land tenancy for 20 years no break

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    land tenancy for 20 years no break

    Hi I have grazed my horses on land for the past 20 years which was owned by a friend who i paid every year and no contract was signed. The owner died half was left to his ex wife and half was left to his daughter who was happy to continue with the arrangement .We only have receipts for the past 5 years from the executor of the will when we paid a year in advance. Now the owners want to give us 6 months notice to leave by text!! They have never supplied me with an agreement, contacted or visited the land.
    They want to sell to developers with vacant possession.I have 6 horses including a 37 year old mare , various oubuildings etc and i have plenty of proof of the time i have been there.
    I am paid upto December 31st can anyone give me some good advice?

    #2
    If the horses are not used for farming or in connection with any business such as horse racing, a riding school or livery, then I am afraid there is no statutory protection. If you pay the rent yearly then you have a yearly tenancy. In the absence of specific agreement (which seems to be the case here as there is no written contract) the common law rules for serving a notice to quit apply. For a yearly tenancy the period of notice is not less than six months expiring at the end of a complete year of the tenancy. The notice does not need to be in writing so there is no need to consider whether service by text is valid. However, the notice still needs to expire on the right date and be clear that it is a notice to quit. What did the text say?

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      #3
      Our family has rented out stables and grazing for the last 35 years to members of the public and during that entire time irrespective of how many stables or horses the tenant had, I have never heard of anyone being given a lease. And as I know other owners of Equestrian Centres they also do not offer leases.
      It also appears that most people who rent stables or grazing are quite happy not to have a formal agreement as if they find somewhere else which may be cheaper or closer to home they clear off often without giving notice.
      Perhaps when renting out stables or grazing it is seen as "providing as service"
      You mention that there are various outbuildings. Did you erect them, if you erected them and could prove that the previous owner either gave you permission or you could prove that they knew that they built them when they did a visit you could be entitled to compensation for "Tenants Improvements" for this you would need to contact a Chartered Surveyor.
      I would mention though (as far as I am aware) that even if you tried to claim an Agricultural Tenancy it used to be that if a Landlord could show that they could get Planning Permission for only a small part of land that was under tenancy they could be served an Incontestable Notice to Quit.
      You could join the Small Farmers Association and they may suggest a solicitor or a Chartered Surveyor to discuss Compensation.
      But you should start looking for somewhere else.
      PS A friend was renting stables on a place which was being sold to a developer. They approached the developer to ask if they could rent the place until they received Planning Permission, The developer was happy to have the place occupied as if it had been left vacant the local travelling fraternity would move in. The planning application was refused and they are still there.

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        #4
        You'll have been granting verbal leases/tenancies then... surely
        I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

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          #5
          Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
          You'll have been granting verbal leases/tenancies then... surely
          Yes. My solicitor asked me how the stable tenants paid their rent, I replied Weekly very Weakly

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            #6
            My point is, you and the other owners you mentioned HAVE been granting leases/tenancies. Difficulty is proving terms agreed.....
            I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

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