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Custom, Land and Livelihood in Rural South ChinaThe Traditional Land Law of Hong Kong's New Territories, 1744-1948$
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Patrick H. Hase

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9789888139088

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888139088.001.0001

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The Middleman and the Role of the Community in Land Transactions

The Middleman and the Role of the Community in Land Transactions

(p.143) 7 The Middleman and the Role of the Community in Land Transactions
Custom, Land and Livelihood in Rural South China

Patrick H. Hase

Hong Kong University Press

The middleman represented the village community and was there to ensure the fairness of a land transaction. He verified that the close relatives had been offered first refusal, negotiated the purchase price between the vendor and the purchaser. Then he arranged a date for the transfer to take place. The transfer of land also required witnesses; one of them was the deed writer, a neutral party. Sometimes the middleman was the deed writer. Other formal witnesses included the deed checker and the village elders. On the day of the transfer, the middleman pointed out the exact plots to be transferred and negotiated the exact price the land was worth. The village community was present during the transfer so that they could take the opportunity and voice their opinions on the day if they have any. After the transfer, the purchaser might claim warranty from the middleman if the statements made during the transaction were found to be incorrect.

Keywords:   Hong Kong, New Territories, Customary Land Law, Middleman, Deed writer, Warranty, Formal witness, Land transaction

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