Agricultural Holdings Act 1986

Tenancies created under the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 (‘AHA’) allow agricultural holdings to be let by the land owner to a tenant. Agricultural holdings can include land and buildings used for horticulture, livestock, grazing and various other uses, but the use must be commercial in nature (so grazing land for privately owned horses will not constitute an agricultural holding, whereas grazing land let to a riding school will).

Rent reviews under AHA tenancies are dealt with by the Act.

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With only a few exceptions, Agricultural Holdings granted before 1st September 1995 will be governed by the Agriculture Holdings Act 1986.  These type of tenancies are notoriously difficult to bring to an end as tenants will often have statutory protection.

If the tenancy was granted before 12th July 1984, the tenant is also likely to have succession rights. That means certain criteria must be met and notices served within a strict timetable if you are looking to terminate the tenancy.

Normally, a statutory period of at least 12 months must be given to terminate an Agricultural Holding tenancy. This type of tenancy has security of tenure, which means they can only be terminated by a certain circumstance where a notice to quit must be given. There are two types of notice that may be served:

  • An unqualified notice means that a landlord does not need to give a reason, though this could be challenged in the First Tier Property Tribunal.
  • A qualified notice allows the landlord to rely on one of eight grounds set out in Section 3 of the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986.

It should also be remembered that tenants of Agricultural Holdings tenancies will likely qualify for compensation for any improvements they have made to the holding during the tenancy. Additionally, if a landlord serves a qualified notice the tenant may also be able to recover compensation equivalent to up to four years’ rent.

The passionate and friendly team at Blackstone Solicitors is here to guide you through what can be a complex and demanding process. Getting in touch to discuss your situation could not be easier. Simply call us on 0345 901 0445 or fill in our online contact form to allow us to get back to you at your earliest convenience.

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