The meanings attached to this word varied considerably; it was often used loosely rather than in the strictly legal sense.
1.Obsolete except in historical contextsAn annual rental (and subsequently a tax) calculated upon the estimated value of land occupied, and paid by a tenant farmer to secure a renewable tenancy.
1796Royal Proclamation inG.W. EybersSel. Constit. Doc. (1918) 7Our Will and Pleasure is That the Revenue derived from the Annual Quit Rent paid by the Persons holding Lands granted to them by the Dutch Government shall continue to be collected.
1801H.C.D. Maynier inG.M. ThealRec. of Cape Col. (1899) IV. 60A considerable number..have already..paid their Quit Rents as usual and to enable them all to do so I have prolonged the usual time to one month.
1827G. ThompsonTrav. 157The annual quit-rent is fixed at the inspection, and is generally from thirty to fifty rix-dollars, perhaps about one per cent of the estimated value.
1911A.W. Barlow inFarmer’s Weekly 11 Oct. 154In the Free State the natives pay in direct taxation more than double the amount derived from the quit-rent on farms.
1974E. Landsberg inStd Encycl. of Sn Afr.X. 436In the Transvaal and Orange Free State the quitrent became a land tax with an annual rate of 2s. per 100 morgen in the Orange Free State and a basic rate of 1s. 6d. per 100 morgen in the Transvaal.
a.A system of land tenure based on such an agreement; erfpacht. Also attributive, and figurative.See also loan.
1811J.A. Truter inG.M. ThealRec. of Cape Col. (1901) VIII. 106Quitrent expires with the end of fifteen years, after which Government has a right again to take possession of the ground on payment of the mere Opstal, trees and buildings, without anything else.
1832Graham’s Town Jrnl 24 Aug. 135On Saturday..will be sold a Quit rent Farm, belonging to the Estate of the late William Thackery.
1843J.C. ChaseCape of G.H. 132Quit-rent, By far the large majority of farms are held under quit-rent tenures...The rent then determined can never be increased, although instances are not rare wherein the original assessment having..found to be too highly rated, a reduction of the tax has been made.
1924L.H. BrinkmanGlory of Backveld 178It is not yet thirty years that Prospect was surveyed by the Government and sold as a quitrent farm.
1938C.G. BothaOur S. Afr. 26Quitrent, introduced in 1732, gave occupancy on a lease for fifteen years, after which the contract had to be renewed.
b. With defining word designating a particular type of land tenure: perpetual quitrent, a system of land-ownership created by the conversion of an ordinary quitrent tenancy into one maintained in perpetuity. Also attributive, and transferred sense.
1813Proclamation inStat. Law of Cape of G.H. (1862) 49This perpetual quitrent shall, further, not be liable to any other burthens...All applications for the conversion of loan lands into perpetual quitrent...must be made within twelve months.
1825A.G. Bain inA.C. PartridgeLives, Lett. & Diaries (1971) 71I believe the farms in Hex River are held in perpetual quitrent, consequently the government reserves the right of making roads where they think proper.
1832Graham’s Town Jrnl 20 Apr. 65The whole of the Property belonging to said Estate, viz; The perpetual quit-rent Place Tempe, situated as aforesaid, measuring 3150 morgen.
1840Echo 22 June 10His Excellency Sir Rufane Shaw Donkin..to..bestow upon the undermentioned gentlemen who had been aiding and abetting His Excellency Lord Charles Henry Somerset in the year 1819,..to expel ‘Makana’ and his hordes of Amakosa from the loyal city, the Eastern Province, to be held by them and their heirs lawfully begotten for ever, on perpetual quitrent.
c1881A. DouglassOstrich Farming 191In 1813, seven years after the final establishment of the British Government in the colony..Governor Sir John Cradock invited all possessors of ‘loan places’ to submit their claims and receive title-deeds for the land, to be known under the name of ‘Perpetual Quitrent Tenure’...‘Quitrent Tenure’..only differs from ‘Freehold’ in that Government reserve their rights to precious stones, gold and silver, and the right of making and repairing roads, and of taking materials for that purpose without compensating the owner, together with the perpetual annual payment of £4 16s.
1949E. HellmannHandbk on Race Rel. 178The system of tenure..has been described as one of ‘perpetual quitrent’. The land may not be mortgaged; it passes at the death of the owner to the next of kin as defined in Native law; and it may not be alienated except to another Native and with the government’s consent.
3.transferred sense.Rare, perhaps nonce.A system whereby, if the owner of a mortgaged property cannot keep up his or her loan repayments, ownership of the mortgaged property is transferred to the mortgagee, who then charges the former owner rent for the use of the property. Used attributively.
1993Weekend Argus 16 May 1Banks offer new ‘quitrent’ scheme to owners in trouble. Under the ‘quitrent’ scheme, the ‘rents’ being paid for a home which was effectively repossessed would be less than the bond repayments.
An annual rental (and subsequently a tax) calculated upon the estimated value of land occupied, and paid by a tenant farmer to secure a renewable tenancy.
A system of land tenure based on such an agreement; erfpacht. Also attributive, and figurative.
perpetual quitrent, a system of land-ownership created by the conversion of an ordinary quitrent tenancy into one maintained in perpetuity. Also attributive, and transferred sense.
A system whereby, if the owner of a mortgaged property cannot keep up his or her loan repayments, ownership of the mortgaged property is transferred to the mortgagee, who then charges the former owner rent for the use of the property. Used attributively.
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