Ordinance Nos,
19 of 1915
32 of 1917
42 of 1917
3 of 1929
13 of 1931
34 of 1933
11 of 1935
17 of 1943
24 of 1946
57 of 1946
16 of 1947
Act Nos,
29 of 1953
10 of 1954
53 of 1954
28 of 1956
3 of 1978
39 of 1979
38 of 1980
[1st December
, 1915
Short title.

1. This Ordinance may be cited as the Housing and Town Improvement Ordinance.


2. In this Ordinance, unless the context otherwise requires- “administrative region” means an administrative region defined by Order made under section 2 of the Local Government (Administrative Regions) Ordinance;

” assessed annual value ” with regard to any land or building means the value at which such land or building has been assessed for the purpose of rates under any enactment;

[ 3, 38 of 1980.]

” building ” in relation to-

(a) a house, means a building that is detached or joined to another building on any side, adapted or designed for use as a dwelling house, consisting of at least one living room, a cooking place and a latrine, but does not include a flat;

(b) a flat or an apartment, means a self-contained suite of rooms, on one or more than one floor, as the case may be, of a building of one or more than one storey, adapted or designed for use as a dwelling house;

(c) a residential building, means any building or a portion of a building adapted and designed for use as a dwelling house other than those mentioned in paragraphs (a) and (6), and includes a boarding house, hostel, lodging house, residential club and residential hotel;

(d) a dwelling attached to a building of another category, means a dwelling or a warehouse and a dwelling or a factory and a dwelling or a shop and a dwelling, adapted and designed for use as a residence and includes a building or a portion of a building designed for use as the residence of a caretaker;

(e) a commercial building, means any building or a portion of a building which is used for professional or commercial purposes;

(f) a warehouse, means any building or a portion of a building which is used for bulk storage of goods and includes a parking garage but does not include a shop, boutique or other place used mainly for the sale of goods, nor a garage used solely for carrying out repairs;

(g) an industrial building, means any building or a portion of a building used or intended to be used as a factory or workshop and includes any depository or store or any office within the same site, the use of which is incidental to the use of such factory or workshop;

(h) a public building, means any building belonging to a public institution including a benevolent home, convalescent house, hospital, nursery, nursing home, orphanage and sanatorium; or any building where people assemble for the purpose of recreation, amusement, entertainment, instructions, meeting or worship;

(i) an outbuilding means any building of any category of buildings not falling within any one of the above-mentioned categories and includes any appurtenances of a building and any masonry boundary wall or gateway.

” Chairman ” means the Chairman of the local authority or of the Board of Improvement Commissioners, and in the case of a Municipal Council includes the Mayor and Deputy Mayor:

Provided that where the local authority is the Assistant Commissioner of Local Government for any administrative region, any reference in this Ordinance to the Chairman shall be deemed to be a reference to such Assistant Commissioner;

“construction” in the case of any street or thoroughfare includes provisions for the lighting of the street or thoroughfare and the supply of water to its inhabitants, and its sewering, draining, levelling, paving, kerbing, metalling, channelling, and every method of making a carriageway or footway, and the provision of access to the street or thoroughfare;

“cost of construction” includes a reasonable percentage in respect of establishment charges, and in the case of the provision of access, the cost involved in the acquisition of any land necessary for the purpose;

” dwelling house ” means a building used or constructed or adapted to be used wholly or principally for human habitation;

“habitable room” means a room constructed or adapted to be inhabited ;

” health officer” includes any medical officer of health or any officer charged with the medical supervision of public health by any local authority;

” inhabited room” means a room in which some person passes the night, or which is used as a living room, and includes a room in respect of which in the circumstances of the case there is a probable presumption (until the contrary is shown) that some person passes the night therein, or that it is used as a living room;

” local authority ” means-

(a) within any Municipal limits, the Municipal Council,

(b) within the limits of any Urban Council or Town Council, the Urban Council or Town Council,

(c) within the administrative limits of any Village Council, the Assistant Commissioner of Local Government for the administrative region within which such limits are situated, or if the Minister by Order published in the Gazette so directs, the Village Council,

(d) in any place outside any of the limits aforesaid, the Assistant Commissioner of Local Government for the administrative region within which such place is situated ;

“Magistrate” includes a Municipal Magistrate;

” owner ” includes the person for the time being receiving the rent of the premises in connection with which the word is used, whether on his own account, or as agent or trustee for any other person, or who would receive the same if such premises were let to a tenant;

[ 3, 38 of 1980.]

” public street” means any street over which the public have a right of way, which is or has been usually repaired or maintained in whole or in part by any public authority, or which has been conveyed to them or has become vested in them under any enactment or by operation of law;

” street” includes any road, footway, or passage used or intended to be used as a means of access to two or more houses or sites of houses, whether the public have a right of way thereover or not, and includes all channels, drains, ditches, sidewalks, and reservations at the side thereof; “tribunal of appeal” means the tribunal referred to in Chapter II of Part IV;

” window” includes an opening for ventilation which is so placed as to admit both light and air without obstruction. Where any expression is used denoting or implying conformity with, or contravention of, any enactment, the expression ” Ordinance ” or ” enactment ” shall be deemed to include any rule, regulation, by-law, scheme, or order made thereunder. All references to this Ordinance include the Schedule.

Application of Ordinance.

3. This Ordinance shall apply-

(a) within the administrative limits of any Municipal Council, Urban Council or Town Council;

(b) within any other limits in which it shall be declared to be in force by resolution of Parliament.

Powers under Ordinance to be additional to powers conferred by other enactments.

4. The powers conferred upon any local authority by this Ordinance shall be in addition to, and not in derogation of, any powers of such local authority under any other enactment:

Provided that in any case in which any provision of this Ordinance is in conflict with any provision of any such other enactment, the provision of this Ordinance shall prevail.

No building to be erected without approval of chairman,

5. No person shall erect or re-erect any building within the limits administered by a local authority, except in accordance with plans, drawings, and specifications approved in writing by the Chairman.

No alteration without consent of Chairman.


(1) No person shall make any alteration in any building within the limits administered by a local authority without the written consent of the Chairman.

(2) For purposes of this and the connected sections an ” alteration ” means any of the following works;-

(a) the construction of a roof or any part thereof, or an external or party wall;

(b) the closing or construction of any door or window in an external wall;

(c) the construction of an internal wall or partition;

(d) any other alteration of the internal arrangements of a building which effect any change in the open space attached to such building, or its drainage, ventilation, or sanitary arrangements;

(e) the addition of any building, room, outhouse, or other structure ;

(f) the roofing of any space between one or more walls and buildings;

(g) the conversion into a dwelling house of any building not originally constructed for human habitation ;

(h) the conversion into more than one place for human habitation of a building originally constructed as one such place;

(i) the conversion of two or more places of human habitation into a greater number of such places;

(j) the alteration of a building for the purpose of effecting a partition among joint owners; and

(k) the re-erection of any part of the building demolished for the purpose of such re-erection or otherwise destroyed.

But the said expression shall not include-

(i) the re-roofing in whole or in part with cadjan or any substance of similar character of any building or part of a building; or

(ii) the re-erection in whole or in part of any wall of any thatched mud and wattle building, or any part thereof, rendered unfit for habitation by stress of weather or other similar cause; or

(iii) any repair or minor alteration as to which it shall have been declared by public notice on the order of the Chairman that the consent of the Chairman will not be required under this section.

No approval or consent to be given except in accordance with law.


(1) The Chairman shall not-

(a) approve any plan or specification of any building; or

(b) consent to any alteration in any building,

which shall conflict, or cause such building to conflict, with the provisions of this Ordinance or any other enactment.

(2) Where any proposed alteration in any building involves the addition of any room or storey to the building, the Chairman may refuse to consent to any such alteration unless the whole building or any part thereof is brought into conformity with this Ordinance or any other enactment.

(3) The Chairman shall not refuse his approval or consent except on the grounds indicated in this section, or on the ground of non-compliance with any requirement made under section 8.

(4) An alteration shall be deemed to cause a building to conflict with any provision of this Ordinance or any other enactment in any case in which the construction of the building, in such a manner as to include the alteration, would be in conflict with such provision,

Requirements by Chairman.

8. For the purpose of the consideration of any application for his approval or consent under this Chapter, the Chairman may require-

(a) the submission of plans, drawings, and specifications in such form and containing such particulars as may be prescribed by local by-laws, or in the absence of such by-laws by the Chairman;

(b) the amendment of any plan, drawing, or specification so submitted so as to bring it into accordance with law;

(c) the submission of such further information as he may require for the purpose of his decision ;

(d) the attendance before him of the person making the application, or some person on his behalf, for the purpose of giving any explanation which the Chairman may require of any plan, specification, or information submitted in accordance with this section ;