Help!-Council changing allotment rules

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farnsbarnes

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Help!-Council changing allotment rules
« on: May 16, 2009, 22:29 »
Can anyone offer an opinion on what my parish council is up to...
I was offered a half plot, plus a shared shed just over a year ago which I accepted.  Now the other half plot has changed hands, and the new person doesn't want their half of the shared shed.  The council has just had a meeting and discussed this, and have decided to introduce a new rule that if one of the sharers doesn't want their half of the shed, the other person (i.e. me!) has to pay for the whole shed.
Does anyone know if this is legal or enforcable?  I don't really want to pay the extra, and don't need the extra space.  Can they move the goalposts like this?
Grateful for any advice...

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SnooziSuzi

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Re: Help!-Council changing allotment rules
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2009, 22:43 »
HI farnsbarnes, welcome to the site :)

not sure if there's anything legal that could be put in place for this... your local Citizens Advice Bureau would be a good place to start but I don't think you'd have a leg to stand on, seeing as you have the chance to use the full shed now. 

I might be wrong and I'll defer to anyone who knows better though.

Out of interest, how much is it to rent the shed and how big is it?

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Yorkie

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Re: Help!-Council changing allotment rules
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2009, 22:45 »
I'd look at the terms of your tenancy agreement - or wherever the basis for charging for the shed is set out - as your first port of call.

If it's in the tenancy agreement then I don't think they can unilaterally make you pay more.  However, this is general advice without sight of your documents and any other information particular to your site.
I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days all attack me at once...

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oldbean

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Re: Help!-Council changing allotment rules
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2009, 22:48 »
I know nothing, but you have a contract which they agreed to. They may be able to make that a condition for new tenants, but they are unlikely to be able to force changes on existing tenants. The problem with many councils is they don't think in legal terms and just try it on.

Yorkie1's views are usually well reasoned.

A concise case statement from you will probably floor them.

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Aunt Sally

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Re: Help!-Council changing allotment rules
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2009, 22:54 »
Most allotments are let on an annul tenancy and the agreement can be changed or varied every time the rent time comes round. 
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Yorkie

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Re: Help!-Council changing allotment rules
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2009, 22:57 »
That's true, AS - ours were changed about 4 years ago - although we did get 15 months' notice, as specified in the previous tenancy.

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farnsbarnes

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Re: Help!-Council changing allotment rules
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2009, 23:29 »
Thanks for your thoughts all - I signed a new tenancy at the beginning of April and this has only just happened, so I don't feel they should be able to enforce it till at least next April.  There is nothing in the existing rules and regs, as there are only two shared sheds on the site so I guess it hasn't come up before, they just discussed it at a council meeting the other night and came up with a new rule, obviously to make sure they still get the same amount of money...! :(

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Aunt Sally

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Re: Help!-Council changing allotment rules
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2009, 23:31 »
How mch more rent will it be ?

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Ivor Backache

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Re: Help!-Council changing allotment rules
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2009, 00:36 »
I am not aware of any rule, regulation, statutory instrument or law that has ever been backdated.
You have accepted a half plot and half a shed. (you make it sound as if they are separate items.), because the new person accepts the 1/2 land but not the 1/2 shed.
Your agreement is for half land and half shed and will remain so, and in April you should be able to renew it as such.
Have a look at amendment of rules. I am surprised that as an interested party you have not been made aware of the council meeting (unless the chairman has). What I am saying is that you should have an opportunity to speak about the proposal.
Just think of this in reverse: You have to rent a whole shed. The other half plot changes hands again and the new tenant says 'where's my shed?' Does the council make another rule saying that you have to return the half shed?
Oh I do love a challenge!!

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FCG

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Re: Help!-Council changing allotment rules
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2009, 00:46 »
All i can say to this is get everything in writing and whatever the result... keep what was written down. Signatures are your friend on signed bits of paper.

It may seem callous but getting someone to sign their name to a note is better than a verbal agreement. Still binding a verbal agreement can be twisted via the method of 'interpretation' of what was meant. Written word is harder.

Did they not include you in the meeting? Was it a closed meeting? Ask how long they have been notified by the other party. This smells like a quick one being pulled, obviously the council wants their moolah. See if anyone on the site is willing to share the shed (and pay for their half) as well - might end up as a good compromise.

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Aunt Sally

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Re: Help!-Council changing allotment rules
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2009, 08:53 »
Go and talk to the people who made the decision.  I'm sure you can sort it out in a friendly way without having to get into fighting mode  ::) 

Allotment gardening is supposed to be enjoyable, not a battle ground !

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farnsbarnes

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Re: Help!-Council changing allotment rules
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2009, 13:04 »
Thanks all for advice!  I don't really want a battle, just want to carry on gardening in peace, but I also don't want to be bullied!  The allotment and the shed are rented as separate items, so this business doesn't affect the tenancy of the allotment.  Yes the meeting was a closed council meeting, we just get sent the minutes afterwards.

They actually originally sent me a demand for the extra money (25) and alledged that I had been using the other half of the shed, so I wrote back and said I wasn't and didn't require it, and then they had their meeting and changed the rules!

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farnsbarnes

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Re: Help!-Council changing allotment rules
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2009, 13:06 »
Oh, and Ivor - my thoughts exactly about them demanding the other half of the shed back if the other tenant changes their mind!  I will be seeking clarification about that, for sure!

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gobs

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Re: Help!-Council changing allotment rules
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2009, 13:17 »
That's a lot for half a shed!  :ohmy:

There are some old threads on here, how prices vary up and down the country.

They are in a pickle with halving the plots. However, if the other half can rent the plot without a shed, so should you be able to... ;) So, in that case, you could say, you don't need a half shed either. :lol:
"Words... I know exactly what words I'm wanting to say, but somehow or other they is always getting squiff-squiddled around." R Dahl

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PAULW

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Re: Help!-Council changing allotment rules
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2009, 13:24 »
Is there a shed on every plot,  What exactly would they do if you told them you didn't want to use the shed and how inconveniant would it be for you to give up your half a shed.



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