Identifying a farm business tenancy
Identifying a farm business tenancy

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

  • Identifying a farm business tenancy
  • Definition
  • Business Conditions
  • Agriculture Condition
  • Notice Conditions
  • Exceptions — continued application of AHA 1986
  • Renewals

Identifying a farm business tenancy

Farm business tenancies were introduced with effect from 1 September 1995 by the Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995 (ATA 1995). They mark a radical departure from the regime which applies where a tenancy of an agricultural holding is protected under the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 (AHA 1986). Whereas AHA 1986 was largely prescriptive as to the terms of an agricultural tenancy, ATA 1995 by and large allows the landlord and the tenant to agree whatever terms they wish on almost all matters (save that there are mandatory provisions in relation to:

  1. rent (in ATA 1995, Pt II)

  2. compensation (in ATA 1995, Pt III)

  3. removal of tenant's fixtures (in ATA 1995, s 8)

The regimes applied by AHA 1986 and ATA 1995 are mutually exclusive, so it is imperative to identify correctly which form of tenancy is in issue. Moreover, if the tenancy is a farm business tenancy it cannot be a tenancy which is protected under the Part II of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (LTA 1954).

Definition

A tenancy of agricultural land which ‘begins’ on or after 1st September 1995 is a farm business tenancy if it satisfies:

  1. the Business Conditions, and

  2. either:

    1. the Agriculture Condition, or

    2. the Notice Conditions

For the purposes of ATA 1995, a tenancy ‘begins’ on the day on which the tenant is entitled to possession of the holding

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