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GENERAL ASSEMBLY,

Sir W. Gooch, Bart. Governor

BEGUN AND HELD AT

The College in Williamsburg, the twenty-seventh day

of October, in the twenty-second year of the reign of our sovereign lord Gcorge II. by the grace of God, of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, fc. and in the year of our Lord, 1748.

CHAP. XV.

An act for the better securing the payment of rents, and preventing the fraudulent practices of Tenants.

I. BE it enacted, by the Lieutenant Governor, Coun- The method cil, and Burgesses, of this present General Assembly, of proceedand it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, ingin dis. That where any goods or chattels shall be distrained tress for renty for any rent reserved, and due, upon any demise, lease, or contract whatsoever, and the tenant, or own. er of the goods so distrained, shall not, within ten days after such distress taken, and notice thereof, and the cause of such taking, left at the chief mansion house, or other most notorious place on the premises, charged with the rent distrained for, replevy the same, by sufficient security given to the sheriff, or officer serving such distress, to pay the money or tobacco, and all costs, with lawful interest for the same, at the end of three months, in such case, such sheriff or officer shall and may sell the goods and chattes so distrained, by public auction to the highest bidder, either for money or tobacco, according as the rent reserved shall be due and payable, in the like manner as goods or chattels taken in execution; and all bonds and securities, taken upon such sale, shall be returns ed by the sheriff or officer, and be of the like force, and leviable when due, in the same manner as bonda taken upon executing a writ of fieri facias.

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Where the II. Provided always, That when distress shall be distress is for made for tobacco, between the last day of September, tween 30th and the last day of December in any year, and the Sep. and 31st goods distrained shall not be replevied as aforesaid,

such goods shall be sold, and security taken for pay. ing the tobacco by the first day of January then next; and the bonds taken for the same, and costs of seizure and sale, shall be by the officer delivered to the land

lord for whom distress was made. Remedy III. And be it further enacted by the authority aforein case of said, That in case any distress and sale shall be made, wrongfuldis- under colour of this act, for rent pretended to be in Yeys,

arrear and due, where in truth no rent is arrear, or due, to the person or persons distraining, or to him, her, or them, in whose name or names, or right, such distress shall be taken as aforesaid, then the owner of the goods and chattels so distrained and sold, his executors or administrators, shall have remedy, by action of trespass, or upon the case, against the person and persons so wrongfully distraining, or either of them, his, her, or their executors and administrators, and shall recover double the value of the goods and chattels so distrained and sold, together with full costs of

suit. Treble da.

IV. And be it further enacted by the authority aforemages upon

said, That upon any pound-breach, or rescous, of pound goods or chattels distrained for rent, the person or breach 'or a

persons grieved thereby shall, in a special action upon the case for the wrong thereby sustained, recover treble damages, with costs of suit, against the offender and offenders in any such rescous or pound-breach, or either of them, or against the owner of the goods distrained, in case the same be afterwards found to have

come to his or her use or possession. Goods apon

V. And be it further enacted by the authority aforeleasehold said, That no goods or chattels whatsoever, lying or lands may being in or upon any messuage, lands, or tenements, not be taken whici arc, or shall be Jeased for life, or lives, term of without pay. years, at will, or otherwise, shall at any time hereing the rent after be liable to be taken, by virtue of any writ of

execution, or on any pretence whatsoever, unless the party so taking the same shall, before removal of the goods from off sach premises, pay or tender to the landlord, or lessor thereof, or his agent, all the money or tobacco due for the rent of the said premises, at the time of taking such goods or chattels in execa tion.

regcous.

arrear.

VI. Provided nevertheless, That such rent arrear But not for do not amount to more than one year's rent; and if more than more be due, then the party'suing out such execu

one year. tion, paying or tendering to such landlord, or his agent, one year's rent, may proceed to execute his judgment: and the sheriff or officer serving the same is hereby impowered and required to levy and pay to the plaintiff, as well the money or tobacco so paid for rent, as the execution money.

VII. And be it further enacted by the authority afore- Where ter said, That where any landlord shall have sufficient ant removes, grounds to suspect that his tenant will remove, with the landlord his effects, out of the county, before the expiration of tachment his term, so as no distress for the said rent can be made, it shall be lawful for such landlord to go before any justice of the peace, of the county where the lands leased do lie, and make oath, what rent the tenant is to pay, and at what time the same will be due, and that he has just cause to suspect, and verily believes, such tenant will remove his, or her effects out of the county, before the time of payment; and thereupon such justice may, and he is hereby impowered and required, to issue an attachment against the goods and chattels of such tenant, returnable to his next coupty court, and if such tenant shall not, at the time of serving such attachment, or before, or at such next court, enter into recognizance, with one or more sufficient securities, for the payment of the said rent at the time it shall become due, it shall be lawful for such court, and they are hereby required, to order the goods attached to be sold, by the sheriff at public auction, for money or tobacco, according to the reservation of the rent, to be paid at the time the rent shall become due, the purchasers giving good security for such payment, and to assign the bonds taken for the same, and the costs, to such landlord: and the overplus of such sale, if any, besides the charges of attachment and sale, to return to the owner.

VIU. And that in case any lessee, for life or lives, Goods carterm of years, at will, or otherwise, of messuages, ried off, may lands, or tenements, upon the demise whereof any within ten rents are or shall be reserved, or made payable, shall daye, at any time, fraudulently or clandestinely, convey or carry off or from such demised premises, his goods or chattels, with intent to prevent the landlord, or Jessor, from distraining the same for arrears of rent so reserv.

ed, it shall be lawful for such lessor or landlord, or any person or persons by him for that purpose law. fully impowered, within ten days next after such conveying away, or carrying off such goods and chattels, to take and seize the same wherever they shall be found, as a distress for the arrears of such rent, and the same to sell, in like manner as if they actually had been distrained, by such lessor or landlord, in

and upon the dernised premises. But not if IX. Provided always, That no goods or chattels se sold before carried off, and bona fide sold for a valuable consideseizure.

ration, before such seizure made, shall be afterwards

liable to be so taken op seized for any arrears of rent. Rent arrear X. And be it further enacted by the authority aforeupon lease said, That any person or persons, having rent in arverable by rear or due, upon any lease or demise, for life or action of lives, may bring an action or actions of debt for such debt.

arrears of rent, in the same manner as if such rent were due, and reserved upon a lease for years.

XI. And that it shall be lawful for any person or How rent arrear may be persons, having rent in arrear or due upon any lease distrained af- for life or lives, or for years, or at will, ended or deter determi.

termined, to distrain for such arrears after the deternation of the lease. mination of the respective leases, in the same manner

as if such lease or leases had not been determined. Proviso. XII. Provided, That such distress be made within

six months after the determination of such Jease, and during the continuance of such landlord's title or in. terest, and during the possession of the tenant from

whom such arrears became due. Saving debts XIII. Provided also, and it is hereby enacted and due to the declared, That nothing in this act contained shall exķing

tend, or be construed, to let, hinder, or prejudice his majesty, his heirs and successors, in the levying, recovering, oi seizing, any debts, fines, penalties, or forfeitures, duo, payable, or answerable, to his majesty, his heirs and successors: But that the same may be levicd, recovered, and seized, in the same manner

as if this act had never been made. Repealing

XIV. And be it further enacted by the authority aforeclause. sard, That all and every other act and acts, clause

and clauses, heretofore made, for or concerning any matter or thing within the purview of this act, shall

be, and are hereby repealed. Commence

XV. And be it further enacted, That this act shall incnt. commence' and be in force, from and immediately after

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