MARTIN LEWIS Q&A WITH RISHI SUNAK
Chancellor Rishi Sunak joined Martin for a video Q&A to discuss the cost of living support package that was recently announced - you can watch it HERE

Agricultural Occupancy Condition

1121315171828

Replies

  • planning_officerplanning_officer Forumite
    1.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭
    Hi - this is an unusual one! To be honest, if the reason for imposing the condition in the first place was to do with agricultural odours, that is a bizarre reason for restricting the occupation of the dwelling, and a condition like that would never be imposed now!

    I would encourage you to be absolutely certain that this was the only reason for the condition - the only place you will this is by looking at the planning decision notice and seeing what the 'reason' for the condition is (it will be listed below the condition or at the end of the decision notice). As you will have probably appreciated from this thread, most agricultural workers' dwellings are in the Green Belt or rural areas where 'normal' dwellings would not be permitted, unless required for farm workers. If the reason for the condition does not contain any reference to this, and just refers to odours, then I'd say your chances of having the condition removed are fairly good, especially if the source of the odours no longer exists. The Council can only consider the reason why the condition was imposed in the first place when considering an application for its removal. However, if the condition was imposed due to Green Belt restrictions or some other reaosn, then your chances plummet dramatically - unless you can show, by way of a prolonged and detailed marketing exercise, that the dwelling is no longer required for an agricultural worker.
  • DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
    34.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hi - this is an unusual one! To be honest, if the reason for imposing the condition in the first place was to do with agricultural odours, that is a bizarre reason for restricting the occupation of the dwelling, and a condition like that would never be imposed now!

    As someone who lived for a time as a child in a modern, non-tied house in the countryside, I also find this very strange. I don't recall anyone considering our delicate sensibilities when liberal amounts of manure and silage were being hurled around in the fields next door!

    One soon adapts, and considering the noxious fumes that used to be produced by heavy industry, 'farm smells' were definitely more benign than those found in many towns, even Post War.

    Thank you for clarifying this.
  • I have just found this forum which is incredibly useful so thank you to all contributors.

    I have made an offer on a bungalow which has the standard form of Agricultural Occupancy condition. The present owners have been in breach of the condition for the last seven years and are prepared to sign a statutory declaration to that effect. My plan is to keep a low profile for the next three years and than apply for a Certificate of Lawful Use.

    However I have just been told of a case in which the judge said that in his opinion a change of occupant would be a NEW breach,and that the ten-year clock should start again. Has anybody heard of this case, or heard of it being applied?

    As a secondary question (if what I have been told is wrong), is there any sort of definition of what is meant by a Continuous breach. For example would the new occupant have to move in on the same day the old occupant moved out, or would a short gap be reasonably allowed?
  • DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
    34.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    I have just found this forum which is incredibly useful so thank you to all contributors.

    My plan is to keep a low profile for the next three years and than apply for a Certificate of Lawful Use.

    Point for consideration 1. You are not the previous occupant, who might be very popular in the locality, or at least part of its fixtures & fittings.

    Point for consideration 2. How low can you go? Parish councils are surprisingly vigilant, even if the County is a bit dozy.

    With those practical considerations dealt with, I'll leave the legal stuff to the real experts. :)
  • edited 4 July 2011 at 4:07PM
    lincroft1710lincroft1710 Forumite
    15.8K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 4 July 2011 at 4:07PM
    The present owners have been in breach of the condition for the last seven years and are prepared to sign a statutory declaration to that effect.

    Two points. Firstly, if the owners have lived in the property for more than 7 years and their previous occupation was in agriculture, or their occupation was in agriculture prior to buying the bungalow then their current occupation is not in fact in breach of the rules.

    Secondly, as it is being claimed that you only have to "lie low" for 3 years, is the asking price reflecting "hope value" (hope that Ag. Occ. Condition would be lifted) or is it a proper Ag. Occ. price.
    If you are querying your Council Tax band would you please state whether you are in England, Scotland or Wales
  • Good points. Thanks guys.
    The vendor inherited the property from her father who originally built it. Neither she or her husband have ever worked in agriculture so their 7 year occupancy is a genuine breach. The price does indeed include hope value as it is only about a 15% discount off the non-restricted value. I am doing a lot of soul-searching as I could lose a lot of money if this goes pear-shaped.
    Obviously the hope value disappears if one would actually need to lie low for 10 years rather than three, so the definition of "continuous breach" is a vital question.
  • planning_officerplanning_officer Forumite
    1.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭
    I wouldn't trust any company who promises 'no win no fee'... unless that is a plug....?! Not to mention that the website address you wrote above has a spelling mistake in it... and there are two further spelling mistakes on the homepage! Doh!

    Anyway - in (late) response to Ever-Hopeful's post, yes, the breach has to be continuous over the past 10 years. Plus, the breach has to be continuing at the date of an application for a Lawful Development Certificate - these points are enshrined in planning case law. In terms of a break in occupation, there are no firm guidelines, but if the previous occupier had moved out very recently and the new occupier moved in, that would probably not be deemed a break in the breach of condition. Otherwise, if there was a break in the ten year period, then yes - the ten years would start again after each break.

    Hope that's useful although I have to say I don't consider what you are planning to do (lie low for 3 years) to be ethical or morally correct - these agricultural dwellings were built in areas of the country where new 'normal' dwellings would never be allowed (Green Belt etc). So I don't condone someone trying to play the system to make a quick buck. Plus, in my opinion it's way too risky - everyone knows the property will have been sold (anyone can look on the houseprices or zoopla websites which obtain their data from land registry - including the Council! And, as a former enforcement officer for a council - I can tell you, that information can be pretty useful! ;-)
  • Hi all,

    I have just exchanged on a piece of land with an agricultural condition on a dwelling, now I have to get some finance! Does anybody know who to go to for mortgages?
  • Richard_WebsterRichard_Webster Forumite
    7.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭✭
    exchanged on a piece of land with an agricultural condition on a dwelling

    Sue your solicitor for letting you do it!

    You presumably told him you were getting a mortgage...

    If you didn't then you have only yourself to blame. Why on earth would any sensible person consider exchanging contracts if mortgage finance was not in place?
    RICHARD WEBSTER

    As a retired conveyancing solicitor I believe the information given in the post to be useful assuming any properties concerned are in England/Wales but I accept no liability for it.
  • DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
    34.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hi all,

    I have just exchanged on a piece of land with an agricultural condition on a dwelling, now I have to get some finance! Does anybody know who to go to for mortgages?

    Ag tied properties won't appeal to all mortgage sources, especially at the moment, so you will need a specialist. The rates you get, if you get them, probably won't be that great either.

    Try asking at your local branch of NFU Mutual.
This discussion has been closed.
Latest MSE News and Guides