Buying & Selling Farms and Agricultural Land

Our agricultural solicitors can help you with buying and selling farms and agricultural land, specifically addressing:

  • Access to the public highway – ensuring there are no gaps between the boundaries of the property at gateways, drives or entrances and the public highway which could otherwise potentially prevent free access to the property.
  • Boundary issues – we are more than happy to inspect farm land to ensure that the boundaries and title deeds correlate and to advise on next steps where inconsistencies arise. We can also prepare Boundary Agreements between neighbours to record agreed boundary features.
  • Early entry for crop cultivation or holdover for existing crops – inevitably the sale or purchase of farmland will not coincide with the harvest year. As agricultural solicitors we understand the need for you to preserve a harvest yield or to gain entry early to sow the next harvest at the right time and ensure that our transaction documents contain appropriate provisions to allow you to achieve your needs.
  • Subsidies – the phasing out of the BPS subsidies and the introduction of replacement schemes under the Agriculture Act 2000 has resulted in many in the agricultural sector having to make heart-rendering decisions about selling the family farm or retiring from the industry completely. Whatever your decisions are for selling (or indeed buying) farmland we understand the issues and are able to discuss with you the path forward.
  • Employment issues – at Trethowans we have a dedicated team of Employment Lawyers who are able to assist on all employment issues.
  • Sales where land is being retained – the sale of part of your farm is one of the situations that can cause substantial future problems if appropriate rights and obligations (such as rights of way and rights to use jointly used facilities (e.g., water or drainage facilities) are not created in the transaction documents, as once the land is sold you will not be able to unilaterally enforce any change in these arrangements. We therefore take time to discuss with you your aspirations for the land you are keeping, so we can ensure that the appropriate provisions required to protect your retained land and to preserve the sale are correctly recorded.
  • Planning issues – when purchasing a property, we will liaise with you to understand your specific future requirements for the property and in turn whether the existing authorised planning use of the property will permit this and advise you accordingly. We also advise on potential breaches of planning and the risks of proceeding with your transaction. In some instances, specialist planning advice will be required.
  • Private water supply issues – the issues with private water are fundamental and can substantially affect value, given that we can’t live without it! We have a dedicated page on this site outlining the issues.
  • Sporting rights – occasionally shooting, fishing or hunting rights are not “in hand” in that they are held separately from the title of the property; or you may wish to keep these rights for yourself when selling farmland. As experts in the field of sporting rights we can provide you with detailed advice on the exercise of sporting rights.

Once you have decided to sell your farm you will instruct both your selling agent and your accountant to work closely to ensure that all aspects of the sale are considered prior to marketing. We can help with:

  • Boundary considerations for the sale brochure
  • Preparing the legal pack to help the sale go smoothly once a buyer is found
  • Ironing out any issues that would be a concern to a buyer
  • Helping with option or overage / claw-back rights and rights of ‘first refusal’
  • Consideration of subsidies and schemes
  • Making provisions in the sale documents for you to have access to crops or storage needed after the sale has completed and for a farm equipment auction to be held on the farm before the property sale has completed
  • Planning documentation
  • Land not being sold that requires rights over the remainder being sold
  • Tax mitigation

Why choose Trethowans?

Our Agricultural Property Team is one of the largest and most experienced in our region. We are acutely aware that time is of the essence. This may be either to ensure that the sale is completed as quickly as possible, or to ensure compliance with a timescale that is often a condition of an accepted offer.

Our aim is to provide our clients with the highest level of service, delivered in a pragmatic, no-nonsense, plain English approach and above all, to be cost-efficient. Whatever your circumstances, we will guide you to a successful completion and ensure that all aspects are considered. For expert advice when it comes to your farming business, contact our agricultural solicitors on 0800 2800 421.

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