This Act provides with respect to leases and sales of settled estates. “Settled estates” signifies land, and any estate or interest therein, which is the subject of a settlement. “Settlement” signifies any instrument under or by virtue of which any land or any estate or interest in land stands limited to or in trust for any persons by way of succession. The Act sets out requirements and procedures for to leases and sales of (rights on) settled estates under authority of the court or by a tenant for life. The Court may authorise a sale of the whole or any parts of any settled estates or of any timber.Where a tenant for life is impeachable for waste in respect of timber, and there is on the land timber ripe and fit for cutting, the tenant for life, on obtaining the consent of the trustees of the settlement or an order of the Court, may cut and sell that timber or any part thereof. A tenant for life or Court may lease the settled land for agriculture for maximum twenty one years. A sale may be made by a tenant for life, either of land, with or without an exception or reservation of all or any of the mines and minerals therein and related rights. The Act also concerns certain rights on water related to settled land.
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English and Irish colonists from St. Kitts first settled on Montserrat in 1632; the first African slaves arrived three decades later. The British and French fought for possession of the island for most of the 18th century, but it finally was confirmed as a British possession in 1783. The island's sugar plantation economy was converted to small farm landholdings in the mid-19th century. Much of this island was devastated and two-thirds of the population fled abroad because of the eruption of the Soufriere Hills Volcano that began on 18 July 1995.