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New Template Notices and Agreements for Landlords and Tenants of Agricultural Property

June 2017

Additional Documents for Agricultural Landlords and Tenants

Landlords and Tenants of agricultural land will be interested in our new templates for dealing with rent reviews and improvements to the holding (obtaining consent and compensation) and notices to be used when granting assured shorthold tenancies to farm workers.

Farm Business Tenancy Rent Reviews

Our new statutory rent review notices help agricultural landlords and tenants to initiate a rent review.

Unless a Tenancy Agreement states otherwise, the Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995 provides for rent reviews to take place at three-yearly intervals. Either the landlord or the tenant may serve a notice on the other requiring the rental figure to be referred to arbitration.

The landlord and tenant may reach agreement on the revised rent. If they do not, an arbitrator will determine it.

Tenants’ Improvements to the Holding and Claiming Compensation

The Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995 allows farm business tenants to claim compensation for improvements the tenant makes to the holding. Improvements can be tangible, for example the erection of a barn, or intangible, for example the acquisition of planning permission. The 1995 Act sets out strict procedures that must be followed in order to bring a claim.

The first step for the tenant is to seek the landlord’s consent. The landlord may grant consent unconditionally, grant consent subject to conditions or refuse consent. A further possibility is that the landlord ignores the tenant’s request for consent.

If the tenant is unhappy with the landlord’s response (or lack of response) the tenant can take the matter of consent to arbitration.

At the end of the term of the tenancy, the tenant is entitled to claim compensation for their improvements. The landlord and tenant may agree the level of compensation during the term or at the end of the term. If they cannot agree, an arbitrator can be appointed to make a determination.

Our new notices assist landlords and tenants at every step of this procedure.

Granting Assured Shorthold Tenancies to Farm Workers

If a farm worker is occupying residential accommodation on the farm, the worker may qualify for an “assured agricultural occupancy”. This gives the tenant a greater degree of security than an assured shorthold tenant.

A landlord can choose to grant an assured shorthold tenancy to a farm worker instead of an assured agricultural occupancy. The landlord must serve a notice (known as a Form 9 Notice) on the tenant before the tenancy is entered into.

There are different versions of the form for England and Wales. Landlords can find both versions in our Assured Shorthold Tenancies folder.

The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific legal matter.

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