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EDITORIAL – November 23rd. 2018

EDITORIAL – November 23rd. 2018
November 23
11:03 2018

A lease is a formal agreement or covenant made between a property-owner and his tenant. It protects both the property-owner and the tenant.

Under Belize law a written lease can only be voided by a formal declaration from either side, stating the reasons for bringing the lease to an end.

Mayor Belisle of Belmopan should know this. His unilateral action in selling the land leased to the Public Service Union without prior notice of any kind is not only an unfriendly act. It is illegal!

Such a sale can have no standing in law because the Mayor cannot legally sell leased City Council property without first voiding the lease.

It may be true that the PSU has fallen behind in its payments. The PSU claims that the Belmopan City Council has declined to accept its payments.

The truth lies somewhere in between. There are a lot of unanswered questions surrounding this property. The shadowy Chinese buyer who tried to hide his identity by giving a false address; the overnight incorporation of the mystery company, and the stealth with which the transaction was made – all leave a bad taste in the mouth of the people who look up to the Belmopan City Council as a place of openness and fair play for Belizeans.

If this matter goes to court, and we hope it does, the Magistrate will be guided by the law. The relevant section of the law, Landlord and Tenant,is to be found in Ch. 189 at Section 15 (1) where it says “a right of re-entry or forfeiture under any covenant, proviso or stipulation in a lease for a breach of any covenant…shall not be enforceable by action or otherwise unless or until the leaser serves on the lessee a notice…If the breach is repairable, the lessee will be given an opportunity to repair it, taking into account extra charges which will be levied, such as interest on unpaid rents.

In any case the Belmopan City Council is required by law to give its lessee a fair chance at rehabilitation.

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