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    • squirrel59
    • By squirrel59 9th May 18, 11:39 AM
    • 8Posts
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    squirrel59
    Agricultural Occupancy Clause removal
    • #1
    • 9th May 18, 11:39 AM
    Agricultural Occupancy Clause removal 9th May 18 at 11:39 AM
    Hi, there's a cottage coming up for auction in about two weeks time. It's got an AOC on it, however, it's been empty for 20 years and is in a fairly dilapidated state. I can't find any planners who have the time to give me an initial idea of whether the tie can be lifted before the auction, so I am a lady in distress. I love the cottage but if the tie cannot be lifted, obviously I'd be well up the you-know-what creek without anything even resembling a teaspoon, let alone a paddle. Is there anyone out there who is experienced enough to shed some initial light on to this matter? It goes without saying I'm not asking for a 100% guarantee, just a considered opinion. Thanks!!
Page 1
    • spadoosh
    • By spadoosh 9th May 18, 11:43 AM
    • 5,280 Posts
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    spadoosh
    • #2
    • 9th May 18, 11:43 AM
    • #2
    • 9th May 18, 11:43 AM
    No council likes removing them.

    If they remove it before auction date expect it to sell way above guide price.

    Nothing will happen in the next two weeks.
    Don't be angry!
    • squirrel59
    • By squirrel59 9th May 18, 11:58 AM
    • 8 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    squirrel59
    • #3
    • 9th May 18, 11:58 AM
    • #3
    • 9th May 18, 11:58 AM
    Hi, thanks for your response. Sorry for the misunderstanding: of course I don't expect the clause to be removed in the next two weeks. I'm just interested in finding out whether the chances of removal would be better than 50%.
    • spadoosh
    • By spadoosh 9th May 18, 12:28 PM
    • 5,280 Posts
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    spadoosh
    • #4
    • 9th May 18, 12:28 PM
    • #4
    • 9th May 18, 12:28 PM
    It will mainly depend on the area.

    Youll have a much better chance of having it lifted if the property doesnt sell at auction. It would show that there isnt a market for an agriculturally tied property, if it does sell or you are bidding against someone chances are that it proves it does have a market and thus warrants having an AOC and will therefore make it harder.

    Theres other ways round it so to speak but probably equally if not more risky. With an AOC there is time to prove you work in agriculture, it doesnt have to be done the day you move in, you could technically be unemployed when you buy and start a new agricultural business and circumvent (youre not , youre just putting yourself within the rules) AOC that way.

    The other option and probably riskiest is to buy it and hope no one raises an issue with you being there. If after 10 years no one has said anything you can then apply to have the AOC suspended, that is, until the property exchanges hands again in which the AOC will be reinstated.
    Don't be angry!
    • squirrel59
    • By squirrel59 9th May 18, 12:37 PM
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    • 6 Thanks
    squirrel59
    • #5
    • 9th May 18, 12:37 PM
    • #5
    • 9th May 18, 12:37 PM
    Hi, that is so helpful, thank you so much. It certainly all is food for thought. You've been very helpful!
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 9th May 18, 2:14 PM
    • 25,582 Posts
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    Davesnave
    • #6
    • 9th May 18, 2:14 PM
    • #6
    • 9th May 18, 2:14 PM
    The other option and probably riskiest is to buy it and hope no one raises an issue with you being there. If after 10 years no one has said anything you can then apply to have the AOC suspended, that is, until the property exchanges hands again in which the AOC will be reinstated.
    Originally posted by spadoosh
    I don't think that's quite right.

    I believe that after 10 years of unlawful occupation, those who've been in breach of the AOC may apply to have the tie replaced by a Certificate of Lawful Use. If granted, this then stays in place, even if the property is re-sold, unless someone who complies with the tie moves in, when the tie becomes operative again.

    I can point to houses where a Cert of Lawful Use has been issued, allowing a re-sale under the same terms:

    http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-61001107.html

    See the agent's note at the end

    Different authorities police the ag-tie system with varying amounts of enthusiasm, but since the cuts it's probably dropped fairly low on most council's agendas. It's mostly a relic of bygone methods of farming.

    Certainly, where I live, non-compliance is common and the District Council really don't want to know about it, since taking action is costly and long-winded. Local people don't seem concerned, provided the occupants behave and don't appear to be thumbing their noses at others.
    If you are finding huge gaps between your paragraphs, MSE know about the problem. However, they aren't necessarily doing anything about it. More changes on the way?
    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5844460
    • squirrel59
    • By squirrel59 9th May 18, 2:23 PM
    • 8 Posts
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    squirrel59
    • #7
    • 9th May 18, 2:23 PM
    • #7
    • 9th May 18, 2:23 PM
    How hugely interesting. Thanks so much for including that Rightmove link too. Not sure how active the DC is on this subject in my county, but perhaps I can find that out. Thanks very much!
    • Richard Webster
    • By Richard Webster 9th May 18, 4:25 PM
    • 7,455 Posts
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    Richard Webster
    • #8
    • 9th May 18, 4:25 PM
    • #8
    • 9th May 18, 4:25 PM
    I believe that after 10 years of unlawful occupation, those who've been in breach of the AOC may apply to have the tie replaced by a Certificate of Lawful Use. If granted, this then stays in place, even if the property is re-sold, unless someone who complies with the tie moves in, when the tie becomes operative again.
    Note the emphasised words. I know of a case where they tried to prove this but didn't succeed because although it hadn't been occupied by someone working in agriculture for 10 years or more, there was a gap in that the place was empty for a year or so. It wasn't 10 years continuous such occupation and the Council apparently refused the cert of lawful use on that basis.

    In this case, as it has been unoccupied for a long time there has been no change of use - the previous use plus conditions still applies.

    Whether you would succeed in getting the ag tie removed is very much a matter of knowledge of local circumstances/policies. Councils usually want the property continuously advertised (particularly in farming journals) for say 12-24 months with no interest shown by potential agricultural occupants. You have to demonstrate that this has been done. Perhaps the seller has been doing this and has given up, hoping that someone will take the risk.
    Last edited by Richard Webster; 09-05-2018 at 4:27 PM. Reason: typos
    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.
    • squirrel59
    • By squirrel59 9th May 18, 4:47 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    squirrel59
    • #9
    • 9th May 18, 4:47 PM
    • #9
    • 9th May 18, 4:47 PM
    Yes, I see what you mean. It's a bit of a quagmire, that has become clear. Thank you very much for having taken the time to reply.
    • the_r_sole
    • By the_r_sole 9th May 18, 6:07 PM
    • 2,552 Posts
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    the_r_sole
    This kind of thing would be best having a chat with a local planning consultant, or at least one that knows the local authority well - they should be able to give you an idea of the best planning strategy and the likelihood of it being successful
    • squirrel59
    • By squirrel59 9th May 18, 6:48 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    squirrel59
    I've come to the same conclusion - have put in a call this afternoon... Thanks for your advice and for taking the time to post it!
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