UK: Tenant Farmers Assocaition warning over ‘draconian’ clauses in new tenants agreements because of CAP reform

The Tenant Farmers Association (TFA) has warned that land agents and solicitors acting for landlords are seeking to insert “draconian” clauses in new tenancy agreements covering the expected outcome from the next Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform.

TFA chief executive George Dunn said “Given the uncertainty surrounding the ultimate shape of the new CAP package, in drawing up new tenancy agreements, landlords’ representatives are attempting to cover all possible bases. Part of the problem is that in trying to second-guess what the new CAP regime will look like the agreements being produced are highly complex, impregnable and extremely difficult to understand. However, they often end in the same place, with the landlord having ultimate control of the potential CAP benefits,” said Mr Dunn.

The TFA is advising all tenants of the need to take advice when signing up to any new agreement including memoranda recording routine changes to tenancies such as levels of rent.

“The landlord’s return for letting land to the tenant is the rent. There is no justification for the landlord to be taking control of the arrangements forming part of the CAP for supporting farmers. Tenancy agreements need not be so complicated if this simple rule of thumb is followed. Sadly the TFA fears that we will see more agreements containing inappropriate clauses in the coming months and therefore the TFA will be arguing for sufficient powers within the CAP implementing regulations to unpick unfair agreements,” said Mr Dunn.