Ordinance Nos,
11 of 1882
3 of 1887
3 of 1890
[1st January
, 1883
Short title.

1. This Ordinance may be cited as the Small Tenements Ordinance.


2. In this Ordinance, unless the context otherwise requires-

” tenement ” shall mean a house or other building or any part thereof rented, or which may be rented, exclusively of all taxes, rates, and assessments, at a sum not exceeding twenty rupees a month, other than a tenement held, or occupied under a tenure registered under the provisions of the Service Tenures Ordinance ;

” town ” shall mean-

(a) the area within the administrative limits of a Municipal Council,

(b) any urban area within the administrative . limits of an Urban Council,

(c) any town brought under the operation the Town Councils Ordinance, and also

(d) such other towns which shall be deter-mined upon by the Minister, and the limits of which, for the purposes of this Ordinance, shall, by Order,’ be published in the Gazette.

Where the tenant or occupier of a
tenement refuses to give up possession after determination of tenancy, the landlord may apply to the Court of Requests for writ of possession; and if tenant does not appear on rule nisi served upon him, or fails to show cause, the court shall issue writ to give possession to landlord.

3. Whenever the term or interest of the tenant of any tenement situated in any town shall have ended, or shall have been duly determined by legal notice to and such tenant, or (if such tenant do not actually occupy the premises or occupy only a part thereof) any person by whom the same or any part hereof shall be then actually occupied, shall neglect or refuse to quit and deliver up possession of the tenement or of such part thereof respectively, it shall be lawful for the landlord to file in the Court of Requests of the division in which such tenement is situated an application praying for the recovery of possession, and such application shall be supported by an affidavit of the landlord or his agent, setting forth the holding, the end, or other determination of the tenancy, with the time or manner thereof, and where the title of the applicant shall have accrued since the letting of the premises, the right by which he claims the possession. Thereupon the court shall cause a copy of the application and affidavit aforesaid and a rule nisi to be served on the tenant or occupier to appear on a day certain to be named by the court, not less than three or more than seven clear days after the service of the said rule, and show cause why he should not deliver up possession of the tenement to the said applicant or his agent; and if the tenant or occupier shall not appear at the time appointed, or, appearing, pall not show good and valid cause to the contrary, the rule nisi shall be made absolute with costs, and the court shall forthwith issue (and if need be reissue) a writ of possession to the Fiscal of the district requiring and authorizing him, within a period therein to be named, not less than three or more than seven clear days from the date of the issue or reissue of such writ, to give possession of the tenement to such landlord or his agent; and such writ shall be sufficient to the said Fiscal to enter upon the tenement with such assistants as he shall deem necessary and to give possession accordingly. And the costs incurred in the suing out and execution of such writ shall be recovered from the tenant or occupier:

Provided always that nothing herein contained shall be deemed to protect any person, by whom any such writ shall be sued out, from any action or proceeding which may be brought against him by any such tenant or occupier for or in respect of such entry and taking possession, where such person had not at the time of suing out the same as aforesaid lawful right to the possession of the said tenement.

Mode of service of rule nisi, and the return thereto.

4. The rule nisi aforesaid shall be served by the
Fiscal, or any officer appointed by him, on the tenant or occupier personally, or by leaving the same with some adult person being in and apparently residing at the place of abode of the person or persons so holding over as aforesaid :

Provided that if the person or persons so holding over, or any or either of them, cannot be found, and the place of abode of such person or persons shall either not be known or admission thereto cannot be obtained for serving such rule nisi, the posting of the rule nisi on some conspicuous part of the tenement so held over shall be deemed to be good service upon such person or persons respectively, anything in the Fiscals Ordinance to the contrary notwithstanding, and the Fiscal shall return to the court the mode of the service of the said rule nisi and the circumstances under which such service was made.

where tenant raises a valid defence, necessitating postponement of the hearing.

5. If, in showing cause to the rule nisi aforesaid, the
tenant shall, upon affidavit, deny the legal determination of the tenancy, or shall profess to hold the tenement in his own right or under any other person than the applicant, or raise any other valid defence, necessitating, in the opinion of the court, a postponement of the hearing, the court shall immediately settle and record the issue or issues raised, and, having regard to the circumstances of the case, appoint as early a day as possible for the hearing of evidence, and the parties shall take immediate notice of the same. The chief clerk of the said court shall thereupon issue subpoenas to such witnesses as may be required by the parties, commanding their attendance at the time and place specified. No further postponement of the hearing shall be allowed except by consent of parties, or for any reason save the absence of a material witness And in every affidavit for founding a motion for such postponement, the facts which the said witness knows and is able to prove shall be set forth, as also that he is not kept away by collusion. On the day appointed the court shall hear and determine the issues raised, and give judgment thereon, anything in any other enactment to the contrary notwithstanding.

execution of writ of possession may be stayed.

6. In every case in which the person by whom any such writ of possession shall be sued out of the court
had not at the time of suing out the same lawful right to the possession of the tenement, the suing out of the writ aforesaid shall be deemed a trespass by him against the tenant or occupier of the tenement, although no entry shall be made by virtue of the writ of possession. And in case any such tenant or occupier will become bound with two sufficient securities in such sum as to the court shall seem reasonable, regard being had to the rent already due and which may become due, and to the probable cost of the action herein mentioned, to sue in a court of competent jurisdiction, within two months from the date of such bond, the person by whom such writ was sued out, and to pay all the costs incidental to such action in case a judgment shall pass for the defendant, or the plaintiff shall discontinue or not prosecute his action or become nonsuit therein, execution upon the writ shall be stayed until judgment shall have been given in such action ; and if, upon the trial of such action of trespass, judgment shall pass for the plaintiff, such judgment shall supersede the said writ.

Appeal to Supreme Court.

7. Any party who shall be dissatisfied with any final judgment, or any order having the effect of a final judgment, may appeal to the Supreme Court against any such judgment or order, and all such appeals shall be filed within five days (exclusive of Sundays and holidays) of the order or judgment complained of, and be governed in all other respects by the same rules as are applicable to appeals from judgments of Courts of Requests.

Forms to be used.

8. The precedents contained in the Schedule of forms shall be followed as near as is material in the procedure enacted by this Ordinance.

Minister may extend the provisions of this Ordinance to places other than towns.

9. It shall be lawful for the Minister, [1] by Order1 in. the Gazette, from time to time to extend all or any of the provisions of this Ordinance, anything in this Ordinance to the contrary notwithstanding, to any place in Ceylon other than a town, and to define in such Order [1] the limits of such place ; and the Minister [1] may repeal such Order,[1] and may from time to time by like Order[1] alter or vary the limits of any such place.


Chapter 102, Volume No. 4 Page No.520.