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St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

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Revised Statutes of Newfoundland 1990


CHAPTER L-16

AN ACT RESPECTING THE LIMITATION OF ACTIONS RELATING TO REAL PROPERTY

Analysis

1. Short title

2. Definitions

3. Action to recover land or rent

4. Time when the right arose

5. New right to remainder

6. New right of reversioner

7. Administrator to claim

8. Tenancy at will

9. Tenancy from year to year

10. Rent wrongfully received

11. Entry not possession

12. Continual claim

13. Possession of 1 joint tenant

14. Written acknowledgment equivalent to receipt of rent

15. Minors allowed 10 years

16. No action to be brought 40 years after right arose

17. Succession of disabilities

18. Bar of right to estate in possession to be bar to right to future estates

19. Suit in equity

20. Express trust

21. Fraud

22. Jurisdiction of equity

23. Mortgagor

24. Money charged on land and legacies considered satisfied

25. Arrears of rent or interest

26. Right of party out of possession

27. Receipt of rent


Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the Limitation of Realty Actions Act.

RSN1970 c207 s1

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Definitions

2. In this Act

(a) "land" includes messuages and all other corporeal hereditaments, and a share, estate or interest in them, or held according to any other tenure;

(b) "rent" includes all services and suits for which a distress may be made, and all annuities and periodical sums of money charged upon or payable out of any land; and

(c) "the person through whom another is said to claim" means a person by, through, or under, or by the act of whom, the person so claiming became entitled to the estate or interest claimed, as executor, administrator, legatee, spouse, assignee, appointee, or otherwise.

RSN1970 c207 s2; 1985 c11 s14

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Action to recover land or rent

3. (1) A person shall make an entry or distress or bring an action to recover land or rent, within 20 years after the time at which the right to make the entry or distress, or to bring the action, first arose to a person through whom he or she claims.

(2) Where a right referred to in subsection (1) does not arise through another person, the person making the entry or distressing or bringing the action shall do so within 20 years after the time at which the right to make the entry or distress, or to bring the action, first arose to that person.

(3) A person entitled to or claiming under a mortgage of land may make an entry or bring an action to recover the land within 20 years after the last payment of a part of the principal money or interest secured by the mortgage although more than 20 years may have elapsed since the time at which the right to make the entry or bring the action first arose.

RSN1970 c207 s3

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Time when the right arose

4. The right to make an entry or distress, or bring an action to recover land or rent, is considered to have first arisen at the following time:

(a) when the person claiming the land or rent, or a person through whom he or she claims, in respect of the estate or interest claimed, has been in possession or in receipt of the profits of the land or in receipt of the rent, and while entitled to them has been dispossessed, or has discontinued the possession or receipt, then the right is considered to have first arisen at the time of the dispossession or discontinuance of possession, or at the last time at which the profits or rent was so received;

(b) when the person claiming the land or rent claims the estate or interest of a deceased person who was in possession or receipt, in respect of the same estate or interest, until the time of his or her death, and who was the last person entitled to the estate or interest, then the right is considered to have first arisen at the time of the death;

(c) when a person claiming the land or rent claims in respect of an estate or interest in possession, granted, appointed, or otherwise assured by an instrument, other than a will, to him or her, or a person through whom he or she claims, by a person being in respect of the same estate or interest in the possession or receipt of the profits of the land, or in receipt of the rent, and no person entitled under the instrument has been in possession or receipt, then the right is considered to have first arisen at the time at which the person claiming as previously stated, or the person through whom he or she claims, became entitled to the possession or receipt, by the instrument;

(d) when the estate or interest claimed is an estate or interest in reversion or remainder, or other future estate or interest and no person has obtained the possession or receipt of the profits of the land, or the receipt of the rent in respect of the estate or interest, then the right is considered to have first arisen at the time at which the estate or interest became an estate or interest in possession; and

(e) when the person claiming the land or rent, or the person through whom he or she claims, becomes entitled because of a forfeiture or breach of condition, then the right is considered to have first arisen when the forfeiture was incurred or the condition was broken.

RSN1970 c207 s4

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New right to remainder

5. When a right to make an entry or distress, or to bring an action to recover land or rent because of a forfeiture or breach of condition, first arose in respect of an estate or interest in reversion or remainder, and the land or rent has not been recovered by virtue of the right, the right to make an entry or distress, or bring an action to recover the land or rent, shall be considered to have first arisen in respect of the estate or interest at the time when the estate or interest becomes an estate or interest in possession, as if no forfeiture or breach of condition had happened.

RSN1970 c207 s5

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New right of reversioner

6. A right to make an entry or distress, or an action to recover land or rent, is considered to have first arisen, in respect of an estate or interest in reversion at the time at which the estate or interest becomes an estate or interest in possession, by the determination of an estate in respect of which the land or the profits is held or the rent is received, notwithstanding the person claiming the land, or some person through whom he or she claims, is, before the creation of the estate which has determined, in possession or receipt of the profits of the land or in receipt of the rent.

RSN1970 c207 s6

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Administrator to claim

7. For the purpose of this Act, an administrator claiming the estate or interest of the deceased person, of whose chattels he or she is appointed administrator, shall be considered to claim as if there had been no interval of time between the death of the deceased person and the grant of the letters of administration.

RSN1970 c207 s7

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Tenancy at will

8. (1) Where a person is in possession or in receipt of the profits of land, or in receipt of rent as tenant at will, the right of the person entitled to it, or of the person through whom he or she claims, to make an entry or distress, or bring an action to recover the land or rent, is considered to have first arisen either at the termination of the tenancy, or at the expiration of 1 year after the beginning of the tenancy, at which time the tenancy is considered to have determined.

(2) A mortgagor or beneficiary is not considered to be a tenant at will within the meaning of this section, to his or her mortgagee or trustee.

RSN1970 c207 s8

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Tenancy from year to year

9. Where a person is in possession or in receipt of the profits of land, or in receipt of rent, as tenant from year to year or other period, without a written lease, the right of the person entitled to it, or of the person through whom he or she claims, to make an entry or distress, or to bring an action to recover the land or rent, is considered to have first accrued at the determination of the 1st of those years or other periods, or at the last time when rent payable in respect of the tenancy was received, whichever happens last.

RSN1970 c207 s9

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Rent wrongfully received

10. (1) Where a person is in possession or in receipt of the profits of land, or in receipt of rent under a written lease, by which a rent amounting to the annual sum of $4 or upwards is reserved, and the rent reserved by the lease is received by some person wrongfully claiming to be entitled to the land or rent in reversion immediately expectant on the determination of the lease, and no payment in respect of the rent reserved by the lease is afterwards made to the person rightfully entitled to it, the right of the person entitled to the land or rent subject to the lease, or of the person through whom he or she claims, to make an entry or distress, or to bring an action after the determination of the lease, is considered to have first arisen at the time at which the rent reserved by the lease was first so received by the person wrongfully claiming.

(2) A right referred to in subsection (1) shall not be considered to have first arisen upon the determination of the lease to the person rightfully entitled.

RSN1970 c207 s10

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Entry not possession

11. A person is not considered to have been in possession of land within the meaning of this Act merely because of having made an entry on it.

RSN1970 c207 s11

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Continual claim

12. A continual or other claim upon or near land shall not preserve a right of making an entry or distress or of bringing an action.

RSN1970 c207 s12

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Possession of 1 joint tenant

13. Where 1 or more of the persons entitled to land or rent as joint tenants or tenants in common has been in possession or receipt of the entirety, or more than his or her or their undivided share of the land, or of the profits of it, or of the rent, for his or her or their own benefit, or for the benefit of a person other than the person entitled to the other share of the same land or rent, the possession or receipt is not considered to have been the possession or receipt of or by the last-mentioned person or any of them.

RSN1970 c207 s13

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Written acknowledgment equivalent to receipt of rent

14. (1) Where an acknowledgment of the title of the person entitled to land or rent is given to him or her or his or her agent in writing, signed by the person in possession or in receipt of the profits of the land, or in receipt of the rent, then the possession or receipt of or by the person by whom the acknowledgment is given, is considered to be the possession or receipt of or by the person to whom or to whose agent the acknowledgment is given at the time of giving the acknowledgment.

(2) The right of the last-mentioned person, or a person claiming through him or her, to make an entry or distress, or bring an action to recover the land or rent, is considered to have first arisen at and not before the time at which the acknowledgment or the last of the acknowledgments, if more than 1, was given.

RSN1970 c207 s14

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Minors allowed 10 years

15. If at the time at which the right of a person to make an entry, or distress, or bring an action to recover land or rent first arose as previously stated, the person was a minor or mentally disabled, then the person, or the person claiming through him or her, may, notwithstanding that the period of 20 years has expired, make an entry, or distress, or bring an action to recover the land or rent within 10 years after the time at which the person to whom the right first arose has ceased to be under the disability, or has died, whichever first occurs, but the time within which an entry may be made, or an action may be brought, shall not be extended because of the absence outside of the province during all or a part of that time of the person having the right to make the entry, or bring the action, or of a person through whom he or she claims.

RSN1970 c207 s15

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No action to be brought 40 years after right arose

16. An entry, distress or action shall not be made or brought by the person who, at the time at which his or her right to make an entry or distress or to bring an action to recover land or rent first arose, was a minor or mentally disabled, or by a person claiming through him or her, within 40 years after the time at which the right first arose, although the person under disability at the time may have remained disabled during the whole of the 40 years, or although the term of 10 years from the time at which he or she has ceased to be under the disability, or has died, has not expired.

RSN1970 c207 s16

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Succession of disabilities

17. Where a person is a minor or mentally disabled at the time at which his or her right to make an entry or distress, or to bring an action to recover land or rent first accrued, and dies while a minor or mentally disabled, no time to make an entry or distress, or to bring action to recover the land or rent beyond the period of 20 years after the right of the person to make an entry or distress, or to bring an action to recover the land or rent, first arose, or the period of 10 years after the time at which the person died, is allowed because of another person being a minor or mentally disabled.

RSN1970 c207 s17

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Bar of right to estate in possession to be bar to right to future estates

18. Where the right of a person to make an entry or distress, or bring an action to recover land or rent to which he or she may be entitled, for an estate or interest in possession, is barred by the determination of the period previously limited which is applicable in the case, and the person is during the period entitled to another estate, interest, right or possibility, in reversion, remainder or otherwise, in or to the same land or rent, no entry, distress, or action shall be made or brought by the person, or a person claiming through him or her, to recover the land or rent, in respect of the other estate, interest, right or possibility, unless in the meantime the land or rent is recovered by some person entitled to an estate, interest or right, which is limited or taken effect after or in defeasance of the estate or interest in possession.

RSN1970 c207 s19

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Suit in equity

19. A person claiming land or rent in equity shall not bring a suit to recover the land or rent within the period during which, by the provisions previously set out, he or she might have made an entry or distress, or brought an action to recover the land or rent, if he or she had been entitled at law to the estate, interest or right in or to the land or rent as he or she shall claim in equity.

RSN1970 c207 s20

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Express trust

20. Where land or rent is vested in a trustee upon an express trust, the right of the beneficiary, or a person claiming through him or her, to bring a suit against the trustee, or other person claiming through him or her, to recover the land or rent, is considered to have first arisen at and not before the time at which the land or rent is conveyed to a purchaser for a valuable consideration and is then considered to have accrued only as against the purchaser and a person claiming through him or her.

RSN1970 c207 s21

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Fraud

21. (1) In cases of concealed fraud the right of a person to bring a suit in equity for the recovery of land or rent of which he or she or a person through whom he or she claims may have been deprived by the fraud, is considered to have first arisen at and not before the time at which the fraud is, or with reasonable diligence might have been first known or discovered.

(2) Nothing in this section enables an owner of lands or rents to have a suit in equity for the recovery of the lands or rents, or for setting aside a conveyance of the lands or rents, on account of fraud, against a purchaser in good faith and for valuable consideration who has not helped in the commission of the fraud, and who, at the time that he or she made the purchase, did not know and had no reason to believe that the fraud had been committed.

RSN1970 c207 s22

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Jurisdiction of equity

22. Nothing in this Act shall interfere with a rule or the jurisdiction of courts in refusing relief on the ground of acquiescence or otherwise to a person whose right to bring a suit may not be barred by this Act.

RSN1970 c207 s23

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Mortgagor

23. (1) When a mortgagee obtains the possession or receipt of the profits of land, or the receipt of rent, comprised in his or her mortgage, the mortgagor, or a person claiming through him or her, shall bring a suit to redeem the mortgage within 20 years after the time at which the mortgagee obtained the possession or receipt, unless in the meantime an acknowledgment of the title of the mortgagor, or of his or her right of redemption, has been given to the mortgagor, or some person claiming his or her estate or to the agent of the mortgagor or person, in writing, signed by the mortgagee, or the person claiming through him or her.

(2) The suit shall be brought within 20 years after the time at which the acknowledgment, or the last of the acknowledgments, if more than 1, was given.

(3) Where there is more than 1 mortgagor, or more than 1 person claiming through the mortgagor, the acknowledgment, if given to a mortgagor or person, or his or her agent, is as effectual as if it had been given to all the mortgagors or persons.

(4) Where there is more than 1 mortgagee, or more than 1 person claiming the estate or interest of the mortgagee, the acknowledgment, signed by 1 or more of the mortgagees or persons, is effectual only as against the party signing, and the person claiming a part of the mortgage money, or land, or rent, by, from, or under him or her or them and a person entitled to an estate or interest, to take effect after or in defeasance of his or her or their estate or interest, and shall not operate to give to the mortgagor a right to redeem the mortgage as against the person entitled to another undivided or divided part of the money, or land, or rent.

(5) Where the mortgagees or person previously mentioned that has given the acknowledgment is entitled to a divided part of the land or rent comprised in the mortgage or some estate or interest, and not to an ascertained part of the mortgage money, the mortgagor shall be entitled to redeem the same divided part of the land or rent, on payment with interest of the part of the mortgage money, which shall bear the same proportion to the whole of the mortgage money as the value of the divided part of the land or rent shall bear to the value of the whole of the land or rent comprised in the mortgage.

RSN1970 c207 s24

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Money charged on land and legacies considered satisfied

24. (1) An action shall not be brought to recover a sum of money secured by a mortgage, judgment or lien, or otherwise charged upon or payable out of land or rent or a legacy, within 20 years after a present right to receive the land or rent or legacy has arisen to some person capable of giving a discharge for or release of the land or rent or legacy, unless in the interim some part of the principal money, or some interest, has been paid, or some acknowledgment of the right to it has been given in writing, signed by the person by whom the land or rent or legacy shall be payable or his or her agent, to the person entitled to it or his or her agent.

(2) The action shall be brought within 20 years after the payment or acknowledgment, or the last of the payments or acknowledgments, if more than 1 was given.

RSN1970 c207 s25

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Arrears of rent or interest

25. (1) Arrears of rent or of interest in respect of a sum of money charged upon or payable out of the land or rent, or in respect of a legacy, or damages in respect of the arrears of rent or interest, shall not be recovered by a distress, action, or suit, within 6 years after the rent or interest respectively becomes due, or after an acknowledgment of the rent or interest in writing has been given to the person entitled to it, or his or her agent, signed by the person by whom the rent or interest was payable, or his or her agent.

(2) Where a prior mortgagee or other encumbrancer is in possession of land, or in receipt of the profits from the land, within 1 year before an action or suit is brought by a person entitled to a subsequent mortgage or other encumbrance on the same land, the person entitled to the subsequent mortgage or encumbrance may recover in the action or suit the arrears of interest which become due during the whole time that the prior mortgagee or encumbrancer was in possession or receipt although the time may have exceeded the term of 6 years.

RSN1970 c207 s26

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Right of party out of possession

26. At the end of the limitation period as set out in this Act for a person to make an entry or distress, or bring an action or suit, the right and title of the person to the land or rent, for the recovery of which the entry, distress, action, might have been made or brought within the period, is extinguished.

RSN1970 c207 s27

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Receipt of rent

27. The receipt of the rent payable by a tenant from year to year, or other lessee, shall as against the lessee, or other person claiming under him or her, but subject to the lease, be considered to be the receipt of the profits of the land for the purpose of this Act.

RSN1970 c207 s28

©Earl G. Tucker, Queen's Printer