News
20th Apr

2015

TFA Media Release No. 08 – Rent Arbitration Result “Good News” for Tenants

Rent Arbitration Result “Good News” for Tenants

The Tenant Farmers Association has welcomed the award of an arbitrator in an Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 rent review in Derbyshire which concluded that the rent should remain at a standstill.

TFA Chief Executive George Dunn said “The significance of this award is that it relates to spring last year when we were still seeing strong increases in rents at review.  The TFA has been arguing for some time that if budgetary evidence was looked at in isolation, then the argument for rent reductions could be easily made.  However, we have been waiting for comparable rents to catch up with the budgetary evidence.  This award relating to a March 2014 review provides good news and clear evidence that we have reached the tipping point and that rent reductions should be the order of the day later this year and next year if the economic conditions remain as they are now.”

The specifics of the case remain confidential between the parties but it was a case which had the benefit of the TFA’s Farm Business Protector Commercial Legal Expenses Insurance.  The agent acting for the tenant farmer was TFA Recommended Professional, Philip Meade from Davis Meade Property Consultants in Oswestry.

“The landlord’s agent appears to have thrown everything at this rent review including arguments about scarcity, marriage value and latent value.  It was also the case that the landlord’s agent attempted to argue that rents payable on Farm Business Tenancies should be treated as comparable with rents on traditional tenancies let under the 1986 Act.  However, I’m very pleased that the arbitrator took a robust approach against all of the spurious arguments made by the landlord’s agent, particularly in relation to the inappropriate use of Farm Business Tenancy rents.  I hope that this sends a clear warning to all other agents of landlords seeking to use such arguments and encouragement to tenants facing similar quarrels in their rent reviews that they can stand up against them,” said Mr Dunn.

“If the current economic conditions prevail the stage is set for tenants to be able to use notices served by landlord’s agents from last year and earlier this year to argue for rent reductions this autumn and next spring,” said Mr Dunn.

“In cases where landlords have not served notices I would advise any Agricultural Holdings Act tenant with a rent review available to seek specific advice on whether or not they should be considering serving a notice for rent review on their landlord.  However, before doing so, to have the benefit of the TFA’s insurance, a policy must be taken out before notice is served,” said Mr Dunn.

end

Ref:  MR08

Date: 20 April 2015

Notes for Editors:

For further information contact George Dunn on 07721 998961 or TFA Communications and Events Co-ordinator Jenna Kirkpatrick on 0118 930 6130.

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