Draft allotment tenancy agreement


between Reading Borough Council of Civic Offices, Bridge Street, Reading RG1 2LU  (the “Council”) of the one part and [FULL NAME] of [ADDRESS] (the “Tenant”) of the other part.

The Council agrees to let and the Tenant agrees to hire as Tenant from [START DATE] to the 31st day of December 202X and thereafter year to year until determined in accordance with the provisions of this agreement the allotment garden in the Allotment Register kept by the Council being Plot No [NUMBER] (the “Plot”) at the Council’s [ALLOTMENT NAME] Allotment (the “Site”) measuring approximately [NUMBER]or thereabouts subject to any covenants or obligations referred to in the Council’s title to the land at the yearly rent of £[YEARLY RENT] (the “Rent”) payable in advance on the First day of January in each year and at a proportionate rent (as determined by the Council) for any part of a year of which the tenancy may extend (unless waived by the Council for any reason such waiver to be in the absolute discretion of the Council). 

The Tenant hereby agrees as follows –


  1. The Tenant will pay the Rent in advance on the First day of January in each year. The yearly rent, as detailed above, is subject to a reasonable annual increase to be determined by the Council and notified to the Tenant.

Use of an Allotment Plot.

  1. The Plot is let solely as an ‘allotment garden’ as provided for in the provisions of the Allotments Acts 1908 to 1950 as to allotment garden tenancies, and the provisions of those Acts apply accordingly.
  2. The Plot is to be wholly or mainly cultivated by the Tenant for the production of vegetables or fruit crops for consumption by the occupier and their family, or flowers, and shall not carry on, nor permit to be carried on, any trade or business on or from the Plot.
  3. The Tenant shall not underlet assign or part with possession of the Plot or any part of it.
  4. Where an allotment plot is let to two or more Tenants or community groups they shall be jointly and severally liable for their obligations under the terms and conditions of this agreement. The Council may take action against, or release or compromise the liability of, any one or more of the persons or groups comprising the Tenant without affecting the liability of the other such persons or groups.
  5. The Tenant shall provide and display the Plot number as allocated by the Council’s Streetscene Manager (or such other officer of the Council from time to time responsible for carrying out similar duties to the Streetscene Manager) in a prominent position on the Plot.

Maintenance and Care of the Allotment Plot

  1. The Tenant shall at all times maintain the Plot in a good condition, free from weeds and in a proper state of cultivation.
  2. The Tenant shall keep paths adjacent to the Plot mown, clean and free from obstruction.
  3. The Tenant must not plant, or allow to grow, any new hedges around the Plot, or use barbed or razor wire or the like for any purpose.
  4. The Tenant must not plant, or allow to grow by natural seeding or otherwise, any trees or bushes other than fruit trees and bushes of recognised varieties cultivated for their crop. Fruit trees and bushes must not be planted within one metre of, nor hang over or encroach upon roads, paths, fences, or neighbouring allotment plots. Fruit trees and bushes should be pruned annually so their height does not exceed 3 metres. Fruit trees should be dwarf variety, in espalier or fan form.
  5. The Tenant shall not, without the written consent of the Council, cut or prune any timber or other trees except the proper annual pruning of fruit trees or bushes on the Plot.
  6. The Tenant shall keep every hedge that forms a part of the Plot properly cut and trimmed, keep all existing ditches properly cleansed and keep in good repair any other fence and any gate on the Plot.
  7. Membrane may only be left in situ for longer than 6 months if it is being used as part of the cultivation infrastructure (for example, under fruit bushes).
  8. The Tenant shall not use, install or bring tyres on to the Site.
  9. The Tenant shall not take or sell or carry away any mineral, gravel, sand, or clay or permit any other person to do so.
  10. The Tenant shall not dig or permit to be dug any pits, shafts, wells, or new ditches. One small pond, covering no more than 10% of the area of the Plot is permitted for the efficient use of rainwater and to increase biodiversity.
  11. The Tenant shall not import, store, or allow on the Site any materials which are not connected with the intended and lawful use of the Plot as an allotment garden or which are likely to cause environmental damage or adversely affect the horticultural quality of the Site.
  12. Hosepipes may be used on the Site, subject to water company regulations, recommendations and guidance. Hoses must be held in the hand and not left unattended when water flows through them. The use of sprinklers, irrigations systems and the like when attached to the mains water supply is forbidden.

Plot Waste

  1. The Tenant must not deposit any refuse or other material of any kind on any communal land, roads, paths, lay-bys or anywhere on car-parking areas, or in watercourses.
  2. Disease-free organic waste should be composted on the Plot, or in a dedicated communal composting bay on Site where one is provided.
  3. The Tenant shall remove waste materials that cannot be composted from the Site and dispose of them in a lawful manner.
  4. The Tenant shall not burn waste on Site from 1st April to 31st September in any year.
  5. During the period 1st October to 31st March, the Tenant may burn dry organic materials (but no other materials nor waste whatsoever) on the Plot provided that the Tenant remains in attendance throughout the duration of their fire and the Tenant must extinguish the fire before leaving the Site. The Tenant must not cause a nuisance or pollution, and must not allow smoke or smuts to encroach on any highway.

Structures & Paths

  1. The Tenant may construct a shed poly-tunnel or green house that must be positioned and kept within the Plot boundary and must not exceed 2.5 metres in height. .
  2. The Tenant shall not use the Plot nor any building, shed etc. lawfully erected thereon for the storage of any goods, chattels, or supplies other than those used directly in the cultivation and maintenance of the Plot and in particular (but without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing words) the Tenant shall not store any motor vehicle on the Plot.
  3. 26.  Shed[MN1] [MN2] s, lean to’s and gazebos must not occupy more than 20% of the plot area and must not exceed 85 square feet or 8 square metres. Sheds, lean to’s and gazebos must not obstruct paths, should be maintained to a reasonable standard and should include rainwater harvesting to provide sustainable water use.
  4. Greenhouses and poly-tunnels [MN3] not obstruct access to the allotment site boundary or to pathways, and should include rainwater harvesting to provide sustainable water use.
  5. The Tenant may create paths or patios within the Plot, providing these areas are constructed only from organic materials. The use of concrete or cement in the construction of paths and hard-standing is prohibited. The total area of paths, shall not exceed 10% of the total area of the Plot.
  6. The Tenant shall not place any form of play equipment, including but not limited to swings, see-saws, slides, paddling pools, upon the Plot.

Care of the Site and toward Other Tenants, Neighbours, and the Council.

  1. The Tenant must lock gates after entering or leaving the Site even if they are found to be open or unlocked. The Tenant must make arrangements to meet personally at the entrance of the Site any persons visiting them or vehicles making deliveries to the Tenant on the Site and to ensure that the entrance is locked securely before and after. The Council shall have the right to refuse admittance to any person other than the Tenant or a member of his/her family or household to the allotment unless accompanied by the Tenant or a member of their family.
  2. The Tenant shall return to the Council at the end of the tenancy all gate and other keys provided by the Council or Allotment Society (where one exists). All keys and locks remain the property of the Council.
  3. Tenants should initially report to their Site Liaison Representative any matters of mains water leakage, any damage to fences, property or produce, through trespass or vandalism or from any other cause. Tenants may report such incidents to the allotment service if they cannot contact their site liaison representative.
  4. The Tenant must keep dogs under close control, on a lead, while on the Site. They must not be allowed to foul or cause damage to any allotment plot on the Site.
  5. The Tenant shall not do in connection with the allotment any act or thing which may be, or become, illegal or a nuisance to the Council, to the Allotment Society (where one exists), to other Tenants or to the owners or occupiers of other property in the neighbourhood.
  6. The Tenant shall not encroach or trespass, or allow others to trespass, upon another Tenant’s allotment or encroach onto any path, road, or communal space at the Site.
  7. The Tenant shall not cause, or allow to be caused, any damage to or theft of any property, including crops, belonging to other persons.
  8. The Tenant shall only park on Site when in attendance on the Site, and shall not park or cause to be parked any motor vehicle or wheeled vehicle on any allotment or on any part of the Site except in areas designated by the Council for parking.
  9. The Tenant shall not interfere in any way with any material, plant, equipment, building or installation owned by the Council.
  10. The Council reserves the right to exclude from the Site without notice, any Tenant or other person who is accused of gross misconduct such as (a) causing serious damage to any allotment or to the crops on the Site or to any communal area or (b) while on the Site, damaging or stealing the property of any other person or of the Allotment Society (where one exists) or (c) assaulting or threatening any person on the Site. or (d) any other behaviour in the opinion of the Council that may be considered anti-social or criminal in nature.
  11. The Tenant shall cooperate as far as reasonably possible with the Council, its officers, and with the Allotment Society (where one exists) in ensuring the efficient, effective, and harmonious running of the Site.
  12. The Tenant shall inform the Council immediately of any change in their address or contact details.
  13. The Council is not responsible for any loss, theft, damage or injury to any persons or property on the Site, and all persons who enter the Site do so at their own risk.
  14.  Any dispute between Tenants shall be referred to and settled by the Council’s Streetscene Service but in the event of a Tenant being dissatisfied with the Streetscene Manager’s determination of a dispute he or she shall be entitled to appeal to the Council whose decision in the matter shall be final and conclusive.
  15. Any Member or Officer of the Council shall be entitled at any time when authorised by the Council to enter and inspect the Plot.

Chickens and Bees

  1. Livestock may NOT be kept on allotments, EXCEPT at Bulmershe and Scours Lane Allotments, where the keeping of chickens/ducks is permitted, with written consent of the Council and subject to the following special conditions, A- The numbers of chickens/ducks must be manageable; B-the livestock are well and humanely managed; and C- they do not cause any danger, nuisance, interference, disturbance or annoyance to Tenants or to anyone else including members of the public and the owners or occupiers of the neighbouring and adjoining property or plot holders. The Council may decide that keeping livestock on the site would be prejudicial to health or a nuisance and has discretion to suspend permission to keep chickens/ducks on site.
  2. Bees may be kept, with written consent of the Council and satisfaction of the Council that the Tenant-beekeeper is suitably qualified to care properly for them to a proficient level of competence. To this end, the following special conditions apply: A- the beekeeper should have undertaken a recognised course, to the satisfaction of the Council covering both theoretical and practical hands-on training; B- the beekeeper must be a full member of a recognised beekeeping association with full insurance against third party damages; C- any bees brought onto the Site should be of good temperament and kept that way; and D- that the Tenant displays their contact details on the Plot in case of emergency.

Termination of the Tenancy

  1. The Tenant must yield up the allotment at the expiration or termination of the tenancy in such condition as shall be in compliance with the terms and conditions contained in this agreement.
  2. The Council or the Tenant may at any time terminate a tenancy by giving twelve months’ notice in writing to the other expiring on or before 6th April or on or after 29th September in any year except that the Allotment Society (where one exists) or the Council may at its discretion accept from the Tenant a lesser period of notice expiring at any time.
  3. In the event of the death of the Tenant, the tenancy shall terminate 3 months after the date of death except that the tenancy may be terminated sooner by agreement with the Allotment Society (where one exists) or the Council.
  4. The Spouse of the named Tenant may on the death of the named tenant succeed the Allotment tenancy on application to the Council.
  5. If it appears to the Council that the Tenant, not less than three months after the commencement of the tenancy created by this agreement, (a) has not observed the tenant’s obligations and conditions contained in this agreement or (b) is resident more than one mile out of the borough of Reading, the Council may terminate this agreement upon one month’s notice to the Tenant.
  6. The Council shall have the right immediately to re-enter and take possession of the Plot and to terminate the tenancy created by this agreement at any time when: a) the Rent is in arrears for forty days or more, whether formally demanded or not, or b) the Tenant is in breach of any of the conditions above imposed on the Tenant by this agreement, or c) on the making of an application for a bankruptcy order, the presentation of a petition for a bankruptcy order or the making of a bankruptcy order against the Tenant.
  7. The Tenant shall not later than the determination of the tenancy remove or cause to be removed at the request or the direction of the Council’s Streetscene Manager or any other responsible Officer of the Council all sheds, buildings, materials, etc. situated on the Plot. The Tenant irrevocably appoints the Council to be the Tenant’s agent to store or dispose of any such items if the Tenant refuses or fails to remove the said items. The Tenant must indemnify the Council in respect of any claim made by a third party in relation to that storage or disposal. The costs of such storage or disposal shall be payable by the Tenant to the Council. This clause’s provisions shall not affect any statutory right of compensation which may arise in favour of the Tenant in respect of any Plot improvements.

Letters and notices

  1. Any letter or notice required to be served on the Tenant under this agreement must be served by hand, by pre-paid post, or by suitable electronic means on the Tenant at their address as entered in the Allotment Register, or failing that, by fixing the same in some conspicuous manner on the Plot. Any notice served by the Council pursuant to clause 49(b) (i.e., tenant residing more than one mile out of the borough) may be served upon the tenant at his last known place of abode in the borough.
  2. Notices directed to all Tenants may be served by posting them prominently on the Site notice board or similar display space or by including them in any newsletter or journal distributed by the Allotment Society (where one exists) or by the Council to all its members/plot holders.
  3. Notices directed to the Council must be served by hand or by pre-paid post and must be addressed to “Allotments, 19 Bennet Road, Reading RG2 0QX” or by e-mail to Allotments.Reading@reading.gov.uk or such other address notified to the Tenant by the Council from time to time.

General Data Protection Regulations

  1. Tenants’ contact details, allotment history and other information relevant to their tenancy and membership of an Allotment Society may be stored by the Council on a secure drive on a computer or otherwise. This information will be used only for management and administration of Allotments and will not be disclosed to third parties unless the Council is required to do so by law or in compliance with its legal obligations. The Tenant may inspect the information held by the Council about him/her/them on request. For more information please contact the Information Commissioner’s Office: https://ico.org.uk/


  1. The Tenant shall observe and perform any other special conditions or rules, which the Council considers necessary to preserve the Site from deterioration and in respect of which notice has been to the Tenant. It is hereby declared and agreed that any person not previously an allotment tenant of the Council and for the first time acquiring a tenancy of an allotment garden from the Council shall pay on the commencement of the tenancy created by this agreement a reasonable fee which is to be such as the Council’s Housing, Neighbourhood and Leisure Committee (or such other body possessing the authority to determine such fee) from time to time prescribes.
  2. The Council reserves the right to re-grade or reclassify any of its allotments sites, thereby varying the rent for the allotment gardens at that site but shall not do so without first giving notice of its intention to affected tenants.

Signed (Signature) – [                                    ] Acting for and on behalf of the Council

Signed & Dated (Tenant):

Tenant Address, e-mail, and phone number.

Signed & Dated (Witness)

Last updated on 03/04/2024