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Legal Documents for Land Owners and Horse Owners

July 2017

Leases, Licences and Agreements for Grazing and Stabling of Horses

Letting land for use by horses can pose problems for landlords when it comes to documenting the arrangements. Is a lease or licence more appropriate? Is the tenant using the land for private purposes or are they running a business? Is the use agricultural or commercial?

Our new and updated templates for the letting of grazing and stabling facilities cover all these eventualities. Below we look briefly at the different options.

Grazing Licences

A grazing licence can be used where the horse owner does not have exclusive occupation of the land. A licence can be granted to a private owner or to a business user. Our Grazing Licence provides for an inclusive licence fee and contains standard covenants regulating the licensee’s use of the land.

Private Grazing Lease

If the land is to be used by a private horse owner on an exclusive basis, a grazing lease should be used. This is a “common law tenancy” and as such the tenant will not benefit from the security of tenure that is available to agricultural, business or housing tenants. Our Grazing Lease for Private, Non-Commercial Use is a simple, easy-to-use document containing similar covenants to the Grazing Licence.

Farm Business Tenancy for Grazing Land

If the horse owner has exclusive occupation of the grazing land, is grazing the horses for business purposes and the character of the tenancy is wholly or primarily agricultural, a farm business tenancy should be entered into.

Our Grazing Farm Business Tenancy Agreement could be used, for example, where the tenant graze horses on the landlord’s property in connection with a riding school based elsewhere. This would be an agricultural use of the grazing land. If however the grazing land is part of the riding school site, the landlord would need to grant a Business Lease (see below).

Business Lease of Equestrian Facilities

As mentioned above, a Business Lease should be used where the use of the land is not agricultural. This is the case where the tenant is running a livery yard or a riding school. Our template Business Lease for Livery Yard or Horse Riding School caters for this scenario.

Livery Agreement

Our Livery Agreement can be used by the owners of a livery yard to document the arrangements agreed with their horse-owner customers. It sets out the responsibilities of the yard owner and the horse owner for care of the horse.

The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific legal matter.

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