4 Considerations for Landowners in the UKadmin
Being a landowner can encompass many different things. It could be private land, include a public right of way, or something else entirely.
There are many considerations when you take on the responsibility of being a landowner. Certainly, it’s difficult to know what all of them are at the beginning. However, to help you, here are 4 considerations that shouldn’t get overlooked.
1. A Need for Proper Insurance
It’s a sad fact that even in the case of someone entering your land without permission either by trespassing or gaining access through forceable entry, it’s possible to still be held liable if they injure themselves.
Essentially, you can still be sued as the landowner where they can show that there was negligence with regards to the safety of anyone on the land. For this reason, public liability insurance is an important part – but just one part – of land insurance.
Coverage should account for the possible injury (temporary or potentially fatal) of people who are present on the land. That’s why land insurance is so important to protect landowners from this potential threat. You can compare quotes for land insurance on a comparison site that offers polices from UK insurers.
2. Workers’ Accommodation Needs a Shorthold Tenancy Agreement
When the land is used for agricultural work and workers are being employed to work that land, then it’s often necessary to provide housing for them.
It’s especially important that before the tenancy commences a written tenancy agreement for an Assured Shorthold Tenancy is provided in a provided format. When failing to do so, it’s commonplace that the tenancy will become an Assured Agricultural Occupancy with lifetime rights.
There are certain exceptions to this including state-based employers, when the employer lives in the same property, or when it’s not a self-contained property.
3. Are You Receiving What’s Due?
When you have agreed to electrical equipment being on your land for the provision of fibre optic communications, telecom communications, or the provision of utilities to others, then this requires a Wayleave agreement.
The Wayleave agreement allows for the use of your land for the above provision and provides certain permissions including access to the land to use, fix, or replace equipment.
Payment should be expected and received in respect of the use of your land for this purpose. It’s worthwhile checking if you’ve received everything due or if some payments have been overlooked. While not large, the payments do add up to a tidy sum over the years, so it’s worth double-checking.
4. Spare Buildings Leased and Used for Business Purposes?
A landowner, including farmers, may own a building that isn’t used any longer for agricultural work and can be leased out to a third-party. In a situation where the third-party tenant sets up a business – however minor or informal – they may likely come under the Landlord & Tenant Act (1954).
Unless notice is provided which contracts out the tenure provisions, the tenant will have enhanced rights making repossessing the building later far more difficult and costly to achieve.
Clearly, for landowners, there are considerable responsibilities that come with their ownership. It’s worth investigating further and possibly consulting with a solicitor if you’re unsure about all the requirements involved. Doing so will avoid nasty surprises and possible fines down the road.