The Tenant Farmers Association (TFA) and the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) have issued a joint statement, with support from Defra, appealing to all rural landlords and tenants to work together collaboratively and compassionately during this unprecedented time.
The plea urges both parties against trying to take advantage of the current situation, asking them to consider the impact of their actions on the other and avoid taking a hard line on any issue.
CLA President Mark Bridgeman said: “We know that landowners value their relationships with tenants deeply, and we are working with CLA members to underline the importance of working closely with tenants who are experiencing difficulties due to Coronavirus. We have advised landlords to discuss with farming tenants any problems they are facing so that a mutual solution can be found, and we make sure farming businesses can carry on as well as possible in these difficult circumstances.
“We also suggest that, as far as possible, current disputes are put on hold and that formal proceedings for any non-payment of rent are used only as a matter of extreme last resort.”
TFA national chairman Mark Coulman [pictured]said “It is inevitable that some tenants will struggle to meet rent payments or other tenancy obligations due to cashflow difficulties or other knock on impacts of the coronavirus situation. In these circumstances we are urging landlords and tenants to work together to agree alternative arrangements. We are already hearing of positive examples of landlords and tenants working together during this trying time.
“As always, communication will be vital and we would encourage dialogue between landlords and tenants, so that practical solutions can be found for any ongoing issues or any that arise during this challenging period. TFA and CLA members should contact their respective organisations for any further guidance needed,”