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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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Temporary and Reversible Alienations

Temporary and Reversible Alienations

Mortgages and Leases

(p.158) (p.159) 8 Temporary and Reversible Alienations
Custom, Land and Livelihood in Rural South China

Patrick H. Hase

Hong Kong University Press

Deeds for temporary leases and mortgages seldom survived. Most of them were conducted through an oral agreement, and deeds were usually returned to the borrower to be destroyed so that the lender could not claim that there were any outstanding obligations once the debt was repaid. A loan that involved land as a collateral was often a private arrangement. Some borrowers worked on the mortgaged land and would give a percentage of their harvest to their lender as interest, and sometimes, a redeemable sale became absolute. The foreclosure of a mortgage was not legal under the Imperial Land Law, however, in practice, foreclosure was often possible. The whole village would witness the event like an absolute land sale, and redeemable sales were often worded similarly to an absolute sale. This lack of distinction made it easy for people to claim that a sale was redeemable or permanent at a later date.

Keywords:   Hong Kong, New Territories, Customary Land Law, Mortgages, Leases, Deeds, Foreclosure, Loans, Redeemable sale

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