Agricultural tenancies—identifying a tenancy of an agricultural holding
Agricultural tenancies—identifying a tenancy of an agricultural holding

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

  • Agricultural tenancies—identifying a tenancy of an agricultural holding
  • Interests within the AHA 1986
  • Interests outside the AHA 1986

With some exceptions, the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 (AHA 1986) applies only to agreements entered into before 1 September 1995. An agricultural tenancy created on or after 1 September 1995 will almost certainly be a farm business tenancy governed by the Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995 (ATA 1995). However, practitioners still frequently have to deal with tenancies governed by the AHA1986.

The AHA1986 converted many informal arrangements into fully ‘protected’ tenancies, with consequent security of tenure, right of succession, right to compensation etc. Consequently, it remains important to identify tenancies falling within that regime.

Interests within the AHA 1986

To qualify as a tenancy of an agricultural holding, the land in question must be ‘agricultural land’, as defined by AHA 1986, s 1. This does not mean that all of the land must have been used for agriculture—a significant proportion of the land may be used for non-agricultural purposes, provided that the agricultural use has not been abandoned. This is especially important given the increasing tendency of farm tenants to diversify into non-a