Agricultural property—land transactions
Agricultural property—land transactions

The following Private Client guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Agricultural property—land transactions
  • Letting of agricultural land
  • Selling agricultural property
  • Purchasing agricultural property
  • Management issues

Letting of agricultural land

Agricultural tenancies

The Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995 (ATA 1995) introduced farm business tenancies (FBTs) to replace the old-style agricultural holding. A tenancy of agricultural land created after 1 September 1995 will be a farm business tenancy if it meets the business conditions and either:

  1. the notice conditions or

  2. the agriculture condition

Note that there are exceptions listed in ATA 1995, ss 4(1)(a)–4(1)(g) whereby a tenancy will not be a FBT even if it begins on or after 1 September 1995.

The business conditions

All or part of the land must, at all times during the tenancy, be farmed for trade or business (not necessarily an agricultural trade or business).

The notice conditions

Before the tenancy begins, the proposed landlord and tenant must exchange notices stating that the tenancy is to be and remain a farm business tenancy and that its character will at first be primarily agricultural.

The agriculture condition

At the relevant time (not necessarily at the beginning of the tenancy) the tenancy must be primarily or wholly agricultural.

Granting a farm business tenancy

If trustees have vacant possession of the land and they wish to consider letting the property by granting a FBT, consideration should be given to the following:

  1. means of letting—trustees will need to consider the best way to market the property. This could be