Farm business tenancies

A tenancy of agricultural land will be a farm business tenancy if:

  • it was granted on or after 1st September 1995 and
  • all or part of the land is used for trade or business and this state of affairs continues at all times during the tenancy and
  • either the character of the tenancy (at the relevant time and not necessarily at the beginning or end) is primarily or wholly agricultural or the landlord and the tenant have exchanged notices in the prescribed statutory form prior to the start, confirming that it is to be, and will remain a farm business tenancy.

The Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995 (ATA 1995) introduced farm business tenancies to replace the old-style agricultural holding (under the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 (AHA 1986).

Landlords and tenants can negotiate their own rent levels and decide whether or not they want to have rent reviews. Either the landlord or tenant can demand a rent review every 3 years by law. However, landlords and tenants can agree on how often a rent review should take place – this agreement replaces the law. For example, you can agree on a rent review every 4 years but you must not preclude a reduction in rent in your rent review agreements.

As a farm business tenant you’re entitled to compensation at the end of a tenancy for:

  • physical improvements you’ve made to a holding (provided the landlord has given consent to the improvements)
  • changes that increase the value of the holding (provided they are left behind when the tenant leaves)

You can agree in writing an upper limit on the amount of compensation, usually equal to the tenant’s cost in making the improvements. Landlords and tenants of a Farm Business Tenancy can end the tenancy by issuing a notice to quit. The minimum notice period to quit is 12 months

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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Blackstone is based in Manchester and we have an additional office in London We regularly take on clients from Cheshire, Chester, the rest of the UK and internationally.

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