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Thread: Tenancy Agreement

  1. #1
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    Tenancy Agreement

    I recently inherited a piece of land that is being used by a local farmer. He has used it for years and years, and has paid rent in return. The only problem is he has been using it under a gentleman's agreement and no written agreement exists. He does not want to enter into a written agreement and wants to keep it all informal. I have no idea why this is, but I do not want to leave anything to chance. I don't want him to leave the land and don't see myself ever selling it. It is in the greenbelt and I prefer grass to houses. But is there a way I can force him to enter into a written agreement?

  2. #2
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    Re: Tenancy Agreement

    you can get templates for grazing and mowing agreements online, the NFU will give you their one if you're a member, which isn't helpful if you're not. but basically they're something like this

    https://www.netlawman.co.uk/d/grazing-agreement

    failing that a land agent or local auctioneer would advise you but obviously at a cost. i would insist on having something drawn up with the tenant just to cover yourself

    this forum is little used now so you might get more of an answer at one of the other farming forums, try forum 4 farming which is linked from the main page of this forum, or, much as it pains me to say it, The Farming Form (TFF)

  3. #3
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    Re: Tenancy Agreement

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarthy View Post
    I recently inherited a piece of land that is being used by a local farmer. He has used it for years and years, and has paid rent in return. The only problem is he has been using it under a gentleman's agreement and no written agreement exists. He does not want to enter into a written agreement and wants to keep it all informal. I have no idea why this is, but I do not want to leave anything to chance. I don't want him to leave the land and don't see myself ever selling it. It is in the greenbelt and I prefer grass to houses. But is there a way I can force him to enter into a written agreement?
    some things you may want to consider in an agreement:
    • liability if something bad happens (accident, environmental spill, . . .)
    • term of the agreement - maybe different terms if the farmer invests in the property (i.e. plows and reseeds grassland, . . )
    • early exit clauses (some that can be evoked by either party): for cause, sale, non-performance (i.e. not maintaining hedges, fences, . . .)
    • transferal terms of the lease - by leaser or lessee
    • cost of the lease - flat rate, volume rate based on market value, combination, change in rate if property taxes change, something else, . . .
    • when payments are due (what does your tax accountant have to say?)
    • ownership for rebates for any government programs
    • chemicals that can / cannot be used on the property
    • other uses (i.e. grazing sheep once hay has been cut, . . .)
    • . . .

  4. #4
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    Re: Tenancy Agreement

    You do need to be very careful here. My first reaction is that you need to take legal advice from a lawyer who is VERY conversant with land tenure matters because your position can be quite complicated and indeed possibly very vulnerable so much so that in the worst case scenario, if the existing occupier invokes certain procedures, it could mean that you or your successors will always have a tenant on the land and you will never obtain possession. You will have ownership but not possession !

    A lot depends on two facts. What acreage of land is involved and how long has the present occupier has had the use of the land. I have tried to send you a PM on here explaining things a bit more but I wasn't allowed to which may be because you are a new member on this Forum.
    Last edited by zaza; 28-11-20 at 03:40 PM.

  5. #5
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    Re: Tenancy Agreement

    Quote Originally Posted by zaza View Post
    You do need to be very careful here. My first reaction is that you need to take legal advice from a lawyer who is VERY conversant with land tenure matters because your position can be quite complicated and indeed possibly very vulnerable so much so that in the worst case scenario, if the existing occupier invokes certain procedures, it could mean that you or your successors will always have a tenant on the land and you will never obtain possession. You will have ownership but not possession !

    A lot depends on two facts. What acreage of land is involved and how long has the present occupier has had the use of the land. I have tried to send you a PM on here explaining things a bit more but I wasn't allowed to which may be because you are a new member on this Forum.
    Thanks Zaza.

    I'm a bit worried now. It's all a bit foreign to me really.

    Could you email me?

    My email is simoncarthy033@gmail.com

    Thanks

    Simon

  6. #6
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    Re: Tenancy Agreement

    Thank you Simon. I have emailed you.

    Regards.

  7. #7
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    Re: Tenancy Agreement

    Important to get sorted asap. It is possible in those circumstance for a tenant to claim a full protected tenancy or at least it used to be. We have been caught in the past.

  8. #8
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    Re: Tenancy Agreement

    I would suspect he already has a protected tenancy and very little you can do about it. These do run out after a max of 2 generations unless he has a company and can claim that, is the tenant. In this case the tenancy is unending unless you ever get planning permission, even for running a stables or some such.
    Ixworth Solar Farming Ltd.

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