Compensation (Defence) Act 1939

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1939 c. 75


Compensation (Defence) Act, 1939

(2 & 3 Geo. 6.) CHAPTER 75.

An Act to provide for compensation in respect of action taken on behalf of His Majesty in the exercise of certain emergency powers; and for purposes connected with the matter aforesaid.

[1st September 1939]

Be it enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Right to, and measure of, compensation.

Right to, and measure of, compensation.

S-1 Compensation for action taken in the exercise of emergency powers.

1 Compensation for action taken in the exercise of emergency powers.

(1) Where, in the exercise of emergency powers during the period beginning with the twenty-fourth day of August, nineteen hundred and thirty-nine, and ending with such day as His Majesty may by Order in Council declare to be the day on which the emergency came to an end,—

(a ) possession of any land has been taken on behalf of His Majesty, or

(b ) any property other than land has been requisitioned or acquired on behalf of His Majesty, or

(c ) any work has been done on any land on behalf of His Majesty, otherwise than by way of measures taken to avoid the spreading of the consequences of damage caused by war operations,

then, subject to the following provisions of this Act, compensation assessed in accordance with those provisions shall be paid, out of moneys provided by Parliament, in respect of the taking possession of the land, the requisition or acquisition of the property, or the doing of the work, as the case may be.

(2) For the purposes of this section, a requirement that any space or accommodation in a ship or an aircraft be placed at the disposal of any authority shall be deemed to be a requisition of property.

S-2 Compensation in respect of taking possession of land.

2 Compensation in respect of taking possession of land.

(1) The compensation payable under this Act in respect of the taking possession of any land shall be the aggregate of the following sums, that is to say,—

(a ) a sum equal to the rent which might reasonably be expected to be payable by a tenant in occupation of the land, during the period for which possession of the land is retained in the exercise of emergency powers, under a lease granted immediately before the beginning of that period, whereby the tenant undertook to pay all usual tenant's rates and taxes and to bear the cost of the repairs and insurance and the other expenses, if any, necessary to maintain the land in a state to command that rent, and

(b ) a sum equal to the cost of making good any damage to the land which may have occurred during the period for which possession thereof is so retained (except in so far as the damage has been made good during that period by a person acting on behalf of His Majesty), no account being taken of fair wear and tear or of damage caused by war operations, and

(c ) in a case where the land is agricultural land, a sum equal to the amount (if any) which might reasonably have been expected to be payable in addition to rent by an incoming tenant, in respect of things previously done for the purpose of the cultivation of the land, and in respect of seeds, tillages, growing crops and other similar matters, under a lease of the land granted immediately before possession thereof was taken in the exercise of emergency powers, and

(d ) a sum equal to the amount of any expenses reasonably incurred, otherwise than on behalf of His Majesty, for the purpose of compliance with any directions given on behalf of His Majesty in connection with the taking possession of the land:

Provided that—

(i) in computing for the purposes of paragraph (a ) of this subsection the rent which might reasonably be expected to be payable in respect of any land, and in computing for the purposes of paragraph (c ) of this subsection any amount which might reasonably have been expected to be payable in addition to rent by an incoming tenant, no account shall be taken of any appreciation of values due to the emergency; and

(ii) there shall not, by virtue of paragraph (b ) of this subsection, be payable in respect of damage to any land a sum greater than the value of the land at the time when possession thereof was taken in the exercise of emergency powers, no account being taken of any appreciation in the value thereof due to the emergency.

(2) Any compensation under paragraph (a ) of the preceding subsection shall be considered as accruing due from day to day during the period for which the possession of the land is taken in the exercise of emergency powers, and be apportionable in respect of time accordingly, and shall be paid to the person who for the time being would be entitled to occupy the land but for the fact that possession thereof is retained in the exercise of such powers, but this subsection shall not operate so as to require the making of payments at intervals of less than three months.

For the purposes of the enactments relating to income tax and the enactments relating to land tax, and in particular for the purposes of such of those enactments as relate to the deduction of tax from rent, any compensation under the said paragraph (a ) shall be deemed to be rent payable for the land, the Crown shall be deemed to pay it as tenant occupier, and the person receiving it shall be deemed to receive it as landlord.

(3) Any compensation under paragraph (b ) of subsection (1) of this section shall accrue due at the end of the period for which possession of the land is retained in the exercise of emergency powers, and shall be paid to the person who is then the owner of the land.

(4) Any compensation under paragraph (c ) of subsection (1) of this section shall accrue due at the time when possession of the land is taken in the exercise of emergency powers, and shall be paid to the person who, immediately before that time, was the occupier of the land.

(5) Any compensation under paragraph (d ) of subsection (1) of this section shall accrue due at the time when the expenses in respect of which the compensation is payable are incurred, and shall be paid to the person by whom or on whose behalf those expenses were incurred.

S-3 Compensation in respect of the doing of work on land.

3 Compensation in respect of the doing of work on land.

(1) Compensation under this Act in respect of the doing of any work on any land shall be payable only if the annual value of the land is diminished by reason of the doing of the work.

(2) The compensation payable under this Act in respect of the doing of any work on any land shall, in the first instance, be a sum calculated by reference to the diminution of the annual value of the land ascribable to the doing of the work, and shall be paid in instalments, quarterly in arrear, to the person who for the time being is entitled to occupy the land.

Any compensation under this subsection shall be considered as accruing due from day to day, and shall be apportionable in respect of time accordingly.

(3) If, at any time after compensation under the preceding subsection has become payable by reason of the doing of any work on any land, a person acting on behalf of His Majesty—

(a ) causes the land to be restored, so far as practicable, to the condition in which it would be but for the doing of the work, or

(b ) serves on the person for the time being entitled to occupy the land a written notice of intention to discharge the liability for the compensation by making, not earlier than a date specified in the notice, payment of a lump sum in accordance with the following provisions of this section,

the period in respect of which compensation is payable under the preceding subsection by reason of the doing of the work shall end with the date immediately preceding the date on which the restoration is completed or, as the case may be, the date specified in the notice.

(4) Where, by virtue of the operation of the last preceding subsection in relation to any work done on any land, the period in respect of which compensation under subsection (1) of this section is payable by reason of the doing of the work comes to an end, then if, at the expiration of that period, the value of any estate or interest which a person then has in the land is less than it would be but for the doing of the work, there shall be paid to him, by way of compensation under this Act, a sum equal to the amount of the said depreciation in the value of the estate or interest; and that compensation shall be taken to accrue due at the expiration of the said period.

(5) As soon as may be after effecting any restoration or serving any notice in pursuance of subsection (3) of this section, the person by whom the restoration was effected or the notice was served shall cause the fact of the restoration or the contents of the notice, as the case may be, to be published in such manner as he thinks best adapted for informing persons affected.

(6) In determining for the purposes of this section whether the annual value of ally land is diminished by reason of the doing of any work thereon, and in assessing any compensation under this section in respect of the doing of any work...

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