The issues affecting rural property can be diverse, and often complex. We have a breadth and depth of specialist knowledge on a wide range of subjects relating to rural, residential and commercial property.
Practical, technical advice
Our expertise is based on providing the best technical advice, balanced with a practical approach, to provide an effective solution to any issue. Our objective is to deal with any subject proactively and efficiently to mediate through a problem and avoid conflict. Where litigation is the only option, we provide support as expert witness’ or technical advisors to ensure the best outcome for our clients.
Not all issues facing the rural industry are potentially contentious. We also provide advice and consultation to maximise asset performance and identify new income streams, as well as strategic advice to protect asset wealth.
Whether you are a landowner, owner/occupier or tenant we can advise on a range of subjects including:
We advise landowners and utility companies on all aspects of compulsory acquisition. If you are affected by a scheme, we can ensure that the relevant authority complies with their legal obligations and advise on your rights for compensation, including preparing a claim and negotiating settlement with the authority.
When representing statutory authorities we liaise with engineers to identify a preferred route, reference landownership, negotiate access and advise on the appropriate level of any claim.
We can advise on all aspects of the relevant law governing the occupation of rural properties. Whether residential, agricultural or commercial we are well practiced in advising landlords and tenants of their rights and obligations.
We specialise in advising our clients on the intricate legal framework governing farm business tenancies under the Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995 and secure agricultural tenancies under the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986. We are also experienced in advising on other forms of tenancy/occupation, including licenses, herbage agreements and tenancies at will.
Rent reviews, renewals and restructuring
Whatever the form type of property, or form of letting, our market knowledge lets us quickly assess whether a rent is at the correct level. We can advise on the technical issues relating to a review, including the service of time sensitive notices, and ensure the best rent is secured to maximise asset performance.
In a renewal situation we can advise landlords and tenants on the requirements of notices and end of tenancy issues. We provide balanced and objective advice on the benefits of renegotiating with an existing tenant and the opportunities in open market to ensure the best outcome is secured.
During a rental period opportunities may arise to renegotiate terms, allowing clients to restructure lease terms to gain an advantage or protect their position where market pressures may pose a threat. We can identify these opportunities, advise on the legal position and commercial benefits to ensure your position is protected and optimised.
Rural planning & development
We can identify development opportunities to provide additional income streams or maximise the return from your asset.
Whether you are looking to convert an existing farm building or to promote land for larger scale, strategic, development we have the expertise and knowledge to guide you through the planning process.
With the assistance of our building surveyors we can advise on the feasibility of a development by costing out the scheme, and the likely return, before an application is submitted - ensuring that the client knows the viability of a project before costs escalate.
The promotion of strategic land can be a costly process. We can identify partners who, under a joint venture, promotional or option agreement, will absorb some or all of the associated costs. We can advise on the right partner to promote your land and ensure that the best terms are agreed to maximise the success and return from your property.
Regulatory control has increased significantly over the last 20 years, with compliance becoming part of everyday life for the rural property owner and business.
Whether it relates to employment, health and safety, tree safety surveys or public liability we can advise on your legal duties. We can also advise on systems to help manage your obligations, ensuring that these are as efficient, straightforward and compliant as necessary.
Our knowledge and experience enables us to guide our client efficiently through potentially contentious or litigious situations. When negotiated settlement cannot be reached, we understand the duty and responsibility which comes with acting as an expert witness before courts, tribunals and arbitrations.
Whether matrimonial disputes, compensation claims, landlord and tenant disputes, end of tenancy matters or professional negligence claims we can provide the authoritative evidence or form part of a representing team.
Conservation has become an important part of farming and land management over the last 10 years.
Whether you are looking to increase biodiversity on your farm or meet obligations under the Common Agricultural Policy, we can advise on grant availability and tax initiatives both at government and local levels.
Our working knowledge of the available schemes means that we are well placed to ensure the right scheme is implemented to maximise benefit with minimal impact on your core business.
Grants & subsidies
The availability of grants and subsidies to farming business is a complex area. The legislative controls and regulations are extensive and change frequently.
Ensuring that your business complies with these regulations is essential. The paperwork can seem daunting and complicated, with time dependant deadlines and punitive penalties for breaching rules.
We have a working knowledge of all current grant and subsidy schemes available to farmers and landowners. We stay abreast of changes and regulatory reform and provide practical advice to ensure you and your business operate efficiently within these constraints.
Accounting & taxation
Our specialist accounts team can provide a bespoke service to oversee the income and expenditure related to your rural business or asset. Whether rent recovery and client accounting, or a more involved role including staff salaries, PAYE or complying with the latest regulations of Real Time Information, we can tailor a package to suit your requirements.
We are experienced in advising on capital, income and inheritance tax matters. Whether providing an overview, liaising with the accounting and legal profession or implementing an approved scheme we have an in-depth understanding of the taxes affecting rural businesses and properties. Through strategic planning the effect of these taxes can be limited, or in some circumstances mitigated altogether.
Diversification can offer opportunities to broaden income streams and spreading risk.
Our experience in dealing with rural diversification gives us first-hand knowledge of the viability of a given scheme and how it fits in with the core business. We are able to advise on feasibility, providing detailed analysis of the cost and return from a proposed development, ensuring that your investment is well placed.
Whether you are considering a renewable energy scheme, telecom mast, farm shop, events venue or an art gallery, we can provide a feasibility study and business plan, guide you through the planning process and project manage your development.
Agriculture is at the core of the rural property business, whether you are a working farmer or a landowner or tenant.
We understand the working farm and the unique pressures and opportunities in the industry. Working with farmers and landowners we can provide added value to the business ensuring it is both compliant and operating efficiently.
We have working knowledge of the subsidy and grant schemes and the regulations governing both. We can advise on cross-compliance requirements and work through the opportunities and implications of entry level and higher level stewardship schemes.
For landowners and retiring farmers wanting to operate as a trading business we are experienced in the operation and management of joint venture and contract farming schemes. We can assist in identify the right partner, provide the structure and framework and oversee the operation to ensure that the partnership is successful from the outset.