Property rights

Owning land - your rights and your responsibilities

Whether you own two acres, twenty or two hundred, you need to know what your rights and responsibilities are for everything that happens on your land. You should also be aware of the various regulations that restrict your ability to use and enjoy your land as you would wish.

The CLA exists to defend private property rights and is the national authority on land use and the law. Many landowners join the CLA specifically to ask for impartial professional advice, to clarify where the law stands and to prevent expensive and often unnecessary litigation.

Do you have a current problem?

Recent issues have included:

  • What rights does the public have over my land?
  • How can I change a right of way?
  • Am I liable for clearing up rubbish tipped on my land?
  • How often do I have to clean streams?
  • When is common land “common”?
  • What are my legal responsibilities for animals straying off my land?
  • How do I stop travellers and raves?
  • Can I bury a dead sheep?
  • What rights do utility companies have to come on to my land?
  • How do I stop neighbours encroaching?
  • If one of my trees dies who is responsible for cutting it down?
  • When do I need public liability insurance?
  • How can I stop people trespassing on my land?
  • When can I abstract water for cattle?

Free advice for members

Your rights and responsibilities over your own land are varied and can change. If you become a member of the CLA you will receive free, independent professional advice – advice which is aimed at achieving an early and successful resolution of your problem and which normally far outweighs your cost of membership. (For many members the annual subscription costs less than one hour of a professional’s time.)

CLA’s in-house team advises on land use, planning, legal and tax matters and our advisers are experts in their field; in addition, there are surveyors and regional advisers throughout the regions to help you at local level.

As well as the advice CLA members can access, the majority of members – whether they own a single acre or a thousand – benefit from our continuous work to protect private property rights.

There is a constant threat of increased public access on to private land and the CLA is at the forefront in lobbying to stop it.


Protecting your best interests

The CLA is the only organisation working to influence Government solely on behalf of owners of rural land, property and business. There are many other organisations spending millions on lobbying to pursue their own agendas and all landowners, from the smallest acreage to the largest estate, need to act together vigorously to defend our interests. Nobody is doing more than the CLA to manage the impact on the value of land – both in the short and long term.


Anyone who owns rural land will benefit from joining the CLA

We are effective at influencing decision-makers at national and local levels including ensuring that land use regulations do not disadvantage private owners. As a CLA member you can add your voice. In addition, you can receive advice and support that will help protect and enhance your assets.

Whatever the value of your rural land, business and property interests, the CLA subscription represents only a fraction of its true value and is your best insurance for the future.