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Agricultural Occupancy Condition

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  • Hi, only just joined the forum and I'm sure I will learn a lot.

    Sorry to resurrect this thread which hasn't had a post for a while but unless there is a newer location for this then it seems like the most suitable location.

    My husband and I are looking at a property with an agricultural tie. Cue do not know the full detail yet and have not visited the property. We have emailed the council and hopefully they will respond soon and based on their response we will visit the property and look to purchase.

    I am currently on maternity leave and am looking to go back to work on less hours and use the land to home ducks for selling of eggs and have some alpaca's for wool and keeping fox's at bay. The property we are looking at has a very large pond that would be good for the ducks. The overall land is less than 3 acres but it looks from this thread that it is time not money made that would satisfy the conditions.

    My partner has a full time job with nothing to do with agriculture but again this thread makes it sound like as long as on of us spends a large proportion of our time working in agriculture that is fine.

    Is there a specific ammount of time needed to cover this clause? I saw a legal case was one by somebody who did 25 hours per week. Is there a minimum? 51% of your overall working hours to satisfy as a majority eg 20?

    There was also a lot of talk here in 2011 that it was felt these conditions would be relaxed. In 2015 has anything changed with the local councils? We intend to meet the condition but just want to know how hard it is to get in etc. is it still difficult to get a mortgage on a property with said condition for example?

    Thanks for any advice anyone can give.
  • DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
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    Looking after ducks and some alpacas on under 3 acres is, basically, a hobby. As you suggest, it can probably be done in 3 hours a day, or less.

    Councils are still as stretched as ever, if not more so, making enforcement of ties a low priority matter, but each one is different. My own council is on record as intending to check tied property over a four year cycle, but it doesn't.

    Equally, localities vary, so although the county council might be disinterested, the parish council may take a an active interest in compliance. Basically, the higher the value of surrounding property, the more likely it is that local people will police the situation.

    Alerting your council by email probably wasn't the best way into this. You are now between a rock and a hard place: i.e. wanting to comply, but having no easy way of proving that you can actually do so, especially if you keep your old job.

    Others would just go ahead, occupy the property and bet on the council ignoring them. It's terribly expensive and long- winded, getting people to leave property once it's occupied, as a recent case in my village has shown. In that instance, there was no permission for a residence of any kind, yet the case dragged on for many years.

    I dare say there are brokers who could find a mortgage on ag-tied property, but I would expect it to be at a price well above market rates, because there's less competition and the risk for the lender is seen as higher.

    Ironically, while these were originally conceived as properties to help poorer people in, or into, agriculturally- based occupations, they are frequently bought by those rich enough to purchase outright.

    Maybe it was me speculating in 2011 that ties might be lifted by the new government, which then talked of ending useless red tape. At present, the situation is that some county councils may be persuaded to remove ties, while others persist in retaining them at all costs. My own council falls into the latter category, despite widespread non-compliance, which it would rather not hear about!
  • RunnerduckRunnerduck Forumite
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    Hi, i'm hoping someone could advise me, We have just found the perfect property for us, only it has an agricultural tie, i am a farmers daughter, but our buisness is running a lorry out of the local stone quarry, we have been looking for a place with a few acres for me to keep some livestock, chickens, ducks, alpacas, sheep etc. but we would also need to get an operators licence from there to run our lorry, is there any possibility that we would be able to do this? we wouldn't need a mortgage or to finance anything. This property is only half a mile from our home now. we know all the neighbours and love the area.
  • DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
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    Runnerduck wrote: »
    Hi, i'm hoping someone could advise me, We have just found the perfect property for us, only it has an agricultural tie, i am a farmers daughter, but our buisness is running a lorry out of the local stone quarry, we have been looking for a place with a few acres for me to keep some livestock, chickens, ducks, alpacas, sheep etc. but we would also need to get an operators licence from there to run our lorry, is there any possibility that we would be able to do this? we wouldn't need a mortgage or to finance anything. This property is only half a mile from our home now. we know all the neighbours and love the area.

    I think it would be better if you were to make it your OH's lorry rather than 'our' lorry, even if, in reality, you are both involved in the business to some degree.

    That would then free you up to be looking after all those animals as your personal 'business,' because it's only necessary that one of you complies with the tie by spending the majority of your working week doing that. If you farm the land effectively, (not with horses) then that should be enough. You don't have to make a large profit, and of course you won't!

    Different local authorities police their tied properties with varying degrees of vigour, but a local solicitor used to dealing with rural property will be able to give you an indication of how yours behaves. Many are likely to have become more lax since the cuts. In my area the level of supervision is minimal and largely devolved to the parish councils, who always keep a weather eye out for all obvious breaches in planning.

    If you are known in the area, this is all to the good, especially as you have an agricultural background.

    Presumably you have considered the implications of running a heavy lorry from the site and gaining permission to do so.
  • RunnerduckRunnerduck Forumite
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    thankyou for your reply, we cant, make the buisness just his as i am the qualified transport manager, and its a partnership, but in reality i only have to legally work 15 hours a weeks in the buisness in my role. at least you reply makes me feel it is worth looking into. thanks
  • DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
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    Anything which reduces the relative cost of a property by around 30% is worth looking into, so I think it's advisable that you obtain professional advice at the earliest opportunity.
  • Davesnave wrote: »
    Where is the tie recorded if it is not in the title documents?

    Personally, I would challenge the current validity of a tie that neither appeared in the title recorded at the Land Registry, or in the other documentation available at the time of purchase.

    Maybe the Land Registry Representative will see this and comment.



    An Agricultural Tie is not recorded on Land Registry Titles - it is part of the planning consent for the property when it was built and the Occupancy restricition will be recorded as a condition.
  • DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
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    An Agricultural Tie is not recorded on Land Registry Titles - it is part of the planning consent for the property when it was built and the Occupancy restricition will be recorded as a condition.

    Apparently, the Land Registry Rep didn't see this, but I've checked my title docs and you're completely correct. :o

    So, enquiries about the tie would have to be made via the council which gave planning consent.
  • Davesnave wrote: »
    Apparently, the Land Registry Rep didn't see this, but I've checked my title docs and you're completely correct. :o

    So, enquiries about the tie would have to be made via the council which gave planning consent.

    Correct - you should be able to get a copy of the properties planning history on line if the Planning permission is not too historic - if its not showing on line your planning department should have the copies from Microfiche for a small fee.
  • Land_RegistryLand_Registry Organisation Representatives - Private Messages may not be monitored
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    Apologies as we did miss this one - looks like you have resolved it though re where such details are held
    Official Company Representative
    I am the official company representative of Land Registry. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to queries about the company, so that I can help solve issues. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to [email protected] This does NOT imply any form of approval of my company or its products by MSE"
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