The Tenant Farmers Association is looking forward to long awaited
changes to agricultural tenancy legislation being implemented this
October. It is however disappointed that the changes will miss
the traditional start date for autumn tenancies known as Michaelmas
which falls on 29 September each year.
TFA Chief Executive, George Dunn said “The process of agreeing
the necessary legislative changes amongst the farming and landowning
organisations was completed by the Tenancy Reform Industry Group
in May 2003. We have now been waiting over 3 years for those changes
to become law. The initial DEFRA timetable was to have the legislative
changes in place by Michaelmas 2005 but the timetable slipped badly
due to technical legal problems between DEFRA and Parliamentary
draftsmen. We had hoped that the Order would be in place for this
Michaelmas but recently we have been told by Ministers that it
will not be in place until October at the earliest”.
The changes to be introduced include allowing greater flexibility
on rent reviews and calculating compensation for tenants’ improvements
within farm business tenancies, the ability to add land to existing
traditional tenancies without losing the benefits of those agreements
and providing more straight forward provisions for tenancy succession
particularly where tenants diversify into non-agricultural activities.
“These changes will bring much needed flexibility into the
landlord/tenant system and we are grateful for the Government’s
support in bringing them in” said Mr Dunn.
“As the changes will not be in place in time for Michaelmas
lettings this year, landlords and tenants might need to consider
using holdover measures pending the introduction of the new legislation
coming into force. We would advise all involved in such matters
to seek professional advice before proceeding” said Mr Dunn.
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