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Lands Department is one of the oldest government departments in Brunei Darussalam. The present land administration is based on the Land Code that was enforced in September, 1909. With this Land Code, land ownership became based on a land registration system to legalise its security of tenureship. Based on historical record, the Feudal system of tenureship has been well established before the introduction of modern system through Torrens System, 1858 in Southern Australia. 

Land administration was first handled by the British Resident which has the power to issue the letter of ownership to land applicants until the "Declaration of Constitution" in 1959 where this power was given to His Majesty Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan Negara Brunei Darussalam through Sultan in Council.

Before the appointment of the Land Commissioner in 1960, Lands Department in each districts was jointly administered with Survey Department and District Office. In 1952, Survey Department was separated while Lands Department and District Office were not affected.


In 1950s Lands Department placement at Government Offices, known as Government Secretariat Building


In 1969 Lands Department moved to Jalan Senuai Building at Kumbang Pasang​

Since its establishment, Lands Department has experience a lot of changes in its main function. Until the Second World War, the main function is to receive, inquire and register land applications from the public. During the transition period from Feudal tenureship system, the government have opened up a Land Application System to the public. The application system was stopped at the end of 1954 when the application received was too many to process. The number of staff in the Lands Department at that time was not able to handle the bulk of applications received.


In 1982 Lands Department moved to JKR Building at Old Airport, Berakas


In 1997 Lands Department moved to its Permanent Building

Lands Department also approved license for the temporary occupation of land or TOL (Temporary Occupation License) also known as LTS. The license was first given from the rejected Land Application. At that time, the land for TOL is only for agricultural use, but now, it was for various usage.

With the declaration of land reserve for road and river in 1951, the first National Development Plan was launched in 1953. Lands Department apart from its involvement with the allocation of land for government projects, it also provides compensation whether it is monetary or otherwise.

Nowadays, the Lands Department has handled more than 20 types of land applications for example, change of land special condition, transfer of land and others. Apart from that, the Land Commissioner as the Head of Lands Department is appointed as the Chairman for various committees for example, Committee for Industrial, Special Committee for Commercial and Oil Services and other committees.