Consultation on Modernising Agricultural Tenancies

Closed 10 Oct 2014

Opened 18 Aug 2014

Overview

The Agricultural Holdings Act (AHA) applies to agricultural tenancies entered into before 1 September 1995 and also applies to certain tenancies granted after that date.  The changes to secondary legislation considered in this consultation apply to agricultural tenancy agreements governed by the AHA. 

The consultation seeks views on updating the regulation on the repair and maintenance of fixed equipment (which was made in 1973 and amended in 1988) by including items now in common use.  We have proposed a more detailed breakdown of certain liabilities to either better clarify what is covered, or to change the liability between landlord and tenant to a more pragmatic split of responsibilities.  These changes would address a Farming Regulation Task Force recommendation.  We proposed taking the opportunity to consolidate the new legislation with similar legislation where appropriate. 

We propose being less prescriptive on how end of tenancy compensation is calculated, so the compensation paid better reflects the value of the improvement or matters being compensated for at the time the tenancy is terminated.  We also propose to broaden the scope of matters for which an outgoing tenant may be compensated for. 

Why We Are Consulting

As part of the Red Tape Challenge Agriculture Theme, we reviewed all secondary legislation covering agricultural tenancies to determine ways to fulfil existing policy aims in a less burdensome way, simply the legislative landscape and to update existing legislation where necessary. 

The outcome was recognition that there was a need to modernise the law governing repair and maintenance of fixed equipment and end-of-tenancy compensation. 

We have had on-going discussions with the Tenancy Reform Industry Group which is a stakeholder group comprising key organisations that represent the interests of agricultural landlords and tenants and the proposals included in the consultation reflect the feedback received.  

Audiences

  • Farmers
  • Tenant Farmers
  • Agricultural Landlords
  • Agricultural Valuers
  • Land Agents

Interests

  • Farm management
  • Rural economy and communities
  • Industry organisations representing tenant farmers and landlords
  • Solicitors specialising in agricultural law
  • Rural Properties