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Land

Land Administration
 
The Department of Lands and Survey and the iTaukei Land Trust Board (TLTB) are the two authorities that undertake management and administration of most land in Fiji.
 
Department of Land and Survey
The Department of Lands and Survey manages all State lands, which includes foreshore land lying between high and low spring tide limits. The Department has established a Land Information System to assist with land Information System. Additionally, the Department coordinates the work of the new land Use Unit which was established to implement Governments Land Reform initiative that will pave the way for improved socio-economic growth with a focus on equitable returns to the landowners and security of tenure for the tenants.
 
More information is available on www.lands.gov.fj
 
 
iTaukei Land Trust Board (TLTB)
 
The TLTB is a statutory Board (established in 1940) and is vested with the control and administration of itaukei land (formerly “native land”). The Board is Trustee for the itaukei landowners. It is empowered to alienate itaukei lands by way of leases and licences. Leases that can be issued are of various types including - Residential, Agricultural, Tourism, Commercial, Development Leases etc. The leases are issued for a period of years with terms and conditions suited to the purposes or type of lease applied for. Agricultural Leases are normally for a period of 30 years under the Agricultural Landlord and Tenant Act (ALTA) and the term of other leases under the iTaukei Land Trust Act may be for a period up to 99 years. 
 
iTaukei lands cannot be sold except to the State. The State can also acquire itaukei lands compulsorily on payment of agreed compensation. State lands can also be exchanged with itaukei lands. However, itaukei leased lands can be sold or offered as a security for a loan with the prior consent of the TLTB. Without TLTB’s prior consent the sale and any dealing on itaukei land is null and void. Sales of shares of Lessee Companies that involve a change of “ownership” and “control” of the leased itaukei land must receive prior approval/consent of TLTB, or the sale is deemed null and void. 
 
TLTB aligns its leasing Policy to Government’s policy to ensure maximum utilization of all idle lands and accessibility to land for all purposes to facilitate economic growth and development. Land reforms have been introduced since 2009 to align the management of lands with reforms in other Sectors of the Economy, and make more land accessible for leasing. TLTB controls and administers 87% of all lands in Fiji. The other 13% comprise State and freehold lands. State lands are administered by the Lands Department. A Land Use Unit was set up under a Decree to facilitate leasing of unencumbered state and itaukei lands. More information on the TLTB is available on www.tltb.com.fj
 
Land Tenure
 
Leases of all types are granted for a period of years depending on the purpose. A lease is a contract between the Lessor (Landlord) and the Lessee (Tenant). Rent payment is a basic condition of a lease in return for vacant possession and quiet enjoyment of the lease. TLTB issue leases on itaukei lands while, the Lands Department issue leases on State lands. There is also the Land Use Unit (of the Lands Department) which issue leases of both State and itaukei lands under the Land Use Decree.
 
Due diligence is carried out before a lease offer is issued to verify the status and capacity of the intending lessee to observe the terms and conditions of a lease, particularly the payment of rent and meeting the development requirements in line with the purpose of a lease.
 
Rents are subject to reassessment periodically (normally every 5 years). Depending on how the lease is issued, rent may be fixed to not more than 6% of the unimproved capital value (UCV) of the land (for ALTA leases), and market rent for others. For Tourism, Commercial and major Subdivision leases compliance with the development requirements (particularly building Clause) is critical. All leases may be terminated for breaches of lease conditions.
 
Leases (whether on iTaukei or State lands) are transferable and can be lodged as security with a Commercial Bank (Financial Institution) however with the prior consent of the TLTB or the State as the case may be.
 
Leases on surveyed lands are registered under the Land Transfer Act while Leases on unsurveyed lands, especially ALTA Leases/Instruments of Tenancy are registered as Deeds with the Registrar of Deeds. TLTB also issues Agreements for Lease (AFL) for unsurveyed itaukei lands. It is advisable that all lands that are leased are surveyed and registered under the Land Transfer Act.