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Stackyard News Dec 06

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    Farm Tenants should not be Disadvantaged on CAP Payments

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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Tenant Farmers Association
Tenant Farmers Association