Carter Jonas
The Property People

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People and property are what matter to us, right across the country and across the property world. Whatever your circumstances we offer the services you need and the dedicated teams you want, acting for individuals, companies and major institutions.

We are not newcomers; our heritage means a great deal to us but it’s the future that counts. That’s why we are one of the strongest names in the property business, doing what is best for our clients and making sure the vast range of advice we offer enhances their future prosperity.

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Carter Jonas has established a sound reputation for expertise in the energy and marine sectors.

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Infrastructure projects are necessarily wide-ranging, with future needs a vital consideration - just like Carter Jonas' advice and professional services.

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Find out how much your property is worth. Our highly trained staff can provide a free market appraisal of your property to find out how much you could achieve.

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Carter Jonas awarded place on CCS's Framework Agreement

Carter Jonas has been awarded a place on the Crown Commercial Service's (CCS) Framework Agreement RM928 for Estates Professional Services for the supply of property consultancy services.

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Public Sector Services

Carter Jonas has an established Public Sector Group providing a diverse range of core and specialist property services to clients within central and local government, health, education, the emergency services and transport and energy sectors.

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Carter Jonas has offices throughout the UK, including nine in central London.

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Rural View - Summer 2014

Rural View - Summer 2014

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carter jonas central london market office update
Central London Office Market Update

Central London Office Market Update - Guide to rents and rent free periods

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Good quality land still cultivating value growth…

From our blog

James StephenJames Stephen
Partner, Rural
What to do with farm workers accommodation
In recent times I have come across clients with an increasing number of enquiries regarding farm worker’s accommodation. It has often been traditional to provide a farm worker with a “tied” cottage as part of his/her employment package.

However, farmers need to take care to ensure they do not create security of tenure should the farm worker no longer be required and recently concerns have also arisen regarding potential tax liability if the rent paid is significantly below the “market” rent, which could result in sizeable back dated tax bill if the cottage is regarded as a “taxable benefit”.

In relation to the security of tenure issue I would advise farmers to offer new farm workers an assured shorthold tenancy (AST). This means the lease can be brought to an end on two months’ notice from the Landlord and one month’s notice from the tenant after an initial fixed term of usually 6 to 12 months. But care must be taken at the start of the lease to ensure that an assured agricultural occupancy is not created which can have serious implications from the landlord’s perspective.

Unlike a normal residential letting, where the default tenancy is an AST, in the case of a farm worker a notice needs to be served on the worker before occupation of the property is taken, specifically notifying the tenant that the tenancy will be an AST. This is important because if this notice is not served the Tenant will have and assured agricultural occupancy and vacant possession of the cottage will be difficult to obtain, even if the farm worker no longer works on the farm.

In addition farm workers, even if granted an AST, are often allowed to occupy the property at a low rent but to be an AST the rent cannot be lower than £250/year (approx £21/month). However, it appears that HMRC may be looking at tightening their rules on whether or not such an arrangement may be considered as a taxable benefit because clearly a rent of £250/year is far less than the market rent which may well be in the order of £600/month or more.

In order avoid the HMRC challenging whether or not such an arrangement is considered a taxable benefit, it is suggested the Landlord/employer reviews the farm worker’s contract to make sure the job description accurately and clearly demonstrates the need for the accommodation. The important points are that the accommodation is provided for the farm worker so he/she can:

  • live on-site to protect buildings, people or assets or
  • because the worker is regularly required to work particularly long working hours or
  • because the accommodation is required because of regulatory requirements

Thus, employment, tenancy and taxation law all appear to be intertwined when letting a cottage to a farm worker and care should be taken to ensure both Landlord and Tenant clearly understand the terms under which a property has been let so as to avoid costly disputes at a later stage.

James Stephen MRICS FAAV
Rural Practice Chartered Surveyor, Wells

T: 01749 683381
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