Buying your first farm? Planning to retire and hand over the reins to the next generation?

Whether the land is for fruit, crops or stock, a large landholding or small, there are common issues in purchasing and selling agricultural land and managing your farming business. Whatever your situation we can help.

Here are some common problems that arise when purchasing agricultural land and running your farming business:

  • Not knowing exactly what you are purchasing: Fences can be poor indicators of the actual boundaries of rural land, so it is wise to obtain a survey of the property you are purchasing and not rely solely on the previous owner, or the selling agent’s, assertions of where the boundaries lie.
  • Not having access to the land: The road which provides access to the property may pass through your neighbour’s land. You will therefore need to ensure that there are appropriate rights of access to the property you are purchasing.
  • Contamination: Agricultural land consistently used for farming may have chemical residue in the soil which can affect the future use of the land. It is therefore prudent to obtain soil testing if you suspect any chemicals were used that may adversely affect your ability to use the land for its intended purpose.
  • Zoning restrictions: Ensure that the land is zoned for your intended purpose. You do not want to discover after you have purchased land that zoning laws prevent you from using the land for your intended purpose. It is very important that you investigate what activities can be carried out on the land. This information can usually be obtained by contacting the local council.
  • Insufficient water: There are a number of ways you may be entitled to water on your rural property. It is necessary that you understand the type of entitlement applicable to your land and the conditions which accompany it. This can be daunting as water is a notoriously complex area and you do not want to discover that you are unable to access the water you need.
  • Informal business arrangements: Farming operations differ greatly from common commercial ventures. Many farming operations integrate family and business, which can tempt many to informally agree how their operations are structured. Obtaining advice on the right business structure for your agribusiness can help avoid exposure to certain taxes and other liabilities and can also assist in the continued growth of your agribusiness for future generations.

If you need any assistance, contact one of our lawyers at Seventh Street Legal, 158 Seventh Street, Mildura, Victoria, or call 03 5021 4276 for expert legal advice.