The Tenant Farmers Association is delighted that after many years
of lobbying significant changes are to be introduced to the legislation
governing agricultural tenancies.
Following a debate in the House of Lords on October 16, the
statutory changes will be introduced by a Regulatory Reform Order
TFA National Chairman Reg Haydon said “Since the
introduction of the 1995 Agricultural Tenancies Act, which revolutionised
the law in relation to farm tenancies, we have been concerned
that the pendulum had swung too far in the favour of landlords. Whilst
traditional, secure tenancies taken out before 1995 were protected,
we were greatly concerned that new tenants and those making changes
to their tenancies, were at a disadvantage. These changes,
if applied properly, should help to ease those concerns”.
Government established the Tenancy Reform Industry Group (TRIG)
with representatives of landlords, tenants and professional bodies
as a response to the TFA’s
lobbying. TRIG was charged with producing a consensus view on the way forward.
changes it recommended and now to be introduced include:
- Greater flexibility on the nature and conduct of rent reviews.
- Removal of potential pitfalls in tenancy succession to the
- The ability to add land and buildings to traditional, secure
tenancies - previously impossible.
- Reforms to the rules on compensation for tenant’s improvements.
- Removal of the maximum length of a notice to quit for some
types of tenancy.
“Taken together, these changes are more about evolution
than revolution. They will provide extremely important,
extra flexibility for both landlords and tenants but it will
be important that the Government pays close attention to monitoring
how they are used.” said Mr Haydon.
The TFA is however disappointed that the Government has made
little or no progress on forwarding TRIG’s ideas for fiscal
reform in relation to agricultural tenancies.
“TRIG’s recommendations were framed as a package
of legislative and fiscal reforms. The progress we have
made on the legislative proposals is great but their impact will
be diminished if we do not have the carefully thought through,
taxation changes that TRIG also proposed. We will be asking
the Government to review urgently its progress on considering
those changes too. We have received, so far, a deafening
silence from the Treasury.” said Mr Haydon.
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