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Collective Exploitation Of Property

TITLE IX. COLLECTIVE EXPLOITATION OF PROPERTY
Chapter 1. Public domain and expropriation
Section 1. Public domain

Art. 1444.- Provisions applicable to State property.

(1)    Property belonging to the State or other administrative bodies shall be subject to the provisions relating to property privately owned.
(2)    Such property shall be subject to the provisions of this Section where it forms part of the pubic domain.

Art. 1445.- Public domain. – 1. Principle.

Property belonging to the State or other administrative bodies shall be deemed to form part of the public domain where:
(a)    it is directly placed or left at the disposal of the public; or
(b)    it is destined to a public service and is, by its nature or by reason of adjustments, principally or exclusively adapted tot eh particular purpose of the public service concerned.

Art. 1446.- 2. Immovables.

The following property,   if owned by the State or other administrative bodies, shall be deemed to form part of the public domain;
(a)    roads and streets, canals and railways; and
(b)    seashores, port installations and lighthouses; and
(c)    buildings specially adapted for public services such as fortifications and churches.

Art. 1447.- 3. Water.

(1)    Waterways, lakes and underground accumulations of water shall be deemed to form part of the pubic domain.
(2)    The ownership and use of water shall be governed by the provisions of Art. 1228-1256 of this Code.

Art. 1448.- 4. Movables.

Movables which are placed at the disposal of the public by a public service or entrusted to the custody of a public service shall be deemed to form part of the public domain.

Art. 1449.- Limits of public domain.

(1)    The competent authorities  shall fix the natural limits of waterways and seashores.
(2)    Third parties injured by a decision fixing limits may be granted compensation in accordance with the provisions relating to expropriation, where the court is of opinion that the decision of the authorities is not justified.
(3)    The court may not revoke such decision.
Art. 1450.- Expropriation and alignment.
(1)    The competent authorities may, by way of expropriation proceedings, obtain the land necessary for the creation of roads or streets.
(2)    Such authorities may, by way of alignment proceedings, widen or straighten existing roads or streets.

Art. 1451.- Alignment. – 1. Unbuilt land.

Where an alignment plan shows that unbuilt land is within public ways, such land shall forthwith be incorporated to such public ways.

Art. 1452.- 2. Built land.

(1)    Where an alignment plan shows that built land is within public ways such, land shall be charged with a servitude do draw back.
(2)    The owner of such land may not do any work for the purpose of consolidating any building on such land.

Art. 1453.- 3. Compensation.

The provisions of Art. 1470-1477 of this Code shall apply as regards compensation due to persons whose rights are taken away or restricted under Art. 1451 or 1452.

Art. 1454.- Public domain inalienable.

Property forming part of the public domain may not be alienated unless it has been declared no longer to form part of the public domain.

Art. 1455.- Possession in good faith and usucaption.

Property forming part of the public domain may not be acquired by possession in good faith or usucaption.

Art. 1456.- Concession.

    Property forming part of the public domain may be given in concession to private persons, provided that no such concession may have the effect of modifying the purpose of such property.

Art. 1457.-  Occupation of public domain.

(1)    No property forming part of the public domain may be occupied by a private person except with the authorization of the competent authorities.
(2)    Such authorization shall specify whether the person concerned may construct works on the property and the nature of such works.
(3)    The authorization shall specify the time for which it is granted and the dues (if any) to be charged.

Art. 1458.- Failure to discharge obligations.

A concession granted under Art. 1456  or authorization given under Art. 1457 may be revoked at any time where the beneficiary fails to discharge his obligations.

Art. 1459.- Right of competent authorities.

(1)    Notwithstanding any agreement to the contrary, the competent authorities may at any time order the destruction of any work or the cessation of any activity which impairs the existence or purpose of the property forming part of the public domain .
(2)    Any concession granted or authorization given may in such cause be revoked.
(3)    Nothing shall affect the right of the person to whom such concession or authorization was granted to claim compensation in accordance with the provisions of the Title of this Code relating to “Administrative contracts”.

Section 2. Expropriation

Art. 1460.- Definition.

Expropriation proceedings are proceedings whereby the competent authorities compel an owner to surrender the ownership of an immovable required by such authorities for public purposes.

Art. 1461.- Other purposes of expropriation.

(1)    Expropriation proceedings may be used for acquiring or extinguishing a right of usufruct, a servitude or other rights in rem on an immovable.
(2)    Such proceedings may be used for terminating prior to the agreed term a contract of lease relating to an immovable the property of the public authorities.

Art. 1462.- Concession.

Persons who have been granted concessions of whatever nature by the competent authorities may not use expropriation proceedings unless they are entitled to do so under the concession.

Art. 1463.- Declaration of public utility.

The project which renders expropriation necessary shall first be declared to serve the public interest by the competent authorities and a notice to this effect shall be published in accordance with Art. 44 of the  Constitution.

Art. 1464.- Concept of public utility.

(1)    Expropriation proceedings may not be used for the purpose solely of obtaining financial benefits.
(2)    They may be used to enable the public to benefit by the increase in the value of land arising form works done in the public interest.

Art. 1465.- Inquiry.

(1)    Where a public inquiry appears to be necessary, the declaration of public utility shall not be made until the public interest has been consulted.
(2)    Any interested party may, in the course of such inquiry, express his views or criticize the contemplated project.
(3)    The competent authorities shall fix in accordance with regulations the manner and time of such inquiry.
Art. 1466.- Determining land subject to expropriation.
(1)    Where it has been declared that a project serves the public interest, the competent authorities shall determine which immovables require to be expropriated to enable the carrying out of the project.
(2)    The owners, have owners and usufructuaries shall be personally notified of the contemplated expropriation.
(3)    They shall be required to express within a reasonable time fixed by the authorities their views on the necessity of such expropriation.

Art. 1467.- Expropriation order.

(1)    Immovables shall be expropriated upon expropriation orders being made.
(2)    Such orders shall transfer tot eh competent authorities the ownership of the immovable concerned free of any encumbrance.
(3)    Nothing shall affect the claims of third parties against the competent authorities or on the compensation due by such authorities to the owner of an expropriated immovable.

Art. 1468.- Service of order.

(1)    An expropriation order shall be served on the owner concerned and on any person whose rights on the expropriated immovable have been entered in the register of immovables.
(2)    It shall be served on any person whom the owner designates to the competent authorities as having a right on the immovable.

Art. 1469.- Partial expropriation.

(1)    Where part of a building s expropriated, the owner may demand that the whole building be expropriated.
(2)    Where part of a land is expropriated, the owner may demand that the whole land be expropriated where partial expropriation renders useless that part of the land which is not expropriated.
(3)    The provisions of this Article shall apply as regards their respective rights to the bare owner and usfurcturary of an expropriated immovable.

Art. 1470.- Fixing amount of compensation.

The owner, bare owner and usufructuary of an expropriated immovable and any person who benefits by a servitude on such immovable shall, within one month from having been served with the expropriation order, inform the competent authorities of the amount of compensation they claim.

Art. 1471.- Objection to payment of compensation.

Any interested party may, within the period mentioned in Art. 1470, inform the competent authorities that he objects to the compensation being fixed below a specified amount or paid in fraud of his rights.

Art. 1472.- Dispute on amount of compensation.

Where the competent authorizes do not accept the amount of compensation claimed by an interested party, such amount shall be fixed by an arbitration appraisement committee.

Art. 1473.- Arbitration appraisement committee.

(1)    The arbitration appraisement committee shall comprise such members, conduct their proceedings and make their award as prescribed.
(2)    It shall have as its sole duty to fix the amount of compensation to be paid by the competent authorities.
(3)    It shall not decide on any dispute regarding the rights     giving rise to compensation.

Art. 1474.- Amount of compensation. -1. Principle.

(1)    The amount of compensation or the value of the land that may be given to replace the expropriated land shall be equal to the amount of the actual damage caused by expropriation.
(2)    The amount of damage shall be that which is assessed by the committee on the day when it makes its decision.

Art. 1475.- 2. Elements to be taken into account.

(1)    In making its decision, the committee shall take into account any statement which the parties concerned may have previously made regarding the value of the property or rights expropriated.
(2)    It shall take into account the increase of value arising from the construction of public works.

Art. 1476.- 3. Elements not to be taken into accounts.

(1)    The committee shall not take into account any building or improvement made after the service of eh expropriation order for the purpose of obtaining a greater amount of compensation.
(2)    It shall not take into account any speculative increase of value arising from the announcement that public works are to be constructed.

Art. 1477.- Appeal.

(1)    An appeal shall lie to the court from the decisions of the committee.
(2)    Such appeal shall be made within three months from the decision of the committee having been served on the interested party.

Art. 1478.- Taking possession of immovable.

(1)    The competent authorities may not take possession of an expropriated immovable until they have paid the amount of compensation fixed,
(2)    Where the owner appeals against the amount fixed by the committee, the  competent authorities may take possession of the immovable after having paid such amount to the owner. Any additional sum shall be paid where the court so orders. The court may in no case reduce such amount.
(3)    Where compensation is paid by way of land given to the owner in substitution for the expropriated land, such land shall be handed to the owner upon the committee having made its decision, the owner may receive additional compensation in cash where the court so orders.
(4)    Where the competent authorities appeal against the amount fixed by the committee, the expropriation order may not be executed until the court makes its decision. The owner shall be reinstated in his rights and need not comply with the expropriation order where the amount of compensation is not finally fixed by the court within one year from the appeal having been made.
(5)    Where the amount of compensation is in dispute or an objection is made to its payment, the competent authorities may take possession of the immovable after having deposited the amount to which the dispute or objection relates.

Art. 1479.- Increase of compensation by the court.

(1)    Where  in the circumstances defined in Art. 1478 (2) the court increases the amount of compensation, such increase shall be paid to the owner within one month from the judgment having become final.
(2)    So shall any additional compensation granted to the owner who was given land in substitution for the expropriated land.

Art. 1480.- Conditional expropriation.

(1)    The competent authorities may inform all interested parties where a conditional decision to expropriate is made for the purpose of assessing the expenses which the carrying out of the project would entail.
(2)    The provisions of the preceding Articles shall in such case apply prior to an expropriation order being made.

Art. 1481.- Liability. -1. Threat of expropriation.

No person may require to be indemnified by the competent authorities for  any damage that may have been caused to him by a threat of expropriation.

Art. 1482.- 2. Appraisement expenses.

(1)    Expenses arising from the fixing of the compensation shall be borne by the competent authorities where the amount claimed by the interested party and not accepted by the authorities is ultimately found justified.
(2)    Such expenses shall be borne by the interested party who has claimed an amount ultimately found excessive to the extent of such excess.

Art. 1483.- Abandoning project. -1. Principle.

Where the project in view of which expropriation was ordered in abandoned, the former owners shall have a right of pre-emption on their former property.

Art. 1484.- 2. Right of pre-emption.

(1)    The right of pre-emption referred to in Art. 1483, even in the absence of registration, shall be effective with regard to third parties for a period of one year form the competent authorities reselling the immovable or granting to a third party on the immovable a right in compatible with the carrying out of the project.
(2)    The conditions and effects of such right shall be as provided by Art. 1410-1425 of this Code.
(3)    Whosoever exercise his right of pre-emption shall have to pay as a price the amount he received in compensation for expropriation.

Art. 1485.- Indirect expropriation. -1. Principle.

The competent authorities may, without using expropriation proceedings, construct works or set up permanent installations on land privately owned, where such works or installations do not seriously impair the rights of the owner or notably reduce the value of the immovable.

Art. 1486.- 2. Application.

    The following works may be carried out by way of indirect expropriation:
(a)    works executed within less than one month which do not impair the normal exploitation of the immovable; and
(b)    installation of underground pipes, aerial lines, poles or pylons.

Art. 1487.- 3. Restriction.
Indirect expropriation may never have the effect of impairing rights on dwelling-houses.

Art. 1488.- 4. Compensation.

(1)    In cases of indirect expropriation, the owner may claim compensation for the damage caused by the works and installations done on his land.
(2)    Failing agreement with the competent authorities, a  claim for compensation shall be barred if it is not made within three years from the work having been done.

Chapter 2. Agricultural communities

Art. 1489.- Principle.

Land owned by an agricultural community such as a village or tribe shall be exploited collectively whenever such mode of exploitation conforms to the tradition and custom of the community concerned.

Art. 1490.- Codification of custom.

The Ministry of Interior shall take steps to ensure that every community draws up a charter detailing the custom of such community and, where appropriate, the supplementary provisions to give effect thereto.

Art. 1491.- Contents of charter.

    The charter shall specify in particular:
(a)    the persons or families composing the community: and
(b)    the land to which the rights of the community extend; and
(c)    the manner in which the community is administered and its authorized representative; and
(d)    the manner in which the land or other resources of the community are allotted and exploited; and
(e)    the conditions on which the charter may be amended.

Art. 1492.- Discriminations prohibited.

Any provision or custom creating between the members of a community discriminations based on race, religion or social condition shall be of no effect.

Art. 1493.- Land inalienable.

(1)    Land owned by an agricultural community may not be acquired by usucaption.
(2)    Notwithstanding any custom to the contrary, a community may not alienate or mortgage its land nor charge it with an antichresis except with the written permission of the Ministry of Interior.

Art. 1494.- Duties and representation of the community.

(1)    The community may enter into agreements through its authorized representative.
(2)    It may in the same manner sue or be sued.
(3)    The provisions of the Title of this Code relating to “Extra-contractual liability and Unlawful enrichment” (Art. 2027-2178) shall apply to agricultural communities on the same conditions as they apply to associations.

Art.  1495.- Rights of creditors.

(1)    The creditors of the community may attach such movables belonging to the community as are not necessary for the exploitation of the land or the maintenance of the members of the community.
(2)    They may not attach other property except with the written permission of the Ministry of Interior.

Art. 1496.- Exploitation of land. -1. Principle.

The mode of exploitation of land owned by a community shall be prescribed by the charter or, failing such, by custom.

Art. 1497.- 2. Modalities.

(1)    There shall be specified whether the land may be divided into plots allotted for the exclusive use of the members of the community or whether the land shall be exploited collectively.
(2)    Three shall be specified the respective rights of the community and the members thereof on the land owned by the community.
(3)    There shall be specified the time when and conditions on which a decision allotting parcels of land to members may be revised.

Art. 1498.- Revision of custom.

(1)    The Ministry of Interior shall, as circumstances shall permit, encourage the revision of the custom of communities, so as to ensure the economic progress of such communities and the implementation of the principles of justice and morality enshrined in the Ethiopian Constitution.
(2)    Any custom or provision whereby the custom or some usages of the community may not be revised or may be revised on unreasonable conditions only shall be of no effect.

Art. 1499.- Appeal.

Any interested party or the public prosecutor may appeal to the court against any decision taken by a community where such decision:
(1)    is contrary to the provisions of the Ethiopian Constitution, the mandatory provisions of this Code or other Ethiopian laws; or
(2)    has been taken by the authorized representatives of the community in excess of their powers or in violation of fundamental rules of procedure or justice.

Art. 1500.- Public order.

Any custom or provision excluding the right of appeal referred to in Art. 1499 or subjecting the exercise of such right to unreasonable conditions shall be of no effect.

Chapter 3. Official associations of landowners
Section 1. Formation of association

Art. 1501.- Areas of improvement.

Where considerable works are to be done in a given area in consequence of which the value of the parcels of lands situate within such area will be altered, such area may be declared to the an improvement area by Imperial Decree and the landowners within the area may by the same Decree be constituted into an official association of landowners.

Art. 1502.- Formation by owners.

The owners of land within a given area may of their own motion constitute themselves into an association of landowners for the purpose of exploiting such area collectively or doing within such area collective works for its improvement.

Art. 1503.- Application for approval.

An association of landowners which consist of not less than one half of the owners holding not less than one half of the land situate I the area concerned may require the Ministry of Agriculture to approve it and to grant it the character of an official association.

Art. 1504.- Inquiry.

The Ministry of Agriculture shall consult with all the landowners concerned with a view to establishing whether the economic and social advantages which an association is expected to produce are such as to justify any modification of rights of ownership which its activities may render necessary.

Art. 1505.- Draft charter.

(1)    Where the inquiry results in conclusions favorable to the granting of  official approval, the Ministry of Agriculture shall draw up a preliminary draft of the charter.
(2)    All interested parties shall be invited to make observations on such draft.
(3)    The final draft shall be drawn up by the Ministry of Agriculture within six months from the preliminary draft having been drawn to the notice of the landowners concerned.

Art. 1506.- Grating of approval.

Approval of official associations shall be granted by a notice published in the Negarit Gazeta by the Ministry of Agriculture.

Art. 1507.- Contents of Decree or notice.

(1)    A decree under Art. 1501 or a notice under Art. 1506 shall specify in a precise manner the area within which the association shall carry out its activities.
(2)    It shall contain approval of the charter of the association.

Art. 1508.- Control of associations.

Official associations of landowners shall carry out their activities under the control of the authorities of the province in which the land or the majority of land comprised in the area specified in the Decree or notice is situate.

Section 2. Functioning of association

Art. 1509.- Meetings of association. 1.- Principle.

(1)    All the owners of land situate within the area specified in the Decree or notice shall as of right be members of the official association.
(2)    They shall form the general meeting of the association.

Art. 1510.- 2. Meetings.

(1)    The general meeting of the association shall meet every year at such time and place as are fixed by the charter.
(2)    Other meetings may be convened from time to time by the managers for urgent business or where one fifth of the members of the association so require.

Art. 1511.- 3. Decisions.

Decisions shall be taken at meetings by a majority vote of the members who are present or represented.

Art. 1512.- Managers.

(1)    The meeting shall appoint and dismiss the managers of the association and supervise their activities.
(2)    Those provisions in the Title of this Code relating to “Bodies Corporate and property with a specific destination” which apply to the directors of ordinary associations (Art. 426-428) shall apply to the managers of an association of landowners.
(3)    The provisions of the same Title which  relate to the powers and liability of the directors of ordinary associations (Art. 429-435) shall apply to the powers and liability of the managers of an association of landowners.

Art. 1513.- Amendment of charter.

(1)    Only such  provisions in the charter which the charter itself declares to be capable of modification may be amended by the meeting.
(2)    No other provisions in the charter may be amended except with the written permission of the Ministry of Interior.

Art. 1514.- Appeal against decisions of meeting.

(1)    Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, any member of the association may appeal to the court against any decision taken at a meeting where such decision is contrary to the law or the charter and the has not agreed to such decision.
(2)    The right of appeal shall be barred if no exercised within six months from the member having known of the decision and in any case within two years from such decision having been executed
(3)    The court may stay the execution of the decision pending appeal.

Art. 1515.- Duties and representation of the association.

(1)    The association may enter into agreements through its representatives.
(2)    It may in the same manner sue or be sued.
(3)    The provisions of the Title of this Code relating to “Extra-contractual Liability and Unlawful Enrichment” (Art. 2027-2178) shall apply to associations of landowners as they apply to ordinary associations.

Art. 1516.- Ownership of land.

The charter shall specify whether the members  of the association shall retain the ownership of their land or whether such ownership shall pass to the association.

Paragraph 1. Where private ownership is maintained

Art. 1517.- Principle.

(1)    Unless the charter provides to the contrary, the members of the association shall retain the ownership of their land.
(2)    They shall exercise their rights in ownership subject to the provisions of the following Articles.

Art. 1518.- Restrictions on rights in ownership

The association may restrict the rights of the owners of land situate within the area to the extent necessary for the collective exploitation of the area or for the doing of works authorized by the notice published in accordance with Art. 1506.

Art. 1519.- Compensation.

The owner whose rights are restricted under Art. 1518 or whose land is charged with a servitude shall be entitled to compensation.

Art. 1520.- Amount of compensation.

(1)    The association shall be liable for the payment of the compensation provided by Art. 1519.
(2)    The amount of such compensation shall be fixed by the meeting of the association.
(3)    The owner concerned may appeal to the court against the amount thus fixed within three months from having been informed of the decision of the meeting.

Art. 1521.- Surrender of land.

(1)    An owner may relieve himself of the obligation to pay such contributions as may be required from him by the association by surrendering his land to the association or such other person as may be designated by the association.
(2)    The association shall in such a case forthwith reimburse to the owner the value of his land.
(3)    The owner may object to any work being done on his land until he is reimbursed.

Art. 1522.- Value of land.

(1)    In fixing the value of the land under Art. 1521, regard shall be had to the provisions of the charter.
(2)    Failing such provisions, the value shall be fixed by an appraisement arbitration committee in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 1 of this Title (Art. 1473-1476).

Paragraph. 2. Where ownership passes to association

Art. 1523.- Time of transfer of ownership.

Where the charter provides that the land situate within the area where the association carries out its activities shall become the property of the association, the ownership of such land shall be transferred to the association at the time when the notice is published in accordance with Art. 1506.

Art. 1524.- Effect of transfer.

(1)    The rights which owners or usufracturaries enjoyed on the land prior to its being transferred to the association shall be replaced by a right in ownership or usufruct in a share in the property owned by the association..
(2)    Servitudes charging land the ownership of which is transferred to the association shall remain in existence after transfer.
(3)    Without prejudice to the provisions of the charter protecting the rights of all interested parties, mortgages or rights or pre-emption or recovery existing on land the ownership of which is transferred to the association shall lapse.

Art. 1525.- Value of share.

The value of the share referred to in Art, 1524 shall be fixed by the charter having regard to the value of the land at the time when the charter is drawn up.

Art. 1526.- Appraisement of land. -1. Principle.

The value of the land shall be  fixed on an uniform basis, having regard to the average value of the hectare in the relevant area.

Area. 1527.- 2. Adjustment of value.

(1)    The amount assessed under Art. 1526 shall be adjusted having regard to the nature of the land, the facilities it offers for individual exploitation and the value of the works or constructions done by the owner and which become the property of the association.
(2)    The provisions of sub-art. (1) shall not apply unless the land concerned was exploited prior to being transferred or works had been done to facilitate its exploitation or increase its yield.

Art. 1528.- Rights and duties of associations.

(1)    TH association shall have on the land or other property it owns the
(2)    It shall have the same duties as an individual owner.

Art. 1529.- Exploitation of land.

(1)    The general meeting of the association shall determine the manner in which the land belonging to the association shall be exploited.
(2)    It shall fix in accordance with the charter the rights and duties of the members of the association.

Art. 1530.- Assignment or attachment of share.

(1)    The members of the association may assign their share in the property of the association for consideration or by gratuitous title.
(2)    They may on their death  transmit their share to their heirs or legatees
(3)    There share may be attached by their personal creditors.

Art. 1531.- Davison of share.

The charter may provide that shares may not be divided or lay down restrictions regarding the division of shares.

Art. 1532.- Consent of association.

(1)    The consent of the association shall be sought by the assignee, legatee or purchaser of a share unless he be the spouse or descendant of the person from whom he received the share.
(2)    Notwithstanding any proof to the contrary, the consent of the association shall be deemed to have been obtained where the association does not notify its refusal within three months from the person concerned having required the consent of the association or having participated in the capacity of member in a meeting of the association.

Art. 1533.- Consent refused.

(1)    Where it refuses to give its consent, the association shall, if so required, inform the person concerned of its intention to buy the share or name to such person a solvent buyer approved by the association.
(2)    The person concerned may retain his share where the association fails to give him notice or to name a buyer within three months.

Art. 1534.- Conditions of assignment.

(1)    The person to whom notice has been given or a buyer named in accordance with Art. 1533 shall assign his share to the association or other buyer.
(2)    The price to be paid for the share shall be fixed in accordance with the provisions of the charter.
(3)    Failing such provisions,. It shall be fixed by arbitrators.

Chapter 4. Town-planning areas

Art. 1535.- Creation of area.   

(1)    Town-planning areas may be crated by Imperial Decree with a view to promoting  the development of towns in an economically sound manner.
(2)    The Decree shall fix in a precise manner the limits of the area.

Art. 1536.- Plan.

(1)    The municipality shall draw up a plan relating to each town planning area.
(2)    The plan and any  amendment thereto shall be of no effect unless approved by Imperial Decree and published in the Negarit Gazeta.

Art. 1537.- Contents of plan.

(1)    The plan shall, where necessary, divide each area into sub-areas.
(2)    It shall fix in a general manner the restrictions and servitudes which it may be necessary to impose on the rights of the owners within each sub-area.

Art. 1538.- Carrying out of plan.

(1)    In carrying out the plan, the municipality may impose the necessary restrictions on the rights of the owners within the area.
(2)    It may in particular impose servitudes not to build, rights of way or servitudes relating to municipal sewers and pipes.
(3)    It may, where necessary, use expropriation proceedings.

Art. 1539.- Compensation.

(1)    The owners whose rights are restricted or whose land is expropriated shall be entitled to compensation.
(2)    Such compensation shall be fixed by an appraisement arbitration committee in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 1 of this Title (Art. 1473-1476).

Art. 1540.- Building permit.

No person may construct a building within a town-planning area unless he has given notice of his intention to build and been granted a building permit in accordance with regulations.

Art. 1541.- Application for permit.

The application for a building permit shall specify the nature of the contemplated building.

Art. 1542.- Particulars in application.

(1)    An application for a permit to build a house shall specify whether such house shall be used as a dwelling-house only or whether it shall be used for commercial or industrial purposes.
(2)    An application for a permit to build a factory, a shop or commercial or industrial premises shall specify the nature of the contemplated commerce or industry.

Art. 1543.- Other particulars.

The application shall specify the time when the work should begin and the cost of the contemplated building.

Art. 1545.- Authorized conditions.

(1)    The granting of the permit may be made conditional upon the applicant carrying out street work or laying pipes in connection with the contemplated building.
(2)    It may also be made conditional upon the applicant complying with specific requirements as to the size or type of the building or the materials to be used.

Art. 1546.- Prohibited conditions.

The granting of the permit may not be made conditional upon the applicant employing specific persons in constructing the building or upon the building being constructed by a particular firm.

Art. 1547.- Creation of servitudes.

(1)    The granting of the permit may be made conditional upon the applicant causing his neighbors to create in his favour a servitude not to build.
(2)    Whosoever has been granted a permit may, failing agreement, compel his neighbours to create such servitude in his favour.
(3)    The compulsory creation of a servitude referred to in sub-art. (2) shall be ordered by the court which shall fix the compensation to be paid to the servient owner.

Art. 1548.- Absence of permit.

Where the construction of a building is undertaken in the absence of a permit, the municipality may order that the construction be stopped forthwith.

Art. 1549.- Provisions regarding individual ownership applicable.

Without prejudice to the provisions of the preceding Articles, the provisions of the Title of this Code relating to “Individual Ownership” (Art. 1151-1256) shall apply as regards the rights of owners of  land within town-planning areas.

Art. 1550.- Official association of landowners. -1. Creation.

The owners of land within each town-planning sub-area shall as of right be constituted into an official association of landowners.

Art. 1551.- 2. Composition and functioning.

(1)    The provision of Chapter 3 of this Title relating to the composition and functioning of official associations of landowners shall apply to the associations of owners of land within a town-planning area (Art. 1509-1534).
(2)    The secretariate of each association shall be the responsibility of the municipality.

Art. 1552.- Consultative duties.

(1)    Associations of landowners within town-planning areas shall have consultative duties only.
(2)    They shall examine the plans submitted to them by the municipality and make in respect thereof any observation or criticism they think fit.