Rural Tenancies

Flexible rural tenancies that allow for commercial diversification of farms are vital for the profitability and growth of the agricultural industry.  Surrounded by the Sussex countryside with almost 60 years experience, our firm can confidently provide you with advice on rural/farm tenancies from both a landlord and a tenant farmer perspective.

Rural Tenancy Legislation

There are two main pieces of legislation governing rural tenancies.  They are:

  • Agricultural Holdings Act (AHA) 1986; and
  • Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995

The date you signed your tenancy agreement will govern what Act is applicable to your tenancy.

Agricultural Holdings Act (AHA) 1986

If you signed your rural tenancy agreement before the 1st September 1995 your contract will be governed by the AHA 1989.  These types of tenancies usually have a lifetime security of tenure and agreements signed before the 12th July 1984 also carry succession rights.  Rent reviews under this Act can only take place every three years.

Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995

The Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995 allows for far more flexibility for the landlord and tenant.  Agreements signed after the 1st September 1995 are known as Farm Business Tenancies.  As long as the tenant gives notice to the landlord stating that they intend to remain a Farm Business Tenancy for the duration of the agreement, they can diversify into other income generating areas.  The tenant and landlord have the right to decide the frequency of proposed rent reviews and the length of the tenancy can be year to year or for a fixed length of time, such as five year.

Disputes around Farm Business Tenancies are dealt with by procedures set out in the Arbitration Act 1996.

How We Can Help You Manage your Rural Tenancy

The team at Bennett Oakley Solicitors can assist both landlords and tenants with all aspects of residential tenancies under both Acts including:

  • Drafting agreements
  • Rent review
  • Quitting the tenancy
  • Succession
  • Disputes
  • Compensation at the end of the tenancy
  • Arbitration

If you wish to discuss your rural tenancy further please phone our office for an appointment on 01444 235 232. Or you can fill in this contact form and one of our staff will contact you as soon as possible.