Agricultural tenancies

Land ownership in England and Wales is now predominantly held as freehold tenure which may also be subject to tenancies.

Agricultural leases and interests are governed by a specific specialised legal framework.

The two key pieces of legislation are the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 (AHA 1986) and the Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995 (ATA 1995).

It is important for your legal adviser to understand the differences between the legislation and legal interests to ascertain whether you have or need an agricultural holdings act tenancy, a farm business tenancy (FBT), land management agreement or a grazing or cropping licence.

Some of these leases are more secure than others and some grant permanent rights to a tenant to remain on the land.

It is important to understand that there are also other ways to farm land such as contract farming arrangements or share farming arrangements. These may suit your needs better than a tenancy as more control is retained along with capital tax benefits, but more input is required.

We advise upon succession rights, surrenders of agricultural leases, profit a prendre and short-term leases and can ensure that you get the correct tenancy advice.

If you would like any further information or to discuss any rural related matter, please contact Tom Wills, head of the agriculture & estates department at Sintons.