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Limitation Act 1953 [Act 254]

15 Right of action not to accrue or continue unless there is adverse possession

(1) No right of action to recover land shall be deemed to accrue unless the land is in the possession of some person in whose favour the period of limitation can run (hereafter in this section referred to as "adverse possession") and where under the foregoing provisions of this Act any such right of action is deemed to accrue on a certain date and no person is in adverse possession on that date, the right of action shall not be deemed to accrue unless and until adverse possession is taken of the land.

(2) Where a right of action to recover land has accrued and thereafter, before the right is barred, the land ceases to be in adverse possession, the right of action shall no longer be deemed to have accrued and no fresh right of action shall be deemed to accrue unless and until the land is again taken into adverse possession.

(3) For the purposes of this section-

(a) possession of any land subject to a rent charge by a person (other than the person entitled to the rent charge) who does not pay the rent shall be deemed to be adverse possession of the rent charge; and

(b) receipt of rent under a lease by a person wrongfully claiming, in accordance with subsection 13(4) of this Act, the land in reversion shall be deemed to be adverse possession of the land.

16 Limitation of redemption actions

When a mortgagee of land has been in possession of any of the mortgaged land for a period of twelve years, no action to redeem the land of which the mortgagee has been so in possession shall thereafter be brought by the mortgagor or any person claiming through him:

Provided that where a mortgagee is by virtue of the mortgage in possession of any mortgaged land and either receives any sum in respect of the principal or interest of the mortgage debt or acknowledges in accordance with section 27 of this Act the title of the mortgagor, or his equity of redemption, an action to redeem the land in his possession may be brought at any time before the expiration of twelve years from the date of the payment or acknowledgment.

17 No right of action to be preserved by formal entry or continual claim

For the purposes of this Act, no person shall be deemed to have been in possession of any land by reason only of having made a formal entry thereon, and no continual or other claim upon or near any land shall preserve any right of action to recover the land.

18 Right of person out of possession extinguished

At the determination of the period limited by this Act to any person for bringing an action to recover land the right and title of such person to the land for the recovery whereof such action might have been brought within such period, shall be extinguished.

19 Administrator's claim to date back to death

For the purposes of this Act relating to actions for the recovery of land an administrator of the estate of a deceased person shall be deemed 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.

20 Limitation of actions to recover rent

No action shall be brought, or distress made, to recover arrears of rent, or damages in respect thereof, after the expiration of six years from the date on which the arrears became due.

Actions to recover money secured by mortgage or charge or to recover proceeds of the sale of land

21 Limitation of actions to recover money secured by a mortgage or charge or to recover proceeds of the sale of land

(1) No action shall be brought to recover any principal sum of money secured by a mortgage or other charge on land or personal property or to enforce such mortgage or charge, or to recover proceeds of the sale of land or personal property after the expiration of twelve years from the date when the right to receive the money accrued.

(2) No foreclosure action in respect of mortgaged personal property shall be brought after the expiration of twelve years from the date on which the right to foreclose accrued:

Provided that if, after that date the mortgagee was in possession of the mortgaged property, the right to foreclose on the property which was in his possession shall not, for the purposes of this subsection, be deemed to have accrued until the date on which his possession discontinued.

(3) The right to receive any principal sum of money secured by a mortgage or other charge and the right to foreclose on the property subject to the mortgage or charge shall not be deemed to accrue so long as that property comprises any future interests or any life insurance policy which has not matured or been determined.

(4) Nothing in the preceding subsections of this section shall apply to a foreclosure action in respect of mortgaged land but the provisions of this Act relating to actions to recover land shall apply to such an action.

(5) No action to recover arrears of interest payable in respect of any sum of money secured by a mortgage or other charge or payable in respect of proceeds of the sale of land, or to recover damages in respect of such arrears shall be brought after the expiration of six years from the date on which the interest became due:

Provided that-

(a) where a prior mortgagee or other incumbrancer has been in possession of the property mortgaged or charged, and an action is brought within one year of the discontinuance
of such possession by the subsequent incumbrancer, he may recover by that action all the arrears of interest which fell due during the period of possession by the prior incumbrancer or damages in respect thereof, notwithstanding that the period exceeded six years;

(b) where the property subject to the mortgage or charge comprises any future interest or life insurance policy and it is a term of the mortgage or charge that arrears of interest shall be treated as part of the principal sum of money secured by the mortgage or charge, interest shall not be deemed to become due before the right to receive the principal sum of money has accrued or is deemed to have accrued.


(6) This section shall not apply to any mortgage or charge of a ship.

Actions in respect of trust property or the personal estate of deceased persons

22 Limitation of actions in respect of trust property

(1) No period of limitation prescribed by this Act shall apply to an action by a beneficiary under a trust, being an action-

(a) in respect of any fraud or fraudulent breach of trust to which the trustee was a party or privy; or

(b) to recover from the trustee trust property or the proceeds thereof in the possession of the trustee, or previously received by the trustee and converted to his use.


(2) Subject as aforesaid, an action by a beneficiary to recover trust property or in respect of any breach of trust, not being an action for which a period of limitation is prescribed by any other provision of this Act, shall not be brought after the expiration of six years from the date on which the right of action accrued:

Provided that the right of action shall not be deemed to have accrued to any beneficiary entitled to a future interest in the trust property, until the interest fell into possession.

(3) No beneficiary as against whom there would be a good defence under this Act shall derive any greater or other benefit from a judgment or order obtained by any other beneficiary than he could have obtained if he had brought the action and this Act had been pleaded in defence.

23 Limitation of actions claiming personal estate of a deceased person

Subject to subsection 22(1) of this Act, no action in respect of any claim to the personal estate of a deceased person or to any share or interest in such estate, whether under a will or on intestacy, shall be brought after the expiration of twelve years from the date when the right to receive the share or interest accrued, and no action to recover arrears of interest in respect of any legacy, or damages in respect of such arrears, shall be brought after the expiration of six years from the date on which the interest became due.


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