Continuing renting a field after original owner died.

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    Continuing renting a field after original owner died.

    Twenty five years ago rented an area of land for horse grazing which was badly overgrown. Agreement was that if I cleared it, then the first year's rent was free. The owner did not give a licence or any written agreement to begin with then one year appeared with a document saying I was licensee and copies for a couple of previous years which he wanted me to sign. There was no leaving the property for one day, it was continuous. However he then did not bother with any agreements / licence renewals. That has been the situation for the past 15 years. However he died about 5-6 years ago and the land then became the property of his sons. They visited and said that they were not really interested in the land although I offered to buy it, they would not sell but said that I could do whatever I wanted with it. So I just carried on grazing as before. Also had previously built stables although temporary structures with the father's agreement although not written. One of the son's has just asked for a copy of the Tenancy Agreement. What legal protections have we got if they want to sell the land? Can they force us off? What notice must they give? Thank you

    #2
    What did the original licences say about notice?
    Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

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      #3
      When was the last time you paid rent/licence fee?

      Comment


        #4
        I can be wrong. As I understand it you will be a Tenant, When you took the land over and started paying rent (without a lease) you became a Tenant. Just because your Landlord later came along and wanted you to become a Licencee doesn't mean that you changed your status from being a Tenant. If you have been renting since before 1995 (including the land you worked on without pay) that could be useful as I understand that where Agricultural Land is concerned people who were renting "before" 1995 have a better tenancy.
        Perhaps you are what is known as a "Periodic Tenant" certainly I would try an find a Specialist Solicitor.
        You could also join the Tenant Farmers Association, and as a member you would get very useful information and they have a link to specialist Solicitors/Chartered Surveyors who have agreed to give members of the Association a period of "Free Consultation"
        In your case I would advise getting a Professional to write a letter stating that you are a tenant and any future correspondence should be directed to him. And as I say I can be wrong. Although I have been renting fields for over 35 years

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          #5
          I disagree Piffy. It was not rent but Consideration. Is the 1995 issue not relating to Agricultural Tenancies as opposed to Farm Business Tenancies which are a rather different thing. I have not been impressed with the Tenant Farmers Association but they may well have helped some people though I do not see this being their kind of issue. I licence fields for grazing etc. We can agree to differ! However I do agree that a short consultaiton (hopefully free) with a suitable solicitor would be good.
          Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

          Comment


            #6
            We do not really have enough to go on to give an opinion on whether there is a tenancy or licence here. The essential point, whatever any piece of paper says, is whether the OP has exclusive possession. If there has been actual exclusive possession for 25 years it is difficult to see how the arrangement be can be anything other than a tenancy. However, unless the horses are used in agriculture or in connection with some business such as a stud or riding school, having a tenancy is no great advantage because there will be no statutory protection.

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              #7
              Originally posted by islandgirl View Post
              I disagree Piffy. It was not rent but Consideration. Is the 1995 issue not relating to Agricultural Tenancies as opposed to Farm Business Tenancies which are a rather different thing. I have not been impressed with the Tenant Farmers Association but they may well have helped some people though I do not see this being their kind of issue. I licence fields for grazing etc. We can agree to differ! However I do agree that a short consultaiton (hopefully free) with a suitable solicitor would be good.
              It would be interesting if the OP would put if the rent has gone up in the 25 years and is there any paperwork to go with it.
              This tenant though should be aware that the landlord could decide to go through the motions of taking the land back especially if the rent paid is very low. Near me land for horse grazing rents out for a fortune.

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                #8
                Horses aren't classed as agricultural animals so you can't claim an agricultural tenancy.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by royw View Post
                  Horses aren't classed as agricultural animals so you can't claim an agricultural tenancy.
                  Perhaps the tenant should use some of the land for growing Hay.
                  A friend had a Planning Problem with his land, within a couple of weeks he became in Farming Terms. Arable, Livestock Rearing and Free Range Egg Producer. (He took Hay off one of his fields. He put a couple of young hefers in a stable and bought 100 hens for Free Range Egg production.

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                  • Renting to horse owners
                    by Nazmy
                    Hi, please can anyone advise how much is a fair rent for an approx 3-3.5 acre field with water (we pay the bill...is that the usual arrangement?), road access and a basic horse shelter? (East Sussex)
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                    01-03-2021, 13:46 PM
                  • Reply to Renting to horse owners
                    by Nazmy
                    Sorry for my late reply it's been one of those weeks but I'm so grateful for all your help and advice, thanks so much!
                    07-03-2021, 08:39 AM
                  • Reply to Renting to horse owners
                    by islandgirl
                    Good information but I disagree that equestrian easily gets planning - it depends where you live and on the attitude of the council. Where I live it is almost impossible to do anything in green belt which involves building structures!
                    03-03-2021, 09:58 AM
                  • Reply to Renting to horse owners
                    by Piffy
                    1. "When people get a lease they dont let go" What I meant is that because there is such a shortage of grazing land which is available for lease, if someone has a lease and they get asked to leave although they could find somewhere else it could be quite a distance away, Plus as most people...
                    02-03-2021, 17:28 PM
                  • Reply to Renting to horse owners
                    by islandgirl
                    As I think someone already suggested, check if there is any possibility of planning permission - the value will rocket!
                    02-03-2021, 11:41 AM
                  • Reply to Renting to horse owners
                    by royw
                    She is taking the p***. The grass stops growing in winter so every grazing animal in an enclosed space needs additional feed. I'm not in your area but it's about the going rate here. She'd pay the same at a DIY livery with far less grazing per horse. 3.5 acres is adequate for 2 cobs which tend to be...
                    02-03-2021, 11:00 AM
                  • Reply to Renting to horse owners
                    by Nazmy
                    Thank you Jon66 that's really helpful to know
                    02-03-2021, 09:45 AM
                  • Reply to Renting to horse owners
                    by Jon66
                    I too let out an equestrian property amongst others and the rent you receive is about the going rate. I'm in the south east, and when I advertised on an equestrian website to rent, i had 47 enquiries. Locally a huge amount of grazing land has been built on, and 'amenity land' which is their name for...
                    02-03-2021, 01:31 AM
                  • Reply to Renting to horse owners
                    by Nazmy
                    Thank you so much Piffy, I will get it valued...I didn't know there are chartered surveyors who specialise in equestrian properties, I will look for one. Wow £6k a year, that certainly makes me feel less anxious that I might be unfairly overcharging our tenant! Ours is in Westfield about 3 miles north...
                    02-03-2021, 00:14 AM
                  • Reply to Renting to horse owners
                    by Piffy
                    It depends where you are, In my area there is virtually no land has become available for lease for over 20 years.
                    Once people have a lease they don't let go.
                    There are many places though who have some land and rent stables out with grazing.
                    My neighbour was paying £6000 a year for...
                    01-03-2021, 14:38 PM
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