Monthly Archives: April 2023

Confusion about Leases on Customary Land

I have always been involved in the valuation and management of leasehold interests in land. However, when you work in different countries you come to realise that all leases are not the same. For example, from my early career experience in England, the permitted improvements on residential development leases dating back to the Victorian era became an asset of the landowner at lease expiration, when the land and ‘any improvements thereon’ reverted to the holder of the superior interest supposedly in ‘good and tenantable repair’ at the end of the leasehold term.

When I worked in Fiji and other Pacific Islands from the late 1990s, I was surprised to discover that ownership in the land belonged to the customary landowners but seemingly the improvements thereon remain the property of the tenants. It took a long time to discover why this apparent anomaly had occurred… and that voyage of discovery is the focus of this week’s podcast episode Leasing Customary Land: Problem or Solution?

You can access all of The Customary Land Podcast episodes using this link or listen in your favourite podcast player. For those of you who prefer to watch a video version, it is provided here.