NFU welcomes new Landlord-Tenant Code of Practice

Tenants and land
Farm house

The launch of the Agricultural Landlord and Tenant Code of Practice is “a really good start” says NFU Deputy President, following years of NFU campaigning.

The new code has been published today and follows a key recommendation from the Rock Review which gave more than 70 recommendations covering landlord-tenant relationships, as well as changes to legislation and tax arrangements.

Among the conclusions of the Rock Review was the emphasis on creating a resilient agricultural tenanted sector for the future, and balancing the rights of tenants and landlords.

Created by an expert working group consisting of stakeholder representatives including the NFU, the code is designed to foster and encourage clarity, communication, and collaboration in the tenanted sector.

It provides guidance on the standards of behaviour expected from landlords and tenants as well as those providing professional advice in connection with agricultural tenancy matters.

A standard that works for everyone

NFU Deputy President David Exwood, who represents the NFU on the Farm Tenancy Forum, said: “A code of practice to help foster fairness, communication and good practice between landlords, tenants and agents is a really good start. It is something that we have been campaigning on for several years and will address poor conduct, whilst highlighting good practice.

“With 60% of NFU farm businesses being tenants, it was really important that tenant farmers’ views were well represented in the development of the code to help produce a standard that works for everyone.

“I encourage all tenants, landlords and their professional advisers to embrace the code and its key principles of clarity, communication and collaboration.”

NFU members were invited to comment on the new code prior to its endorsement by the Farm Tenancy Forum.

Chair of the Farm Tenancy Forum Julian Sayers also encouraged those party to the granting of agricultural tenancy agreements and negotiations to embrace the code for “the good of the let sector as a whole”.

Rock review actions continue progress

Defra Secretary Steve Barclay said the code would “ensure the tenanted sector continues to thrive by promoting positive relationships between tenants and landlords”.

He said over a third of the commitments from the Rock Review have been completed, with “actions underway to deliver on most other areas”.

NFU Deputy President David Exwood said agricultural tenants and tenanted land “play a vital role in delivering this government’s food production and environmental ambitions, and in growing our rural economies”.

“We now need to see further recommendations from the Rock Review taken forward, including the creation of a Tenant Farming Commissioner who in a defined role could take up non-compliance with the new code,” he added.

NFU members, join our Tenants and land community to comment

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