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Farm tenancies

Acting for both tenants and landlords, our experience working on all aspects of farm tenancies enables us to apply our legal insight to your situation. Whether representing you in a dispute, advising on existing agreements, drafting long-term Farm Business Tenancies (FBTs) or providing corporate support, our pragmatic advice is tailored to your needs.

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In-depth experience in farm tenancy matters

We have long-standing experience in agricultural land and tenancy issues and are also the National Farmers Union panel solicitors for seven counties. Drawing on this knowledge, we can guide you through complex tenancy procedures, relating to both Agricultural Holdings Act tenancies and modern FBTs, and provide advisory support, including formalising and regularising agreements. Working collaboratively with our Commercial Property Team, we can also help if you are a landlord planning to develop, or a tenant affected by development plans.

Should you have a dispute, we can advise you on mediation, arbitration and tribunal cases, depending on your particular situation. We take time to understand your circumstances, ensuring we consider the wider picture in order to advise you on the commercial implications of each decision.

Whether regarding notices to quit, succession rights or applications, establishing tenancy rights or alternative contracting agreements, our robust but flexible approach delivers the support you need to achieve your objectives.

Highlights

Our Agriculture Team has worked on a number of high-profile claims and cases. Highlights include:

  • settling numerous succession cases by agreement, despite initial resistance from the landlord
  • defeating at arbitration a notice to quit based upon a notice to remedy
  • successfully defending a 1986 Act tenant faced with repeated Case B notices to quit

  • securing a significantly improved deal for a tenant in respect of the surrender of his holding due to flawed notices being served by his landlord
  • establishing tenancy rights where the landlord had initially sought to argue that none existed
  • negotiating on behalf of a landlord the surrender of an existing 1986 Act tenancy, to be replaced by a new 1986 Act tenancy over an enlarged area, for estate reorganisation purposes

Expertise

Our expertise in this area encompasses:

  • advising on FBTs in relation to occupation rights and compensation claims
  • advising on succession issues for both landlords and tenants
  • advising on the interaction between FBTs and non-agricultural business tenancies (governed by the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954)
  • alternative land occupation arrangements including share farming and contracting agreements, profit of pasturage agreements and grazing licences
  • drafting and advising on tenancy agreements
  • drafting contracts to ensure the transfer of Basic Payment Entitlements

  • reducing to writing historic oral tenancies
  • estate reorganisation
  • first-tier tribunal and arbitration proceedings
  • issues surrounding termination of tenancies including notices to quit
  • specialist knowledge of all of the agricultural tenancy legislation including the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 and the Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995
  • tenancy disputes

Duncan Sigournay is highly sought-after for agricultural tenancy issues. ‘He is personable, considerate and shows real humanity in his approach’.

Chambers and Partners 2016

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