01782 713444 or 01785 850866

Rural & Professional

We are renowned for our expertise in rural matters but advise on commercial and urban properties on a regular basis.

Valuations are provided for a wide range of purposes. Market valuations are needed for a number of reasons:-

  • For the possible sale or letting of a property.
  • For Probate purposes – it is necessary to place a value on both landed properties and, in a farming situation, live and deadstock, when a solicitor makes an application for Probate after the death of an owner.
  • Matrimonial – valuations are often required when a marriage unfortunately breaks up. This may be either as an expert witness report to the Court or for an individual or solicitor to assist in negotiations between the parties.
  • Taxation – often produces a need for valuation whether it is for Inheritance Tax (see above under Probate), Capital Gains Tax where an historic valuation may also be required, Stamp Duty Land Tax where there is a transfer by way of gift. We increasingly supply valuations for tax planning purposes to solicitors and accountants.

We are on the panels of some of the major banks and provide valuations for secured lending purposes. These valuations can also be supplied independently for production to various lending agencies.

Valuations are provided, where appropriate, within the requirements of the RICS Red Book and all Partners are RICS Registered Valuers.

The planning process has altered considerably in recent years and we advise land owners or potential purchasers on how this relates to specific properties.

We advise on the best methods of using the planning process whether for strategic or development control purposes and for immediate or longer term advantage.

We specialise in Town and Country Planning matters in rural areas and on urban fringe.  For example we regularly advise on the following:

  • Local Development Framework and Strategic
  • Land Development – We continue to advise clients, particularly where land is on the urban fringe, of their opportunities for development given the current government guidance and proposals within the various Local Development Frameworks.
  • Barn Conversions – We work closely with our architects and regularly advise clients upon the best alternative use for redundant rural buildings.
  • Conversion to Residential Use – We are pleased to have been involved in some extremely successful and well thought out schemes.
  • Agriculturally Tied Dwellings – We continue to act on behalf of clients who have established new rural enterprises and who require an agricultural dwelling to serve the needs of their business.  We have successfully obtained consent for a number of prominent dwellings which are now successfully serving the needs of the rural economy and new rural enterprises. Alternatively it is sometimes necessary to seek the removal of an agricultural tie from an older dwelling which no longer serves an agricultural need.  In the past, it was possible to obtain planning consent for an agriculturally tied dwelling for a farmer or farm worker to retire to. Often, when these properties come to the market and they have no land with them to support a rural business, it is necessary to seek the removal of the tie to allow the property to be effectively sold on the open market.
  • Farm Buildings – We can provide planning applications for agricultural buildings.  These are made with the agricultural support, design and access, and environmental statements required.

Arbitration is a long established method of resolving disputes and is governed by the rules in the Arbitration Act 1996 (as amended).

Agricultural arbitrations are held where a landlord and tenant disagree on a rent alteration but may also come about following a dispute over works to be done on a farm, repairs, end of tenancy compensation, etc.

An arbitration will usually involve a hearing with the parties having provided written arguments, known as Statements of Case, prior.  An arbitration is part of the judicial process and is formal.

Many appointments of arbitrators are to give the parties a little further time  to reach agreement, after a prescribed date, and do not reach a hearing but are settled prior.

John Hinson is a member of the Panel of Arbitrators of the RICS, the appointing body in England and Wales, and receives regular appointments from the President to act as an arbitrator.

Expert witness reports are a vital element in the machinery of the legal process.  We regularly receive instructions to provide expert witness reports, either to assist in the preparation of a case as an expert or, as the Courts more commonly require, as a single joint expert appointment to advise in disputes between litigants.

Reports are required for a variety of purposes.  They may be valuation reports which are needed in matrimonial disputes and similar, they may relate to a boundary dispute where specialist contractors are brought in to provide accurate measurements with state of the art equipment, they may concern the condition of a building, planning matters or compensation.

The Partners are experienced expert witnesses having provided reports to the Courts on a variety of matters over a number of years.
Bill Parry is an accredited expert and holds the Advanced Professional Award in Expert Witness Evidence.

We provide assistance to the owners of all classes of property, whether a flat, a field, a farm or a factory.  Varying types of property are let under differing legislation and it is important that advice is obtained to ensure that the best terms for the client, whether landlord or a tenant, are obtained.

We advise on rents and on the ability of landlords, or indeed tenants, to amend rents and how to put this into effect.

For residential properties, we undertake credit checks on potential tenants and advise landowners on their suitability.

We can provide a variety of services for the client ranging from the collection of rents on a regular basis through to a full hands-on management of property.

All rents received are held in our clients’ account which is controlled by RICS Clients’ Money Regulations.

Deposits taken on residential property are held by the Deposit Protection Service.

We have particular skills in relation to agricultural tenancies, whether they are under the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 or the Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995.  The two Acts are similar in some respects but differ greatly in others.

We provide advice to both landlords and tenants on the content of tenancy agreements on first letting, various matters which occur during the course of a tenancy and also matters at termination.  We undertake tenant right valuations at the commencement and termination of tenancies.

We also deal with other methods of holding land in the rural sector and can provide and advise on grazing agreements, licences and documents for the land to be contract farmed.
The ownership of Single Farm Payments and the ability to claim both these and agro environmental schemes is important and taken into effect within all agreements.

All Partners and professional staff are members of both the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Association of Agricultural Valuers, providing a sound base for advice on these matters.