What is Occupiers’ Liability and how can you protect yourself against it?

If a visitor on your land or premises falls or injures themselves, what occupiers’ liability might you have? There are two acts you need to be aware of, Occupiers Liability Act 1957 and Occupiers Liability Act 1984 (“the Acts”). These Acts impose a duty of care on occupiers to both lawful visitors and trespassers respectively. […]

The Agriculture Bill

At the time of writing this article (the end of February), the Agriculture Bill is wending its way through the Parliamentary process and is expected to receive Royal Assent in June or July 2020. There are few surprises in the Bill which constitutes enabling legislation and which will be followed, in due course, by the […]

Lifetime farm valuations; ‘hope’ value and the importance of getting it right

Lifetime valuations can be a useful strategic tool for landowners. A forthcoming succession, pre-death tax planning when creating a Will, the anticipated sale or development of land, changes in tax reliefs and when considering using land for secured borrowing are all potential triggers for requiring a lifetime valuation. In the context of succession, a valuation […]

Caring for farmers with dementia

It is generally accepted that the health and social care sector is facing some of its greatest challenges to date. People are living longer; there has been an increase in the number of people suffering from diseases such as dementia; and there is a general lack of funding for community services. The impact on society […]

UK Points-Based Immigration System policy update

On 19 February, the Government published the first details about its proposed new Immigration system planned to be operational on 1 January 2021. The Government’s new system is designed to attract “highly skilled workers”, rather than the low skilled workers. Under the new system, employers will have to hold a ‘sponsor licence’ to employ all […]

Seasonal worker scheme multiplies by four

Following concerns over a lack of migrant labour as a consequence of Brexit, the Government is significantly expanding its Seasonal Workers Pilot, which was first announced in 2018, in order to boost the UK horticulture sector for the 2020 harvest. The scheme, which permits agricultural businesses to take on seasonal migrant workers from outside the […]

Exchange of contracts within 48 hours

Buying a house is often one of the largest investments that we make, making it one of life’s most significant decisions. Given the importance of buying the right property, the process is regularly fraught with stress and pressure, and often over a period of months. It is, however, possible to limit the length of time […]

Farming divorces

Dealing with a divorce is stressful enough but when farmers divorce there are usually additional considerations. It is not uncommon for both spouses to work on the farm, for their matrimonial home to be on the farm, for wider family members to work or live on the farm and for long working hours to be […]

Proposed abolition of Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988

The Government has issued a Consultation Paper entitled “A New Deal for Renting”, seeking views on how to implement its decision to abolish Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 and to improve the implementation of Section 8, grounds for repossession. It concentrates specifically on the circumstances in which landlords should be able to regain […]

Stamp Duty Land Tax – Mixed Use update

On 25 June 2019 HMRC issued updated guidance on the meaning of ‘garden and grounds’ for the purposes of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). In considering whether or not a mixed-use rate of SDLT can apply to the purchase of a country house, questions are commonly raised by HMRC on the extent of land at […]

Putting unused buildings to good use

There are many ways of putting redundant agricultural buildings back into use. Diversification can help stabilise the farm across the calendar year and boost income. At Moore Blatch we regularly advise clients on diversification, which can range from barn-to-office conversions for activity farms, to more ambitious schemes such as holiday parks.

Funding care for farmers

For anyone requiring long-term care the impact on family can be devastating, but for farmers it can affect their business as well as their home life – and often the two are intertwined. The financial implications of a farmer unable to work the land, or a family carer having to run the farming business at […]

Assets of community value

The recent case of Banner Homes Limited v St Albans City and District Council illustrates how the Asset of Community Value scheme can cause problems to development. In this particular case, a field was listed as an Asset of Community Value (“ACV”) – despite its use by the local community having been unlawful.

Escape to the country

At Moore Blatch, we regularly act for purchasers who are based in London and other urban centres who are looking to purchase rural homes and escape to the country. They may be relocating or looking to purchase a second property as an investment or lifestyle proposition.

AHA Tenancies – Obtaining vacant possession

We are regularly being asked to report on the status of agricultural tenants who occupy land required for development by the landowner, whether access can be obtained by a promoter and buyer for site surveys and investigations; and for providing a strategy for delivering vacant possession of the land in question.

Case law update – Restrictive covenants

The case of Jones v Oven [2018] EWCA Civ 1895; [2018] 8 WLUK 105 looked at the effect of restrictive covenants on a transfer of land. The Claimant and the Defendant are neighbours and the case concerned a four metre strip of land (the “Strip”). This case is of note as it demonstrates that “retained […]

Succession Planning for Farmers – Top tips for success

Farming succession is absolutely imperative to the success of individual farmers, but it is also integral to the overall agricultural picture in the UK. Factors such as falling revenue across the rural sector, increased competition from foreign competitors and the evolving nature of the ‘modern farmer’ all contribute to the importance of planning correctly for […]

The Digital Economy Act: introducing the “New Code”

The 27th April 2017 brought the Digital Economy Act, a refreshed version of the previous Digital Economy Act of 2010. As well as updating sentencing for criminal copyright infringement, the most interesting aspect is the so called “New Code”, which replaces the existing electronic communications code found in both the Telecommunications Act 1984 and the […]

Farm diversification- Film on a farm

At sunset, viewers are treated to the viewing of classic film favourites. I watched Notting Hill, but other films such as Jaws and Dirty Dancing are upcoming. It is all about the outdoor experience: picnicking outside in a beautiful part of the countryside, poshcorn, beetle cars, bbq’ing local meat and a great film.

Septic tanks a dirty word

When you are marvelling in the peace and tranquillity of having bought a home in the countryside, you are unlikely to find yourself in your new garden, enjoying the spring blossoms whilst considering the subject of sewage.  Although a dirty word, come 2020, ‘sewage’ will be at the forefront of the minds of most sellers […]