Dont miss out on hidden income

By Robert Davies

MANY farmers are missing out on valuable extra income, some of it worth thousands of pounds a year.

There are many sources, including some which farmers might never consider, delegates attending a recent business seminar in Whitchurch, Shropshire, were told.

Phillip Meade, of organisers Davis Meade and Partners, said these could include charging the public for access to farm trails and earning £3000 a day for providing film locations.

Selling parcels of land for residential and industrial use or for the enlargement of private gardens was another option.

Up to £9000 a year could be earned from each wind turbine erected on farmland, and providing a site for a telephone mast could generate between £1500 and £6000 a year, he added.

While much-needed advice on other alternative land uses would have to be paid for, Mr Meade said that farmers contemplating turbines, masts and some environmental schemes could recover agents fees.

They could also recover those and solicitors fees from public utility companies, and could make full claims for land taken for compulsory purchase and disturbance from access.

“The utilities are now private companies making millions of pounds so, in the present economic climate, dont let compensation go begging,” said Mr Meade. “I suggest you claim for every penny to which you are entitled.”

This included oft-forgotten wayleave payments. BT paid £5/post/year and 40p/m for underground cables.

These sums could be converted to a cash lump sum – one client recently picked up £4800, he said.

“The lump sum is 15 times the annual rent and is well worth claiming in these difficult times.

“I have another client who converted the wayleave on a National Grid pylon to a lump sum and claimed injurious affection for the effect it had on property value. The result was a cheque for £20,000.”

Colleague Phil Thomas told tenants to ask for a rent reduction, but warned that a section 12 notice must be served correctly.

They should also press of repair works to be done where they were the responsibility of the landlord, he added.

When a tenant decided to quit, all possible compensatory payments should be investigated before a notice was handed in, said Mr Thomas.

Tenants improvements, the value of tenants fixtures and milk quota, and the increased value of a unit with vacant possession should be discussed with the landlord or agent first.

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