This Act concerns control of holding of interests in land in Montserrat by foreigners, i.e. persons other than a person belonging to Montserrat (as defined in section 2(2)(b) of the Immigration Act). Subject to the provisions of this Act, neither land in Montserrat nor a mortgage on land in Montserrat shall, be held by a person not belonging to Montserrat, and any land or mortgage so held shall be forfeited to Her Majesty. Land may be acquired, however, be acquired and held by a person not belonging to Montserrat under a lease for a term of five years or an annual tenancy or for any less interest for the purposes of residence, trade, or business, but such person shall not so hold more than five acres of land in all. The Governor acting on the advice of Cabinet may, from time to time, grant to any person not belonging to Montserrat a licence in Form A of the Schedule to hold land as owner or tenant or mortgagee of any estate or interest therein, which may subject to conditions. On breach of any condition in a licence granted under the provisions of this Act, the estate and interest of the person not belonging to Montserrat in the land or mortgage held under the authority thereof shall be forfeited to Her Majesty. The Act also concerns registration of transactions in land made under this Act and holding property in trust for persons not belonging to Montserrat by persons belonging to Montserrat.
Repeals: Landholding Control Act (Cap. 8.02) (2002-01-01)
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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.
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