Change of Ownership
You must notify the Department's Forestry Division in advance if you are in receipt of grant aid.
You must notify the Department’s Forestry Division in advance if you are planning to sell or transfer ownership of any part of your grant-aided forest during the term of the grant and premium contract.
If you fail to do so, you risk claw-back by the Department of all grants and premiums paid out since the date of the completion of the forest.
The staff of Change of Applicant Section, Forestry Division, DAFM will:
- Assist with all enquiries relating to the scheme when a grant-aided forest is to be sold or transferred during the term of the contract;
- Process notifications of sales, transfers, death of the owner, inheritance or assignment of the planted lands;
- Recover (claw-back) from the previous applicant all grant and premium money paid if the new owner is not willing to participate in the scheme;
- If the new owner signs up to the scheme, DAFM will re-assign the remaining premiums, on receipt of the following paperwork:
- proof of ownership of the planted land
- signed commitment to the obligations of the scheme
- confirmation that the forest is up to DAFM standards
- verification of the forest area and cross compliance
- new map(s) (if there’s a change in area or only part is sold / transferred)
- details needed to register the new owner and new applicant
- tax clearance certificates for owner and applicant where relevant
- proof of eligibility for farmer rate of premium if applicant is farming
- Change of applicant forms will be sent to the customer or solicitor, as required.
Sale of forestry land
Whenever the legal arrangements are being made for the sale of forestry land on which a grant was paid, there are certain precautions owners should take to protect their own interests. There is an obligation under the scheme to notify the Forestry Division in advance of offering a grant-aided forest for sale.
Solicitors dealing with any proposed sale or transfer of forestry land should be made aware of the terms of the scheme and the danger of claw-back if the buyer is not willing to sign up to the scheme. When notice of the intention to sell is received in the Forestry Division, it will issue a detailed advice letter to the vendor / transferor or their solicitor on the important provisions of the scheme.
Death of the owner
If the owner of a grant-aided forest has died during the year, the family or next-of-kin should contact the Forestry Division for advice on transferring the forestry contract and the right to claim premium payments to the new owner(s). This is especially important if there is any intention of selling the forestry land.
Sub-division / sharing of the forestry premium in the year of sale
If a change of ownership occurs during the year, the Forestry Division will not divide the forestry premium payment in proportion to the time each party owned the forest. This matter should be resolved between the parties when they are drawing up the contract for sale of the forestry land(s).
Change of Ownership / Applicant Guides:
- Forests planted from 1 January 2015 - Change of Ownership post 2015 (PDF)
- Forests planted before 31 December 2014 - Change of Ownership pre 2015 (PDF)
Please note: all forestry contracts remain subject to the conditions under which they were approved originally (i.e. older contracts do not transform to the new scheme).