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Richard Nocton, Partner in the Marlborough office spoke to a packed audience of over 200 farmers and landowners on Tuesday 24th February 2015 at Royal Wootton Bassett RFC.
Richard spoke informatively about preserving the capital value of farms and land. He looked at the effect of the doubling of agricultural land values within the last 5 years and how favourably this compares to that of residential house prices over the same period.
He spoke of how a landlord would view the letting of his land and how important it is for a potential tenant to present his own farm in a clean and workmanlike fashion. The critical points to demonstrate were that a farm should have its “working clothes” on and not necessarily be a show farm but contamination issues such as broken asbestos should be dealt with and not left lying around – this doesn’t create a good impression of the ability to farm someone else’s land with respect and professionally.
As most farmers are able to take advantage of the 100% relief of agricultural property from Inheritance Tax, Richard urged farmers and landowners to avoid pitfalls in Inheritance Tax planning and how often the small points are overlooked such as shared tracks, buildings used by others without any proper agreements.
Finally he spoke about how Woolley & Wallis Finance are able to help farmers find sources of competitive funds and the importance of keeping farms and land free of contamination because it will be quickly identified in the valuation carried out on the lenders behalf.
He concluded that as not all farmers were seeking to sell, when the time did come to bring land to the market that a well presented farm would be more attractive and attract a higher price.