asked the Minister for Lands why the income from letting is not paid to the landowner until final payment for the holding is made by the Land Commission.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Land Letting Income.
I presume that the Deputy is referring to properties being purchased by the Land Commission on a voluntary basis for land bonds where possession is taken under an agreement for temporary letting pending clearance of the owner's title and final vesting of the lands. It is a term of the letting agreement in these cases that the rent payable by the Land Commission to the owner will be paid in one sum on the date on which the bonds representing the purchase money are issued and placed to credit of the estate. The lands cannot become vested in the Land Commission and the bonds placed to credit until the owner's title has been cleared, and there is in the arrangement, an incentive to owner to hasten lodgment of title. It will be appreciated that promptness in the lodgment of documentary evidence of title and in discharging the examiner's rulings thereon is an important factor in determining when the lands can become vested in the Land Commission and the interest on the purchase money paid out. Lettings of the type mentioned are usually of short duration and are generally arranged for the convenience of vendors. In exceptional cases where there are abnormal difficulties associated with the clearance of title, the Land Commission are disposed to consider favourably the payment of the rent under the letting agreement in instalments.
Is the Minister aware of the injustice of all this? I have a case that has been going on since December, 1967 in which a widow with no income whatsoever and whose land was let in 1967-68 and in 1968-69 still has no income from this land and it was not a case of voluntary sale. It was a case of involuntary sale?
This widow could have sold for a better price but the Land Commission would not let her out.
Perhaps the Deputy will let me have particulars of that case. In the case of compulsory acquisition the owner gets all the benefit when the Land Commission comes into possession of the land and title is proved. The land bonds are placed to his credit and he gets interest from them.
Surely the Minister is aware that everything is stopped until the matter is finalised and that is what happened in this case?
If the Deputy will give me particulars of that case I will have it looked into.