within ninety days from its date;

      (c)   in the case of a document executed out of Zambia, within one year from its date.

   (3) Probate of a will affecting land or any interest in land shall be registered within twelve months of the grant thereof or the sealing thereof under the provisions of the Probates (Resealing) Act, as the case may be.

[S 5 am by Act 5 of 1943, SI 65 of 1965; Act 47 of 1970.]

6.   Documents to be void for want of registration

Any document required to be registered as aforesaid and not registered within the time specified in the last preceding section shall be null and void:

Provided that—

      (i)   the Court or land tribunal may extend the time within which such document must be registered, or authorise its registration after the expiration of such period on such terms as to costs and otherwise as it shall think fit, if satisfied that the failure to register was unavoidable, or that there are any special circumstances which afford ground for giving relief from the results of such failure, and that no injustice will be caused by allowing registration;

      (ii)   the probate of a will required to be registered as aforesaid, and not registered within the time specified in the last preceding section, shall be null and void so far only as such will affects land or any interest in land.

7.   Priority of documents and date of registration

   (1) All documents required to be registered as aforesaid shall have priority according to date of registration; notice of a prior unregistered document required to be registered as aforesaid shall be disregarded in the absence of actual fraud.

   (2) The date of registration shall be the date upon which the document shall first be lodged for registration in the Registry or, where registration is permitted in a District Registry, in such District Registry.

8.   Optional registration of documents not required to be registered

At the option and upon the application of any person interested thereunder, any document affecting land which is not required to be registered pursuant to the provisions of sub-section (1) of section 4 may nevertheless be registered in such manner as the Registrar may direct.

9.   Registers to be kept

The following registers shall be kept:

      (a)   a register of documents relating to land not subject to customary title, other than documents referred to in paragraph (b), called the Lands Register;

      (b)   a register of documents relating to common leasehold schemes, called the Common Leaseholds Register;

      (c)   a register of other documents required or permitted to be registered under this Act, called the Miscellaneous Register.

[S 9 am by Act 38 of 1994.]

10.   Miscellaneous Register, contents of

In the Miscellaneous Register shall be registered any deed or instrument declaring a trust which it is desired to register and any document, other than relating to land, either required by any law to be registered and in respect of which no special registry office is indicated or which it is desirable and proper to register.

[S 10 am by Act 5 of 1943.]

11.   Correction of errors or omissions in Registers

   (1) Where any person alleges that any error or omission has been made in a Register or that any entry or omission therein has been made or procured by fraud or mistake, the Registrar shall, if he shall consider such allegation satisfactorily proved, correct such error, omission or entry as aforesaid.

   (2) Any person aggrieved by any entry or omission made in a Register after application to the Registrar under sub-section (1) may apply to the Court or land tribunal for an order that the Register may be rectified, and the Court or land tribunal may either refuse such application with or without costs to be paid by the applicant or it may, if satisfied of the justice of the case, make an order for the rectification of the Register in such manner as it shall direct.

12.   Documents to refer to diagram, plan or description

   (1) In this section—

“diagram” means a diagram of a piece of land, as defined by the Land Survey Act, which has been approved by the Surveyor-General;

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