I have a client who is to inherit an estate from his granduncle who died in 2017. The total estate value is €180k . This includes a farmhouse, farm buildings and 7 acres of land with a value of €110k. My client will be able to meet the 80% assets requirement before issue of probate date which will be valuation date. My client has no agricultural qualification (as listed in Schedule 2, 2A or 2B of the Stamp Duties Consolidation Act 1999). He is not a farmer and has no other farm land. 50% of his working hours are spent as a mechanic and the other 50% employed as a farmhand by a local farmer. Could my client satisfy the requirement to: “farm the agricultural property for at least 50% of his or her normal working hours” by leasing the land (7 acres) to a farmer for six years who farms it on a commercial basis and the leasee farms for at least 50% of his or her normal working hours. i.e.: Does the leasee have to justify 50% of this time farming the land in question as size of the land being leased (7 acres in this case) would not justify this? My client is considering leasing the land to his father who has no agricultural qualification as required but is a part time farmer and would satisfy the other conditions.
Alternatively can my client lease the land to a third party with the necessary agricultural qualification for six years once he/she has the agricultural qualification and it is farmed on a commercial basis?