15th Jul


TFA Media Release No. 11 – National Trust Farm and Housing Tenants Share Joint Concerns

National Trust Farm and Housing Tenants Share Joint Concerns

The Tenant Farmers Association has joined with the Tenants Association of the National Trust, which represents the residential tenants of the National Trust, to express their joint concerns about the management of the National Trust’s let estate.

In a joint letter to the National Trust’s Chief Executive, Dame Helen Ghosh, the two organisations highlighted their desire to see the National Trust work in partnership with its tenants to achieve its objectives for conservation – something which is sadly lacking in many cases at the moment.

TFA Chief Executive George Dunn said, “Too often we experience situations where the National Trust treats its tenants merely as rent cheques rather than true partners in achieving the conservation goals of the charity”.

TANT Chairman Andrew Turner-Cross said, “As probably the largest conservation charity in this country and possibly Europe, it is sad that the National Trust’s management of its let estate falls so short of setting the example we would all expect”.

  • The National Trust must work in partnership with its tenants with each treating the other as equally important.
  • Together the National Trust and its tenants need to develop a better understanding of each side’s concerns, issues and aspirations.
  • The National Trust needs the in-house knowledge and expertise dedicated to engaging with its tenants.
  • The National Trust needs to recognise the level of conservation expertise that exists with many of its tenants.
  • Many National Trust managers lack the necessary expertise to make sensible property management decisions rendering the application of the “going local” strategy for management at best patchy and at worst inadequate.
  • The National Trust has allowed a considerable back log of repairs to build up on its let estate and needs to put in place a funded plan for dealing with the backlog and thereafter ensure an efficient programme of planned preventative maintenance.
  • There are too many National Trust, residential properties remaining empty into the long term and some for a very considerable length of time.  These void periods deprives the National Trust of vital income and potential tenants of homes.
  • Rent reviews should fully reflect the “triple bottom line” approach espoused by the National Trust which balances financial, environmental and social outcomes.

“We both want to see positive, productive and purposeful relationships develop between the National Trust and its tenants based on mutual trust, respect and understanding.  To do that we need to get some of the fundamentals right including ensuring the right personnel is in place with the right training and sufficient budgets to manage the let estate of the National Trust effectively,” said Mr Dunn and Mr Turner-Cross.


Ref:  MR11

Date: 15 July 2014

Notes for Editors:

For further information contact George Dunn on 07721 998961 or Jenna Kirkpatrick TFA Communications and Events Co-ordinator on 0118 930 6130 or the TANT helpline on 0845 224 2986.

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