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TFA Gives Essential On-Line Help With Farm Rent Reviews
08/01/08

The Tenant Farmers Association is providing tenant farmer members with on line access to a unique resource of information to assist with farm rent reviews.

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Rent is one of the most significant overhead costs on tenanted holdings and like every other cost in the farm budget it is important that it is kept under control. With some improvement in commodity prices many landlords have taken the opportunity of serving notice on their tenants that they want rents to be reviewed.

TFA National Adviser Rebecca Marshall said “We are expecting 2008 to be a busy year for farm rent reviews after a number of years of relative stagnation in the rental market. The last big shift in rents took place between 1996 and 2002 when tenants were able to achieve important rent reductions. Although landlords are now looking for increases on the back of output price improvements, it is also important to factor in the huge increase in input prices not least, fuel, power, chemicals and labour. Tenants therefore need to be well armed to defend their corner”.

Part of the formal rent review process is to use what are called “comparable rents” – that is evidence of rents being paid on other holdings which are then used to help set the right level of rent for the holding under review.

“Comparable rents are sometimes hard to find. For many years the TFA has held a databank of such information provided by and for its members and we are now able, for the first time, to make that information available to members in a fully searchable, on-line database in the member’s area of the TFA website. Although there have been very few rent reviews in recent years, we are now beginning to get an increasing amount of information from our members as rents are settled which we immediately put on line being careful not to individually identify the farms concerned,” said Rebecca Marshall.

Alongside the rent information the TFA also provides its members with one-to-one advice, guidance notes on the conduct of rent reviews, a list of recommended professional agents and its unique Farm Business Protector insurance policy which can cover the costs of arbitration on rent when the tenant and landlord cannot agree on the correct level, and a host of other legal and taxation disputes.

“With the online rent database and the range of other services the TFA is able to provide all the tools necessary for our members to achieve the best results in their rent review negotiations,” said Rebecca Marshall.

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Tenant Farmers Association