Landlords should exercise caution over farm rent increases

Posted by LindaStenner on September 15, 2017

Landlords should exercise caution over farm rent increases

September 15, 2017 at 4:19 PM

With farm-gate commodity prices remaining exposed to significant volatility and Brexit negotiations putting a damper on confidence, an increase in farm rents could be extremely difficult for tenants this year.

“Most farmers are facing challenging times and so a letter from their landlord seeking an increase in rent will have a much greater impact than usual,” said Sarah Wedge of Davis Meade Property Consultants at Oswestry.

“Although at the time of writing most farming sectors are seeing good farm-gate prices and milk prices are rising towards where they were before the crash, we are still in uncertain times.

“Most rent reviews can be every three years and three years from now will see us out of the European Union, with all the negotiations to take place before then,” Sarah said.

If as a tenant you receive a rent review notice, she said the key is not to panic: “There have been many cases over the last three years where rents have stayed the same following a rent review notice being served, as landlords have accepted it is not the time to increase rents but have served the notice to protect their position.

“There have even been instances where tenants have been able to turn the rent review into a rent reduction,” she said.

Parties will have at least a year to agree a rent after a rent review notice is served and it is dependent on the type of tenancy and the terms of that tenancy on how the rent is to be calculated.

“However, each review is case specific and so the key message at all times to tenant farmers, is to seek advice from their agent or a tenancy specialist before accepting a rent increase,” she added.

Sarah Wedge is based at the Oswestry Office of Davis Meade Property Consultants and can be contacted on 01691 659658, email sarahwedge@dmpropertyconsultants.com

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