Tenants are victims of aggressive tactics, TFA claims

There is a 'creeping deterioration' in relationships between farmers and their landlords, the Tenant Farmers Association (TFA) has warned.

George Dunn, chief executive of the Tenant Farmers Association.

Strained relationships are being fuelled by “overly aggressive” landlord’s agents and short termism, chief executive George Dunn claimed.

Farm rent reviews are said to be particular points of conflict with Mr Dunn blaming landlords’ agents for undermining longstanding principles for the way in which rents are to be reviewed and seeking to drive rents to unsustainable levels.

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“We have regular reports of situations where the tactics being employed by agents of landlords are below the standards expected of professionals and are causing unnecessary distress and worry to farm tenants,” Mr Dunn said.

“Arbitrators need to take a strong line against these practices to ensure they are stamped out. It is completely unreasonable to expect a tenant to survive on 10 per cent or less of the financial return from farming the holding which is what we regularly see argued and is certainly not supported by the legislation.”

Mr Dunn also urged landlords’ agents to think more creatively about how they could assist tenants in retirement.

He said: “With a large and growing demand for opportunities for new entrants, the TFA believes there is scope to encourage some older tenant farmers without successors to consider share farming as a way to ease them into retirement and to bring on the next generation.

“However, most farm tenancy agreements would preclude such arrangements and an approach to the landlord’s agent for consent is more likely than not to be turned down,”