Know Your Rights

A little knowledge never hurts

Below we’ve published some extracts from a memorandum by the department of the Environment Transport and the Regions
This deals with provisions that are contained in the Small Holdings and Allotment Acts 1908 and the Allotments Acts 1922-1950.
Have a read it never hurts to know a bit more about your rights as an allotment tenant.


The allotments legislation has a long history, some of which originates from the Nineteenth Century Inclosure Awards. The present legislative provisions are contained in the Small Holdings and Allotment Acts 1908 and the Allotments Acts 1922-1950. These place an obligation on allotment authorities to meet the demands of local residents wishing to cultivate allotments and to make provision for the acquisition, management and control of allotment sites.
An allotment authority is the district council, Outer London Borough, or where there is a parish council (or meeting) that council (or meeting). These will be referred to as “allotment authorities” in this document.


The term “allotment” is defined in the Allotments Act 1925 as “an allotment garden, or any parcel of land not more than five acres in extent cultivated or intended to be cultivated as a garden farm, or partly as a garden farm and partly as a farm.”
An “allotment garden” is defined in the Allotments Act 1922 as an allotment not exceeding 40 poles (or 1,000 square metres) which is wholly or mainly cultivated by the occupier for the production of fruit or vegetables for consumption by himself and his family, and this definition is common to all the statutes in which the term occurs.
An “allotment garden” is what people commonly mean by the term allotment, that is a plot let out to an individual within a larger allotment field. Local authorities’ duties and powers now in general only extend to allotment gardens.

“Fuel or field garden allotments” were appropriated for the use of the poor and are now mostly held and administered by allotment authorities, although some remain under the control of trustees.
The rules under which they are let are governed by the Inclosure Acts and the Commons Act 1876 and provide that plots within such allotments are to be let to those who are less well off.
Their compulsory acquisition can require the consent of Parliament if equivalent land is not given in exchange and all disposals require the consent of the Secretary of State. Disposals for use other than allotments are only permitted if suitable replacement land is available.


Provision will usually be made in tenancy agreements for determination of the tenancy by either party.
So far as a notice to quit served on behalf of the Council is concerned, section 1 of the 1922 Act provides that an allotment garden tenancy may be determined by the landlord by notice to quit only if at least 12 months’ notice is given, expiring on or before 6 April or on or after 29 September in any year.

Allotment Societies and Associations

Instead of letting and managing themselves, some allotment authorities lease allotment sites to local societies or associations under devolved management agreements.
In such cases the local society or association is then responsible for letting the plots, collecting the rent, site maintenance and day to day administration, so the allotment authority’s administrative responsibilities are minimal.
This can have considerable advantages for allotment authorities, but the membership of the local society can change quickly, and the legal responsibilities of a lease may be best shouldered by a permanent and responsible body.

Extracts taken from

Other links
Small Holdings and Allotments Act 1908