New tenancy agreements need to be carefully checked

Rent reviews from now on should take into account the new model clauses if relevant, as the rent is being set for three years (ie into the new regime). Although there is still some clarification needed, the 2015 clauses add new liabilities for fixed equipment that is commonly used and give more details about existing liabilities and their division between landlord and tenant. For example, the landlord’s list of obligations has had repair and replacement of electrical supply added, while the tenant has a maintenance obligation for slurry, silage and effluent systems, plus any fixed equipment generating heat or power.

There is provision for parties to consider the terms of their agreement where they differ from the Model Clauses and if necessary bring in a third party or arbitrator to determine those terms so that a rent adjustment can be made. Also consider whether or not the agreement allows for amendments to the model clauses. If the agreement just refers to the old model clauses without stating (for example) ‘as amended’ then the chances are that these new provisions will not apply.

The fact that these amendments only apply to England could also throw up some interesting issues for cross border farms, but hopefully the Welsh Government will clarify its position on this shortly and solve that particular issue.

We are advising tenants to check their tenancy agreements carefully before signing to ensure they are not agreeing to something they may not be responsible for and that any changes made are reflected in the rent.

For advice contact Davis Meade Property Consultants, tel: 01691 659658 or email philipmeade@dmpropertyconsultants.com

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