Time is Running out for Tenant Farmers to Register Improvements

A leading Land Agent is urging tenant farmers to ‘get their records in order’ or face paying rents for historic improvements.

The Amnesty on Tenants’ Improvements runs out in 2020 and under the Codes of Practice, tenant farmers can agree with their Landlords improvements to their farm that have not in the past been properly recorded. These include everything from buildings to access improvements and drainage.

Malcolm Taylor.

Malcolm Taylor, Partner and Head of Land Management for Bell Ingram, comments: “At a recent meeting with the Tenant Farming Commissioner, Dr Bob McIntosh, it became clear that very few tenant farmers have taken up the opportunity of registering farming improvements with their landlords.

“On the face of it this might not seem important where there is next generation succession under a secure 1991 Act Tenancy. However, under the proposed new rules for negotiating rents, the value of Tenant improvements when considering the rent of a farm, tenant improvements have to be disregarded. If they are not recorded under the amnesty, then a tenant could be paying rent for improvements carried out in the past.

“However, time is running out to register improvements. There are about 18 months left for the registration of improvements. It takes about eight months to carry out initial recording and discussions between the parties, and then a further period to draw up the agreement.

“To be absolutely clear this process will not have any impact on the Landlord Tenant relationship as we are simply putting records in order. It is in everybody’s interest to go through the process so that records are up to date. It is essential that tenants are not charged rent on historic improvements.”

For more advice contact Malcolm Taylor on 01307 462 516 or email malcolm.taylor@bellingram.co.uk

Published on 10th April 2019