Rural Land _ Business Autumn Newsletter - Rural Land _ Business

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					Rural Land & Business Newsletter
Autumn 2010
Rural Business Newsletter
Autumn 2010

Harrison Clark launches its voluntary first registration scheme
This autumn Harrison Clark will be launching its very own voluntary first registration scheme.
The rural land and business team have negotiated a service level agreement with
Gloucester District Land Registry to kick start the process.

Gloucester District Land Registry will deal with all of Harrison   If you are the owner of any land that you think may be
Clark’s voluntary first registration applications providing        unregistered please contact Frank Smith on 01242 268037
those land owners taking part with a 25% discount on first         and he will be pleased to deal with your enquiries on a
registration fees. Frank Smith of the team says as follows:        no-obligation basis. Our fees for dealing with voluntary first
                                                                   registrations start from as little as £250.00 plus VAT (plus the
“I am delighted to have negotiated this service level
                                                                   applicable Land Registry Fee) which is very competitive.
agreement with Gloucester District Land Registry.
                                                                   The benefits of first registration are many including
This means that all of our first registration applications
                                                                   providing clear and unequivocal property boundaries
irrespective of where the land is located will be dealt with
                                                                   evidenced by a title plan, security of title from HM Land
by a dedicated team based in Gloucester. The team have
                                                                   Registry so no more worrying about lost deeds, and don’t
agreed to deal with all of our applications as expeditiously
                                                                   forget that registration provides greater security against
as possible ensuring that our applications are completed
                                                                   adverse possession claims from third parties.
within a five week period where possible. There will no
longer be any need for land owners to provide expensive            The team are experienced in completing all manner of
and costly land valuations in order to benefit from the            first registration applications and have dealt with some
scheme as Gloucester District Land Registry have agreed            very complicated first registrations of farmland where title
that they will accept the land owner’s “best estimate of           deeds have either been lost or indeed are made up of
land value” upon which to base their scale charges. This           several roots of title going back many years. Why not call
proves a significant break with usual practice for Land            Frank today to assess how best to go about registering
Registry and I am very proud to have secured this for our          your property.
land owning clients.”

Is it permitted?
In principle planning permission is required before any
development of land or buildings can take place. There
are however many agricultural uses which are outside the
control of the town and country planning legislation. Many
uses are exempt while the Town and Country Planning
(General Permitted Development) Order 1995 grants
automatic permission for certain categories of building
and engineering operations on agricultural land.                   Typical examples of where General Permitted
                                                                   Development is allowed are as follows:
Examples of where planning permission is automatically
                                                                   • A farm building can become a farm shop providing
granted include the erection and modification of
                                                                     that it is only selling produce from the farm and that
buildings, excavation and engineering operations. It is
                                                                     the farm shop remains ancillary to the primary use of
important to note however that the permitted agricultural
                                                                     the land and buildings for agricultural purposes;
development rights are subject to numerous exemptions
and conditions so you should always seek professional              • A structure which does not require any building or
advice before proceeding with any works. The permitted               engineering works e.g. a pig arc can be placed upon
development rights are also subject to the important                 agricultural land;
requirement that prior notification of the works is given to       • Non agricultural land e.g. garden land can be
local authority.                                                     changed to agricultural land e.g. for grazing
Rural Business Newsletter
Autumn 2010

Assured shorthold tenancies – a change to the law
On 1 October 2010, a small piece of legislation came into effect, amending the Housing
Act 1988 – it will have a significant effect on almost all high-value residential tenancies. It is
called The Assured Tenancies (Amendment) (England) Order 2010, and it is so short that the
actual text of the Order barely stretches to a quarter of a page. The actual change itself is
reproduced here, and is found in section 3:
(2) In sub-paragraph (1)(b) of paragraph 2 of Schedule 1(b) (tenancies of dwelling-houses
with high rateable values) for “£25,000” substitute “£100,000.”
That £75,000 jump will have very significant changes for tenants living in England with an
annual rent of more than £25,000, but less than £100,000.

What is an assured shorthold tenancy?                                 If you are still unsure, there are a number of factors that
An assured shorthold tenancy, very simply, is one which has           can indicate an AST:
strong statutory protections for the tenant. Under an assured         • The tenant pays less than £100,000p/a
shorthold tenancy, the tenant has various rights, including           • The tenant moved in after 28 February 1997
the right to live in the property undisturbed; the right to live in
                                                                      • The tenant is renting from a private landlord
a property in good repair (the law requires that the landlord
must keep the structure and exterior of the property in a             • The house or flat is the tenant’s main home
good condition); the right to information about the tenancy;          • The landlord lives elsewhere
and some protection against eviction – this last point is more
                                                                      Why was the change made, and what effect will it have?
complex, and will depend on whether the tenancy is for
a fixed term, or periodic.                                            When the Housing Act 1988 was being drafted, it was
                                                                      intended that the new ‘assured shorthold tenancy’
A fixed term tenancy (one from a set date to another – e.g.           model would be used by all but the most expensive
from 1 January 2010 to 1 January 2011) has the strongest              tenancies. But the figure has not changed in over 20
protection – a tenant cannot be evicted until the set date            years: the £25,000p/a rent level is no longer the exclusive
when the tenancy ends unless the landlord goes to court               territory of the rich tenant – any rent over £480 per week
with a valid reason to get an eviction order. A periodic              would remove itself from the protection of the AST.
tenancy (one which may keep going indefinitely, extending             Following public consultation, the government decided
in time every week or month, or usually whenever rent is              to update the figure and return to the original intention
paid) does not have such strong protection from eviction              of the AST being used for almost all residential tenancies.
– the landlord needs simply to serve 2 months notice; there
does not need to be a valid reason for the eviction.                  The change will allow a much larger number of
                                                                      tenancies to qualify for AST status. Almost all premises,
How do I know if I have an ‘assured shorthold tenancy’?               short of the fanciest, most expensive rental properties,
The simplest way to find out would be to check the                    will be let under the assured shorthold tenancy model
agreement. After 28 February 1998, all new tenancies                  after 1 October 2010. Furthermore, tenancies for over
were automatically ‘ASTs’ unless it was stated otherwise              £25,000p/a that are already in place on 1 October will
(either explicitly in the agreement or by the landlord                convert to ASTs automatically.
serving a notice).
       Rural Business Newsletter
       Autumn 2010

Are wayleave agreements something you should be concerned about?
A common issue for landowners, especially those in more isolated regions, is how to get
vital services, such as electricity and water, to their property. A common solution is to ask
the utility provider to install the necessary hardware on your land to provide you with the
services you require, however, in exchange for this, the utility companies will often require
you to sign a wayleave agreement.

What is a wayleave agreement?                                            As a result, all wayleave agreements will reserve rights for
A wayleave agreement is a specialist form of easement (right             the utility company (or any of it’s contractors) to access your
over your land) that will allow the utility company to have access       land at any time for the purposes of maintenance, servicing
to your land (often permanently) for the purpose of installing,          or upgrading. This will mean that, for example, if they have
maintaining and upgrading the hardware that they have installed.         installed pipe work under your land, they can dig up the
In exchange for this right, the landowner often receives a yearly        area at any time to access it (and without notice in cases
wayleave payment (although this amount is rarely substantial.            of emergency).

                                                                         Another disadvantage of a wayleave agreement is that it runs
The advantages of a wayleave agreement.
                                                                         with the land (although personal to you), meaning that upon a
The major advantage of a wayleave agreement is that it allows            sale, you must reveal it to any potential buyer, and more than
you to receive crucial services without having to pay the massive        likely pay any costs associated with the transfer of the benefits
costs of installing them yourself, or paying a contractor to do it.      of the agreement. Of course, a potential purchaser may be
Alongside this, often the utility provider will use the opportunity to   put off by the knowledge that there is service media on the
approach neighbouring land owners to see if they wish to receive         land that can be accessed by a 3rd party at any time.
the services, reducing the potential burden on your land.

Further benefits are that you will receive a guaranteed income           What should you do?
from the contract in recompense for the utilities running over,          Often the decision to sign a wayleave agreement is not a
through or under your land. On top of this, should the hardware          simple one, and you should seek specialist advice as to its
become faulty or damaged, the wayleave agreement can                     terms and potential effects before signing anything. At Harrison
require the utility provider to come and repair at their expense.        Clark, the Rural Land and Business Team have many years of
                                                                         experience advising land owners on the terms of wayleave
The disadvantages of a wayleave agreement.                               agreements. We also draft them for utility companies, giving us
One of the major disadvantages of a wayleave agreement                   a unique perspective on their advantages and disadvantages.
is the extent of rights that you will grant to the utility company.      This places us in the best position to advise clients of those
All wayleave agreements are drafted by the utility companies             amendments that may be required and are acceptable to
and offer little scope for negotiation.                                  utility companies.
       Rural Business Newsletter
       Autumn 2010

    Frank Smith from Harrison Clark with Richard Hammond
      at the Herefordshire Country Fair on 1st August 2010

Country shows
Harrison Clark’s Rural Land and Business Team were busy once again this year
on the agricultural show circuit. Here is a round up of the shows that the team
sponsored or attended during the Summer of 2010.

The Cotswold Show                                                   Frampton Country Fair – 12th September 2010
Cirencester Park 3rd and 4th July 2010                              This year Frampton Country Fair celebrated its silver jubilee.
The twenty second Cotswold Show provided a myriad of                The first Frampton Country Fair took place back in 1986
family entertainment from show stopping performances in             and has continued to grow and flourish since then. The
the main arena to a whole host of action packed activities,         fair thrives on the theme of the living working countryside
fascinating country pursuits, crafts and shopping.                  and encompasses a truly great day celebrating all matters
                                                                    country. The fair is a major fundraiser for many locally
Harrison Clark sponsored the Rare Breeds Survival Trust arena
                                                                    based and national charities and Harrison Clark were proud
at the show this year. Visitors had the opportunity to get close
                                                                    to be a part of it.
to and pet cattle, pigs, golden Guernseys, baggot goats and
Exmoor ponies as well as Cotswold sheep. The Rare Breeds            Harrison Clark sponsored the long netting demonstration
Survival Trust also had a variety of poultry at the show. The       in the countryside arena. Long netting is one of the most
Rare Breeds Survival Trust is the leading conservation charity      traditional ways of controlling rabbit populations and
working to restore Britain’s native livestock breeds to their       is considered by many to be the most efficient way of
rightful place in the countryside. Harrison Clark were proud        achieving this. Long netting expert Brian, used his intrepid
to sponsor their cause.                                             toy rabbits to put the nets to good use. Brian was available
                                                                    throughout the day in his stand to answer any questions
Herefordshire Country Fair – 1st August 2010                        and let many of the numerous crowds try out long netting
The 2010 Herefordshire Country Fair took place on Sunday 1st        for themselves.
of August at Hampton Court Estate near Hereford. Crowds of
                                                                    The team were also out and about at the CLA Game Fair
an estimated fifteen thousand were attracted to the show.
                                                                    which took place at Ragley Hall, Alcester, Warwickshire
The day was warm, the sun shone and from all the smiles we
                                                                    between Friday 23rd and Sunday 25th of July 2010 as well
think everybody had a really good day. Harrison Clark were
                                                                    as the Moreton in Marsh show on Saturday 4th September
proud sponsors of the terrier racing and as ever this provided
                                                                    2010. Both shows reported an upturn in ticket sales and
an enjoyable main ring attraction. The trade stands, shopping
                                                                    members of the team met up with old friends and contacts
and craft stalls were all very busy during the day and the
                                                                    and made a few new ones alike.
backdrop of Hampton Court Estate was the perfect setting
for a whole feast of country pursuits and thrilling attractions.
Prizes for fastest terrier were presented by the show’s president
Richard Hammond of Top Gear fame.

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