To help you find the information you are looking for, we have organised our most frequently asked questions and the answers into subject headings.

Please select a link below:

Making an application

When can I make an application to the tribunal?

The Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 lays down strict time-limits for making certain types of applications. These time-limits can not be extended.

An application under the Land Drainage Act 1991 can be made to the tribunal at any time.

How do I make an application to the tribunal?

To make an application you must complete and send the relevant application form to the Agricultural Land Tribunal for Wales. Applications can be sent to us by post or email.

Application forms and guidance booklets can be downloaded from the website for the Tribunal, or please contact the tribunal's office if you would like us to send you an application form or guidance booklet.

What do I need to tell you?

Each application form has a guidance section which describes the additional documents and information applicants should supply with their application. Failure to include such documents and information can hold up proceedings.

If you have information or evidence which supports your application, you should include it when you send in your application.

Do I have to pay a fee to the tribunal?

There are no fees for making an application to the tribunal.

Parties must meet their own costs incurred in making an application e.g. travelling costs to attend the hearing.

What happens once the tribunal receives my application?

The tribunal will acknowledge your application. The tribunal will register your case within 10 working days or write to you to request further information.

On registration, a copy of the Application will be sent to the party named as the Respondent.

What if I have any additional needs?

Please make sure that you give details of any additional needs when you send us your application. For example, you should say if you need a signer or an interpreter at the hearing, or need any additional arrangements to be made so you can come to the hearing.

Can I send an application to the tribunal by email?

The Agricultural Land Tribunal for Wales does accept applications and correspondence by email.

Do I have to send original documents with the application?

You do not have to send original documents. In the first instance please provide photocopies. If there is a hearing you may be asked to produce the originals.

Is there a deadline for making an application?

Our guidance booklets contain important information about applications, time-limits and the tribunal procedures.

Can my representative send and receive documents on my behalf?

Your representative can send in the application and any information on your behalf.

If the application form is signed by any person other than the applicant, that person should state in what capacity or by what authority they sign. A copy of the written authority should be included with the application.

Can the tribunal recommend any representatives to assist me with my application?

As a judicial body the tribunal cannot make recommendations about representatives or provide advice about applications.

What happens if I wish to withdraw my application?

The applicant or their representative can withdraw an application at any stage. The tribunal should be informed in writing.

What will the Respondent do about my application?

Once your application is served on the party named as the Respondent, they will be given a set amount of time to respond. A copy of any responses received will be sent to you.

Unless the application is withdrawn or resolved through an agreement, then the matter will proceed to a hearing for the tribunal to decide.

Are there time-limits for responding to the tribunal?

You will be advised of any time-limits for responding to the tribunal.

The time-limits may be extended but only if the tribunal chairperson considers there are good reasons for doing so. The Agricultural Land Tribunals (Rules) Order 2007 explains the consequences of failure to apply to an application within the time allowed by the rules.

Is my application kept confidential?

Information provided to the tribunal in connection with an application will only be disclosed to those involved in the case.

However, hearings take place in public. When a case goes to formal hearing, all information provided by any party becomes public information unless there are exceptional reasons that make it desirable for any of the proceedings to take place in private.

How will documents be sent to me?

All procedural documents will be sent by Royal Mail Recorded or Special Delivery.

Can I make my application in Welsh?

The Agricultural Land Tribunal for Wales accepts applications and correspondence in Welsh.

Application forms and guidance booklets can be downloaded from the website for the Tribunal, or please contact the tribunal's office if you would like us to send you an application form or guidance booklet.

Can the tribunal provide advice?

The tribunal is an independent judicial body and must therefore remain impartial when dealing with disputes. The tribunal secretariat can provide advice about tribunal procedures; the tribunal cannot though provide legal advice or guidance about how to present a case.

What if my land falls partly within Wales and partly within England?

Where land falls partly within Wales and partly within England, then the tribunal for the area in which the greater part is situated, will consider the application.

How long does it take from when the tribunal receives an application to when it issues a decision?

The timescale will vary depending on the type of case but the tribunal always endeavours to deal promptly with applications.

Receiving an application from the Tribunal

What happens if I receive a copy of an application from the tribunal?

You will have the opportunity to reply to the application. The tribunal will provide you with a form for making the reply and advise you of the time-limits for responding.

What happens with the response I send to the tribunal?

The tribunal will acknowledge receipt of your reply and send a copy of your response to all other parties within 10 working days.

Once a reply has been received by the tribunal and sent to the relevant parties, steps will be taken to resolve the application either by agreement or by bringing the matter to a hearing.

Are there time-limits for responding to the tribunal?

The tribunal will advise you of any time-limits that are applicable.

The time-limits may be extended but only if the tribunal chairperson considers there are good reasons for doing so. The Agricultural Land Tribunals (Rules) Order 2007 explains the consequences of failure to apply to an application within the time allowed by the rules.

Can the tribunal provide advice?

The tribunal is an independent judicial body and must therefore remain impartial when dealing with disputes. The tribunal secretariat can provide advice about tribunal procedures; the tribunal cannot though provide legal advice or guidance about how to present a case.

Can I send my response in Welsh?

The Agricultural Land Tribunal for Wales accepts correspondence in Welsh.

Response forms and guidance booklets can be downloaded from the website for the Tribunal, or please contact the tribunal's office if you would like us to send you an application form or guidance booklet.

Can my representative send and receive documents on my behalf?

Your representative can send any information on your behalf.

A copy of the written authority should be included.

Can the tribunal recommend any representatives to assist me?

As a judicial body the tribunal cannot make recommendations about representatives or provide advice about applications.

How will documents be sent to me?

All procedural documents will be sent by Royal Mail Recorded or Special Delivery.

Is my response kept confidential?

Information provided to the tribunal in connection with an application will only be disclosed to those involved in the case.

However, hearings take place in public. When a case goes to formal hearing, all information provided by any party becomes public information unless there are exceptional reasons that make it desirable for any of the proceedings to take place in private.

How do I send my response to the tribunal?

You must send any information to the Agricultural Land Tribunal for Wales. Information can be sent to the Tribunal by post or email.

What happens if I decide to withdraw my response to an application?

You must inform the tribunal in writing.

If an application is not withdrawn, what will happen then?

If the applicant wishes to continue with their application to the tribunal, arrangements will be made for a hearing. You will be contacted if a hearing needs to take place.

Fees

Do I have to pay a fee to the tribunal?

There are no fees for making an application to the tribunal.

Parties must meet their own costs incurred in making an application e.g. travelling costs to attend the hearing.

Can I claim costs and expenses against the other party?

The tribunal can make an order for costs in limited circumstances.

The tribunal has made an order for the other party to pay me money, what happens if the other party does not comply with the tribunal's order?

The tribunal has no jurisdiction to enforce the order. Parties need to apply to the County Court for reimbursement and may wish to seek legal advice or advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Hearings

Will there be a hearing?

An application to the Agricultural Land Tribunal for Wales does not necessarily result in a hearing. Many cases are settled between the parties and do not require a hearing.

When will you tell me about the date of the hearing?

The tribunal will advise parties of the date, time and location of the hearing. The tribunal will notify parties at least 14 days before the hearing.

Where will the hearing be held?

Hearings are arranged to take place in a suitable venue close to the land in question.

When will the hearing be held?

The hearing will be held on a date that is convenient for all parties and the tribunal.

What time does a hearing start and how long will it last?

Hearings usually start at 10:00 am. They usually take all day but do not normally continue after 5:00 pm. You will be advised by the tribunal how many days your hearing has been listed for.

Who will be at the hearing?

Hearings are open to the public but normally only the parties, the tribunal and its clerk are present.

The tribunal may direct the personal attendance of any maker of a witness statement, affidavit or expert report.

What happens at the hearing?

The tribunal will explain the procedure on the day but both parties will be given adequate opportunity to put their case to the tribunal and to ask questions. The tribunal members will also ask questions so they can reach a decision.

Do I have to come to the hearing?

It is in your interests to attend the hearing so that the tribunal hears what you have to say about the application. The tribunal may have some questions they want to ask you. You may also want to ask questions.

Do I need to have legal representation?

You do not need to have legal representation.

Where parties are not represented, the chairperson will explain the issues in the case and the tribunal procedures. The tribunal can not however, advise parties as to the merits of their case, or how to proceed.

Can I bring someone with me to the hearing?

Tribunal hearings are open to the public therefore anyone can attend. Witnesses are not allowed to give evidence in a case unless the tribunal has been formally notified and a witness statement has been provided.

Can I bring someone to speak on my behalf?

You need to write to the Tribunal informing them of your intention and providing the name and address of the person who will be attending to speak on your behalf. The tribunal will inform the other parties of your intention.

What if I need more time before the hearing to submit evidence?

The tribunal may in certain circumstances agree a postponement. However the tribunal will need to be convinced that it is justified. You will need to make a written application to the tribunal setting out your request for a postponement and the reasons why.

Why do I have to complete an attendance form?

All parties must inform the tribunal whether or not they intend to be present or represented at the hearing. Parties must also advise whether they intend to bring any witnesses.

If you make any changes to the people listed on your attendance form you should let the tribunal know immediately.

Can I claim expenses?

The tribunal is unable to pay expenses.

Can I/my representative/witnesses give evidence in Welsh?

Equality is given to both the Welsh and English languages and evidence can be given in either language.

If you/your representative/witnesses wish to give evidence in Welsh, please advise the tribunal before the hearing so arrangements can be made for translation.

Will the hearing be held in private?

All hearings are held in public unless there are exceptional reasons for the hearing to be held in private. If you wish for the hearing to be held in private, you must write to the tribunal with full reasons for your request.

How is evidence given at a hearing?

Evidence is normally given on oath or affirmation. Parties may; give evidence, call witnesses, question witnesses and address the tribunal.

Independent reports

What is an independent drainage report?

An independent drainage report is only applicable to applications made under the Land Drainage Act 1991.

On registration, the tribunal will request the Welsh Ministers to provide the tribunal with a technical report. An independent drainage expert will visit the land in question and speak to both parties. The report will recommend to the tribunal either that no work is required, or will specify what work should be carried out if it is required.

The tribunal considers the report however it does not have to accept the recommendations made.

What is a Net Annual Income Assessment?

A Net Annual Income Assessment is only applicable to applications for succession to tenancy. Applicants for succession on tenancy must not be the occupier of another separate commercial unit of agricultural land.

A Net Annual Income Assessment determines the net annual income of a unit of agricultural land. A specialist officer will visit the land in question and speak to both parties.

The Assessment can be requested by the Applicant, Respondent or the tribunal. Please contact the tribunal if you would like to request a Net Annual Income Assessment.

Although the assessment will often assist the tribunal, it does not bind the tribunal.

Do I have to pay for the independent drainage report or Net Annual Income Assessment?

Parties do not have to pay for the independent drainage report or Net Annual Income Assessment.

Will I receive a copy of the independent drainage report or Net Annual Income Assessment?

A copy of the report will be sent to all parties

Can I comment on the independent drainage report or Net Annual Income Assessment?

Parties will be given an opportunity to make comments on the report. Parties will also have the opportunity to ask the author of the report questions at the tribunal hearing.

Site visits

What is a site visit?

A site visit is an inspection of the land to which the application relates.

The tribunal may inspect the buildings, land and any livestock, equipment and produce.

Can I say anything to the tribunal panel at the site visit?

Both parties can draw attention to any physical aspect of the property that they wish the tribunal to see.

However parties may not make any representation during the inspection. Representations can only be made at the hearing orally or in writing.

What are the types of cases that require the tribunal to complete an inspection of the site?

Almost all cases will require the tribunal to carry out an inspection.

How much notice will the tribunal give before carrying out an inspection?

The tribunal will give at least 24 hours (or 7 days in drainage cases) notice of any site visit.

When will the site visit be carried out?

The tribunal will advise parties at the hearing when the site visit will be carried out. Site visits usually take place before evidence is given.

What bio-security will be followed at the site visit?

The tribunal follows bio-security as advised by the Welsh Government. All attendees are expected to disinfect their footwear.

Decisions

How does the tribunal make its decision?

The tribunal will make its decision by considering all of the evidence. This includes the documents all parties send before the hearing and also what is said at the hearing.

How long does it usually take the tribunal to issue its decision?

The tribunal will issue its decision normally within 30 working days of the hearing.

Can I request a review of the tribunal's decision?

If you think there is a technical problem with the decision and how it was made, you can ask the tribunal to review the decision. The tribunal will not review its decision simply because you are not happy.

What if there are administrative errors in my decision?

The tribunal has the power to issue correction certificates to rectify any clerical or accidental error or omission in a decision. You will need to make a written application to the tribunal setting your request.

What if I disagree with the tribunal's decision?

You can appeal to the Upper Tribunal on a point of law.

Can I view past decisions?

Yes. Decisions made by the tribunal will be made available at the tribunal's office or on the website.

How long does the Respondent have to carry out a tribunal order?

The tribunal order will state when the order must be carried out by.

Sending and receiving secure emails using Egress Switch

The tribunal has introduced new software called Egress Switch, which helps us securely send emails and documents to non-secure email addresses. This is beneficial when emailing applicants, service users, solicitors firms and other agencies that are not on a secure network, ensuring the tribunal meets security and data protection requirements.

Why is the tribunal using Egress Switch?

Egress Switch allows tribunal staff to securely send confidential information to external email accounts (including Hotmail, Yahoo and Gmail). The nature of the work the tribunal carries out means that we often deal with information that is sensitive, which we wouldn’t want to fall into the wrong hands. Measures such as secure postal services have been in place for some time now. However we are increasingly sending information by email, as this is quicker and more convenient for the people we work with. We’ve therefore introduced an easy to use piece of software that will help ensure that any information sent by email is secure.

Is Egress Switch free to use?

Yes. All recipients can view and securely reply to emails sent via Egress Switch from the tribunal for free.

How do recipients view Egress encrypted emails?

On their first use only, recipients will need to create an Egress account before they can sign in to view the email they’ve received. This is a short and simple process that involves inputting an email address and creating a password. . Once this is done, an activation code will be sent to that email address and recipients will then be able to sign in and read their email. A step-by-step guide for this process is available on the Egress Switch website.

Can multiple people view the email once it is decrypted?

In general, emails can only be viewed by the original recipient. However, ‘access settings’ can be amended to allow others read access. This is useful in the case of group mailboxes, or where a solicitor needs to grant read access to colleagues or assistants. Find out how to make these changes.

Can Criminal Justice Secure eMail (CJSM) accounts still be used?

Yes. It isn’t mandatory to use Egress Switch. However we would encourage you to reply via Egress because of the various issues experienced with the CJSM accounts (e.g. small mailbox sizes, licensing costs).

Can Egress Switch be used on a mobile phone or tablet?

Yes. Egress Switch has a mobile website to enable easy use on a mobile device. There is also an Egress Switch ‘app’ available for BlackBerry devices and iPhones/iPads, and will be available soon for Android devices.

Can Egress Switch be used on Apple Macs?

Yes. The Egress Switch client can be installed on Mac OSX 10.6 and above.

Does Egress store any of my data?

Egress does not handle or store any information that users share. The information is encrypted using AES 256-bit encryption and written to a secure package which can be transferred to the recipient using CD/DVD, USB stick, local file, FTP, HTTP, or an attachment to email. The only information Egress keeps relates to user management, package management and audit. Egress considers this information to be sensitive too, so they have designed their policy engine to use secure transactions, strong authentication, and a secure encrypted server database.

Can Egress see my information?

Egress cannot see your information. The Egress Client software encrypts and decrypts your information on your local machine; therefore Egress does not have access to it.

Who can external recipients contact if they are having technical issues with Egress Switch?

They should contact the Egress support team directly using the following methods:

Email support@egress.com 
Telephone 0871 376 0014

Further advice and guidance on using Egress Switch can be found on the Egress website.

For further enquiries about Egress Switch and its use in the tribunal, please email our tribunal mailbox.