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May, 2017

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  1. #1

    Default What 'rights' does a grazing tenant acquire by erecting a fence

    I bought a piece of land from a ex-property developer who now runs a livery stable. A condition of the sale was that he retained ownership of the professionally constructed riding ring which lies within the field sold ( i.e. it was excluded from the sale) and also that he retained the grazing for his grass livery business until I have another use for the land. After avoiding several 'dodgy' schemes we now have an annual signed written grazing licence which covers some ten & a half months a year and he is 'evicted' for the other six weeks or so. Early last year an external contractor trimming back the overgrown hedges ( at my instruction and expense) rather overdid it and in some places removed the hedge/fencing boundary to the field completely and my tenant asked for approval to put up a fence as he is responsible for containment of the livestock. Due to previous problems with electric fences and neighbourhood kids AND the newly lost boundary fence he stated it would be substantial wooden posts rather than just the usual plastic ones and he has in fact employed a contractor to put in lines of four inch circular wooden posts on which he has put electric fencing. This was done late last year & I was kept informed when he did it. It is only after an extended absence the thought has dawned - have I already given him any rights over use / occupation / tenancy etc. ; and if not, can he / will he acquire any rights if I allow the fence to remain; and if so what can I do to prevent him accruing these rights whilst allowing the fence to remain

  2. #2

    Default

    Afternoon

    What does your grazing licence say about responsibility for fencing?

    Provided you licence agreement is up to date, there are probably two possibilities
    1) You have allowed him to put up his fence. When you decide to be in occupation of the land, he has to remove his fence, or you can buy it from him at a suitably depreciated cost.
    2) As the fence has been attached to the land, it has become part of your ownership and is now yours.

    I recommend deciding now which line you want to take so it doesn't become a problem later on.

    I think it is unlikely you have given him any additional use/occupation/tenancy and unlikely he will acquire them if the fence stays. But it's better to sort it out now

  3. #3

    Default

    If it was a tenancy, not a licence, his fence would surely be classed as tenants improvements and at the end of the tenancy if the landlord gave a notice to quit they would have to pay compensation for improvements. As your licence (grazing or otherwise) is due to expire he should remove his animals and fence, purely because Licences dont have to be renewed, whereas Leases do.
    Your licence agreement is in danger of becoming a "protected tenancy" I would seek legal advice.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    126

    Default

    Grazing licences are not full tenancies and only allow someone on your land rather than giving them exclusive use of your land, hence the 'eviction'. However as always happens there are ways around things (I know a bit about it because of a neighbour's experience). This is a useful article http://www.countrylife.co.uk/propert...-licences-9050

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Posts
    170

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sunnysteve View Post
    Due to previous problems with electric fences and neighbourhood kids
    When I was a (primary-school) lad back in the 60s we used to see who could hold on to the electric fence the longest

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