The Tenant Farmers Association is warning all existing and prospective
farm tenants to check their tenancy agreements carefully on clauses
relating to the Single Payment Scheme (SPS) Entitlement.
The TFA has been concerned about tenancy agreements which require
tenants to give up their SPS Entitlement at the end of their leases
for little or no compensation. A cross-industry Code of Practice
on the matter, drawn up by the Tenancy Reform Industry Group, states
that such practices are unfair and that farm tenants should be provided
with fair compensation for any entitlements given up at the end of
tenancies reflecting their true value.
TFA Chief Executive George Dunn said, “This Code of Practice
is an incredibly useful tool in the negotiation process between landlords
and tenants. It is even more useful that it is backed by a Government
commitment to consider what further measures may be necessary by
way of legislation if landlords do not abide by the Code.
The TFA has been pleased to see that, in the main, most landlords
are prepared to comply with the Code. However, the TFA is also aware
that there are a large number of cases where landlords are still
insisting on unfair clauses within tenancy agreements. The Association
would ask that all such cases are reported to the TFA.
“Where necessary, the TFA will make contact with landlords
insisting on unfair clauses in order to seek a commitment to change
to a fairer basis for these matters. One such case recently involved
Devon County Council which originally had a policy which provided
a very unfair basis for compensating tenants at the end of their
leases for SPS Entitlement. Following a lengthy negotiation, we are
pleased to report that the County Council will provide its agricultural
tenants with full compensation at the end of tenancies if the landlord
wishes to purchase the SPS Entitlement or allow the tenants to sell
them on the open market if they do not require them. This is very
good news and shows the strength of the Code of Practice”.
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