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Lease of River Fishing Rights and Clubhouse


This Lease of River Fishing Rights and Clubhouse can be granted by a landowner to the trustees of an angling club. It gives the club the use of a clubhouse and exclusive rights to fish in the river. 

A Lease creates property rights in favour of the club, whereas our Fishing Licences simply give the licensee contractual rights to fish in a river or lake. Landowners may prefer to use a Lease for longer term arrangements, and/or where the club is to have the use of a clubhouse, and a Licence for other situations.

Usually, the owner of land abutting a non-tidal river or stream will own the riverbed and therefore own the fishing rights. If another person owns the land on the other side of the river, each owner will own the riverbed up to the centre line of the water. It may be that fishing rights have been acquired by another person, however, and landowners should check whether this is the case before entering into a lease.

This Lease is designed to be used for a term of five years or less. There are therefore no rent review provisions. The Tenant’s right to security of tenure is excluded. Assignment of the Lease is not permitted, except where there is a change in the trustees of the club and the Lease needs to be vested in the new trustees. There are optional break clauses.

This Lease has Land Registry Prescribed Clauses at the beginning. These are not strictly necessary for a lease with a term of less than 7 years but they are included as they helpfully record the main terms.

Prescribed Clause LR3 needs to list all the trustees, unless there are more than four in which case only four trustees’ details need to be given. There is an optional field for a Guarantor. If there is no Guarantor, this field can be left blank and Clause 10 (Guarantor’s covenant) should be deleted.

Prescribed Clause LR4 makes optional reference to a plan. It is strongly recommended that a plan is included so that the extent of the property leased to the Tenant is clear. The plan should as a minimum show the clubhouse with red edging. The plan will also ideally show the Parking Area and the River.

Clause 1 contains definitions. The Fishing Rights are defined as the right to fish in a particular stretch of river using rod and line and the right to carry fish away.

In Clause 2 the Landlord leases the Fishing Rights and the Premises to the Tenant. The Tenant must pay the Annual Rent. There are no buildings insurance provisions in the Lease so if the Landlord wishes to insure the clubhouse, it should make sure the Annual Rent includes an amount to cover the insurance premium.

Clause 3 contains the Tenant’s covenants. These include exercising the Fishing Rights in accordance with laws and byelaws, and a requirement for the Licensee to maintain public liability insurance, as well as other standard lease covenants.

Clause 4 contains the Landlord’s covenant for quiet enjoyment (the Tenant’s right to use the Premises without interference from the Landlord).

Clause 5 contains various provisions including forfeiture and dispute resolution.

Clause 6 deals with service of notices by the Landlord and Tenant.

Clauses 7 and 8 contain optional break clauses (termination rights) for the Landlord and Tenant. These clauses should be amended or deleted as appropriate. The Tenant’s break option is conditional on rent having been paid up to date, the tenant giving up possession of the Premises (i.e. vacating) and the tenant not leaving any underleases in place. If these conditions are not satisfied, the Tenant’s break will not be effective and the lease will continue. If the Tenant is in breach of other terms of the Lease, e.g. necessary repairs have not been carried out, the break will be effective but the Landlord will retain the right to sue the Tenant for any breaches of the Lease.

Clause 9 deals with exclusion of security of tenure. Reference should be made to the Guidance on Excluding Security of Tenure and the associated forms. Note that, although the club may not be fishing for commercial purposes, use of land by a sports club is deemed to be business use and therefore attracts security of tenure.

The Lease must be executed as a deed. Various types of execution clauses are included and the parties should choose the appropriate clauses.

The First Schedule sets out the rights that the Tenant has to use the Landlord’s Property, including access and use of the Parking Area. These rights should be checked carefully and amended or deleted to suit the circumstances.

The Second Schedule sets out the rights that the Landlord has in respect of the Premises, including rights of entry and the right to carry out work to neighbouring property. If any additional rights are required they should be added to the Second Schedule.

Optional phrases / clauses are enclosed in square brackets. These should be read carefully and selected so as to be compatible with one another. Unused options should be removed from the document.

This Lease of River Fishing Rights and Clubhouse is in open format. Either enter the requisite details in the highlighted fields or adjust the wording to suit your purposes.

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