Agriculture and Rural
We handle an extensive range of rural property transactions for large estate owners as well as tenant farmers.
Our advice and expertise covers all issues relevant to the agricultural business sector including the following:
Agricultural schemes including ELS and HLS
We advise on all aspects of agricultural schemes and in particularly how to transfer them in the context of the sale or letting of farms and agricultural land so as to avoid repayment or penalties
Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 tenancies
We advise on the interpretation of written 1986 Act tenancies, as well as advising on whether a tenancy exists, when there is no written evidence. We deal with issues of succession to 1986 Act tenancies, whether by way of death or retirement. We advise on the validity of notices served by the landlord on the tenant and in particular on the ability of the landlord to terminate the tenancies, pursuant to the service of a notice to quit.
All aspects of agricultural, equine and rural diversification
We advise on what to look out for if you are considering diversifying. In particular, we can assist with the interpretation of your 1986 Act tenancy or farm business tenancy to ensure that you do not risk sanction from the landlord if you carry out the relevant diversification. We also have a planning team who can assist with advice on whether planning permission is required to carry out your proposed project.
Development agreements and joint ventures
The Property team have considerable expertise in dealing with proposals for the development of agricultural land.
Easements to utility providers
We advise landowners on the granting of easements to utility providers for such things as gas pipelines, electricity, water and telephones. We ensure that the landowner is aware of the access rights and disruption involved.
Farm Business Tenancies
We draft and advise on the terms of farm business tenancies for both landlords and tenants. We serve notices prior to their commencement to ensure that the tenancy falls under the Agricultural Tenancies 1995 Act regime
Gaining possession of tied cottages
We advise on the nature of residential tenancies and whether or not the tenant has protection under the Housing Acts. We advise on creating and terminating assured shorthold tenancies and service occupancies: and ways to avoid creating secure residential tenancies.
Letting redundant farm buildings and cottages
We draft and advise on leases of farm buildings to be let to third parties. We advise on what needs to be done to ensure that the tenant does not get security of tenure. We look at all aspects of the letting including setting up standard leasehold documents if the farm building is part of a small letting estate. With regards to cottages, we draft and advice on residential letting agreements and assured shorthold tenancies to ensure that the tenant does not get security of tenure.
We are on the panel of the AMC and other major lenders. We are able to advise on all aspects of mortgaging a rural or agricultural property to a lender from the mortgage deed to the due diligence which need to be done to satisfy the bank’s requirements on agricultural properties.
Options and conditional
We have considerable expertise in dealing with approaches from developers interested in the development potential of agricultural land; both in initial advice on the structure of the deal proposed in respect of the agricultural land concerned, and also in ensuring that the documentation delivers the desired result
Options and conditional contracts
We have considerable expertise in dealing with approaches from developers interested in the development potential of agricultural land, both in initial advice on the structure of the deal proposed in respect of the agricultural land concerned, and also in ensuring that the documentation delivers the desired result
We advise on the sale of surplus agricultural land or buildings and the need to reserve overage or clawback. This enables a landowner to unlock capital immediately but make sure that he can participate in future profits or values if the agricultural land is developed at a later date
Sales and puchases
We act on sales and purchases of all sorts of agricultural and rural property. This ranges from large farms and estates to parts of holdings and vacant farm cottages and redundant farm buildings. We advice on the need to reserve overage or clawback, as well as ensuring that necessary rights and easements for access and utilities are granted and reserved and imposing appropriate restrictions on the land to prevent unsightly or unwanted developments next door.
Single farm payment and the transfer of entitlements
We advise on single farm payments particularly in the context of sales and purchases of agricultural land and lettings. We draft and advise on documentation to transfer entitlements with land and entitlements without land; and we advise on the paperwork required to deal with cross-compliance requirements.
Sporting and fishing rights
We draft and advise on sporting agreements of all kinds (including for clubs and syndicates) and the problems that can arise in connection with the employment of gamekeepers and the providing of houses for such gamekeepers and huts for storage of equipment. We have extensive knowledge of riparian rights and the fishing rights that need to be granted
We advise landowners on the grant and renewal of leases for telecom masts and the problems of security of tenure created by the communications code and legislation.