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scorpio
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08-01-2011, 04:13 PM

What does an agricultural occupancy clause really mean?

We've been looking on Rightmove at a few properties and some of them have this agricultural occupancy clause mentioned.

When I lived in Lincolnshire before, and there were properties for sale with this restriction, I thought it meant that you had to have worked or still work within an agricultural environment, but then I thought they had changed it so that anyone could buy the property, so long as they set up an agricultural type business from the property, or took a job in that industry.

Does anyone know what it really means?
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Losos
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08-01-2011, 04:39 PM
Sorry Sheree I don't know, am not a lawyer, perhaps someone on here will be able to answer you but if you are seriously looking at property witht that covenant attached your best bet is a lawyer experienced in such sales. I do know that one has to be very careful about buying properties in Scottish rural areas because of the 'Crofters rights' clause which crops up on many such properties and I was told that is the reason why so few places are sold to people outside Scotland.
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scorpio
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08-01-2011, 04:59 PM
Originally Posted by Losos View Post
Sorry Sheree I don't know, am not a lawyer, perhaps someone on here will be able to answer you but if you are seriously looking at property witht that covenant attached your best bet is a lawyer experienced in such sales. I do know that one has to be very careful about buying properties in Scottish rural areas because of the 'Crofters rights' clause which crops up on many such properties and I was told that is the reason why so few places are sold to people outside Scotland.
Thanks for that Harvey

I did think that I would try phoning some estate agents on Monday to get a better idea, but there are so many people on here with lots of knowledge I thought I might get a speedier and more correct response

The Scottish clause is interesting...I'd not heard of that one
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Losos
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08-01-2011, 05:25 PM
Originally Posted by scorpio View Post
Thanks for that Harvey

I did think that I would try phoning some estate agents on Monday to get a better idea, but there are so many people on here with lots of knowledge I thought I might get a speedier and more correct response

The Scottish clause is interesting...I'd not heard of that one
In my experience you'll never get a straight answer from an estate agent Before we moved here I did look at getting somewhere in the Western Highlands and that's when I came across the 'crofters rights' thing.
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borderladysue
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08-01-2011, 05:32 PM
Hi scorpio i dont know if this will help, it sounds quite complecated.

Sue

"The biggest problem is getting a mortgage. Ordinary residential mortgages are usually not available, so it normally has to be a cash buy. A holding of 15 acres is scarcely viable for a person to make a living in agriculture, and the amount asked for the property would be beyond the reach of an agricultural employee who might want it.

So it is either being marketed so that it can be shown that despite marketing for 1-2 years, nobody was interested, even at a reduced (about -30%) value, or so that someone will come along, pay cash, and hope the Council will not notice.



The conditions usually say that the property has to be occupied by a person whose main occupation (or a retired person whose last main occupation) was in agriculture. There are variations on this format and sometimes the precise wording of the planning condition can be important.

The Council have a practical problem of establishing that a breach of the condition has taken place. Leaving aside the nosey neighbour who phones the Council up about it, perhaps to settle some score with the occupier, if the fields are grazed or crops grown on them, how likely is it that the Council will knock on the door one day asking for proof that the occupier actually works full time in agriculture? So allow a neighbouring farmer to stick his sheep on the fields sometimes, and the Council probably won't find out.

Whatever you do, don't attract attention by starting stock car racing or car boot sales on the fields or something like that!

Then after 10 years you submit an application for a certificate of lawful use, showing proof of uninterrupted non-agricultural employment, and you are then safe.
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scorpio
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08-01-2011, 05:37 PM
Originally Posted by borderladysue View Post
Hi scorpio i dont know if this will help, it sounds quite complecated.

Sue

"The biggest problem is getting a mortgage. Ordinary residential mortgages are usually not available, so it normally has to be a cash buy. A holding of 15 acres is scarcely viable for a person to make a living in agriculture, and the amount asked for the property would be beyond the reach of an agricultural employee who might want it.

So it is either being marketed so that it can be shown that despite marketing for 1-2 years, nobody was interested, even at a reduced (about -30%) value, or so that someone will come along, pay cash, and hope the Council will not notice.



The conditions usually say that the property has to be occupied by a person whose main occupation (or a retired person whose last main occupation) was in agriculture. There are variations on this format and sometimes the precise wording of the planning condition can be important.

The Council have a practical problem of establishing that a breach of the condition has taken place. Leaving aside the nosey neighbour who phones the Council up about it, perhaps to settle some score with the occupier, if the fields are grazed or crops grown on them, how likely is it that the Council will knock on the door one day asking for proof that the occupier actually works full time in agriculture? So allow a neighbouring farmer to stick his sheep on the fields sometimes, and the Council probably won't find out.

Whatever you do, don't attract attention by starting stock car racing or car boot sales on the fields or something like that!

Then after 10 years you submit an application for a certificate of lawful use, showing proof of uninterrupted non-agricultural employment, and you are then safe.
Thanks for that Sue

If we go down that route we would be cash buyers so that would knock the mortgage problem on the head, and I've always fancied getting some goats or sheep

Definately worth looking into then
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borderladysue
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08-01-2011, 05:44 PM
Glad it was usefull do plenty of research and get the correct legal advice, good luck.

sue
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Wyrd
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08-01-2011, 05:49 PM
Agricultural occupancy means you need to live within so many miles of the area and make the majority of your income in the agricultural or forestry trade.
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Losos
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08-01-2011, 05:55 PM
Originally Posted by scorpio View Post
and I've always fancied getting some goats or sheep
Well that would make you an 'agricultural worker' then maybe get a few hens and sell eggs at the roadside just to make sure I do hope you will keep us up to date on this it sounds like a lovely idea.
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Helena54
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08-01-2011, 06:09 PM
These properties are always a lot cheaper than the norm, and we came across a few when searching many years ago. It means you have to prove that you will be using the land for agricultural purposes of some sort, i.e. making hay, baling it and using or selling it, that kind of thing. Mortgage companies aren't keen either for some strange reason. It's a big "tie" to buying a property, you should really avoid them is my advice, I know we did.
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