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Distress Act 1951 [Act 255]

21 Removal of goods to avoid distress

(1) If any person removes or causes or permits to be removed from any premises property liable to be seized under a warrant of distress, with the intention of hindering or preventing the distraint thereof, a Judge may, on application by the landlord, authorize the bailiff, within thirty days of such removal, to follow and seize such property in execution of the warrant, wherever it may be found, and to deal therewith as if it had been seized on the premises.

(2) The bailiff may, without an order to that effect, follow and seize any such property discovered by him while in process of removal.

22 Where goods removed sold to bona fide purchaser

(1) If any property so removed has been sold for fair value, whether before or after removal, to a bona fide purchaser not knowing or having the means of knowing that it was liable to distress for non-payment of rent or was removed in order to hinder or prevent the distraint thereof, it shall not be seized, or, if seized, shall be restored to the purchaser.

(2) Any person claiming to be a bona fide purchaser for fair value of any property seized under section 21 may within four days of such seizure, or such further time as a Judge may allow, apply for an order that the property so seized may be restored to him, and a Judge may make such order accordingly.

23 Deserted premises

(1) Where-

(a) any premises are let at a rack rent or a rent not less than three-fourths of its annual value;

(b) rent is in arrears for not less than two months of the tenancy; and

(c) the tenant has abandoned possession of the premises and left thereon no sufficient property out of which arrears of rent may be recovered by distress,


a Judge may, on the application of the landlord, authorize the bailiff to enter on the premises, using such force as may be necessary to effect an entry into any building thereon, and take possession thereof; and the bailiff shall in such case enter on the premises and affix in a conspicuous place thereon a notice that possession thereof will be delivered to the landlord, unless within ten days a Judge, on the application of any person interested, otherwise orders.

(2) If no such application is made within ten days, the bailiff shall put the landlord in possession of the premises, and the lease or agreement of tenancy shall therefrom be deemed to be determined.

(3) If any such application is made, the Judge may make such order for possession of the premises, and on such terms as to payment of rent due or otherwise, as he deems fair as between the parties, and for that purpose may direct that any preliminary question be tried as an issue.

(4) An order made under this section may be discharged for sufficient reason and on such terms as the Judge deems fair, on application by any person interested, notwithstanding that the period
thereby prescribed has expired.

(5) An order made under this section shall be deemed to be a warrant of distress for the purposes of section 72 and proviso (b) to subsection 93(1) of the Subordinate Courts Act 1948 [Act 92].

24 Penalty

Any person who sells or abets the sale of any property seized under a warrant of distress in contravention of the provisions of this Act or of any rules of court relating to the sale of property seized under a warrant of distress, shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding five hundred ringgit or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months.

25 Notice to quit

Where rent due by any tenant, otherwise than for a term certain, of any house or premises to the landlord thereof has remained unpaid for not less than fourteen days after payment thereof became due and still remains unpaid, then, in the absence of an express agreement between the parties to the contrary, any notice to quit given by the landlord to the tenant shall, if the length thereof be otherwise sufficient, expire on such day as may by the terms of the notice be appointed for the expiration thereof, whether such day coincide with the termination of some period of the tenancy or not.

26 Repeal

(1) The written laws set out in the Schedule hereto are hereby repealed to the extent specified in the third column of such Schedule.

(2) Nothing in this Act shall affect any proceedings pending at its commencement, unless the court shall otherwise order.

(3) Notwithstanding such repeal, and subject to this Act, the practice and procedure relating to distress proceedings in the High Court shall be deemed to continue in force until other provision is made therefor by rules of court.


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