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Verbal agreement with farming neighbour to let his seven cattle graze on our land

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I hope someone on this forum can offer advice please

We retired and moved to our home in Normandy two and a half years ago and we love it.   It’s the best thing we’ve ever done.

We bought our house five years ago and our farming neighbour and family have, until recently  been very friendly.  As we have two hectares of land, we agreed with him that local farmers should have access for cattle grazing, especially as we’re not farmers ourselves.   We agreed that if he had this access he would offer spring water for our toilets and washing machine and he would maintain the gardens around the house.   Over the past year, however, he has ceased to carry out his side of this verbal agreement but his cattle are still grazing.

Although no formal contract was agreed or signed, should we approach a local notaire and ask for his/her advice as we feel this is rather unfair.

we’d appreciate any advice from forum members who might have had similar experiences.   Thank you

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This situation can be fraught with problems - your friendly french farmer neighbour probably knows the property laws backwards. Go to a notaire and get proper advice.

"as a general rule we would urge caution in granting your neighbouring ‘friendly’ farmer or others any rights of way over your land, however informal it may be.

These rights, once granted, are often a source of later dispute and nuisance between the farmer and the owners of a property.

If you do enter into an agreement you would be wise to ensure it specifies, in precise detail, the rights of access, including maintenance responsibilities, security and those permitted access.

If there is no consideration for the rights of way, then no legal tenancy is created, but even so, be cautious about entering into any kind of informal agreement with neighbours about use of your land"


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