Agricultural licence: to occupy land with stables; barn or other out-buildings

Allow someone else to use your land and buildings for non-business use, with an agreement tailored for property of a rural character. The use might be to keep horses or other animals, for recreation, or for storage of agricultural or equestrian equipment, food, or other personal goods.
Suitable for use in: England & Wales and Scotland
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About this document

Grant a licence to occupy agricultural land and/or buildings for non-business use.

Typical uses might be for keeping horses or other animals under cover, personal storage of vehicles or other possessions, and recreational riding (for example, in an arena).

Care of the property is likely to be important to the owner, and so we have included provisions that require the licensee to maintain its upkeep. The property could be a building (such as stables, a barn or a workshop) or a set of buildings, or land of any sort including fields, woodland and orchards, or a combination.

The law relating to this licence

Land law that applies to agricultural tenancies, namely the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 and the Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995 is not applicable to licences to occupy such as this one. That gives you greater flexibility to decide your own terms with your licensee.

Important to the licence remaining as such, and not becoming a lease (giving more rights to the tenant) is that the landlord retains access to the land at all times and remains in control of and responsible for services (such as electricity and water) and larger maintenance works.

Limiting the use of the land, the term of the licence (to less than a year, ideally 6 months and renewed as necessary), the times of access, and particularly what the licensee may do will help the agreement be seen as a licence rather than a lease.

When to license use rather than lease

The advantages of licensing use of the property rather than leasing it are that the landlord has no requirement to give advance notice to access the land or to end the agreement. In legal terminology, the tenant has no security of tenure.

Using the land for business purposes (such as a livery) requires a lease such as this one. If the land to be used for agricultural business (such as farming), then a farm business tenancy agreement is required. It may be possible to use a grazing agreement if the licensee is a farmer using the land solely to graze his livestock.

It is important when granting a licence that the term is short. If you are letting on a long term (more than 9 months) then you should use a lease.

Otherwise, this licence can be used for:

  • any sort of agricultural land or buildings
  • for any use agreed, except business and residential

You should use this document to license agricultural land and/or buildings to an individual only for personal use.


This agreement is comprehensive and has been written specifically for licensing land of high value. It includes:

  • Details of the parties, the licence fee and the land
  • Permitted use of the land
  • Payment: how and when, including interest
  • Condition and repair
  • Restrictions on the licensee
  • Rubbish removal and contamination
  • Access for both parties
  • Transfer and assignment
  • Termination: how and when
  • Other legal provisions

This document was written by a solicitor for Net Lawman. It complies with current English law.

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