Many farmers provide accommodation for workers, especially when they are required to be close to livestock. However there are some serious pitfalls to not following the correct procedure when granting tenancies to agricultural workers.
If the correct procedure is not followed then you could be granting your worker the right to stay in the property for life, under an Assured Agricultural Occupancy (AAO). This means that even if your worker retires or is fired they still have the right to live in that property. In addition, in some cases, on the death of the worker their widow or widower, or another family member who was living with the worker, has the right to live in the property for the rest of their life.
Most agricultural workers qualify for an AAO as the criteria is:
- the accommodation must be owned by the farmer
- the worker must work for 35 hours or more a week
- the worker have been employed in agriculture for at least 91 weeks of the last 104 (this includes time paid holiday and sick leave as well as time from previous employment)
- no rent being charged , AAO’s can be created unintentionally by allowing the agricultural worker to pay no or low rent
There are steps you can take to protect yourself from unintentionally creating an AAO. For more information on letting cottages to farm workers t please don’t hesitate to contact Carver Knowles on 01684 853 400 or firstname.lastname@example.org