Succession to Agricultural Holdings Act Tenancies

The succession rights to agricultural tenancies are complex and depend on the date the tenancy was granted.

If the original tenancy was granted pre 12th July 1984 and the qualifying conditions are met then the original tenant could be followed by two successors i.e. giving a potential of 3 generations living on the farm.

Agricultural Holdings Act Tenancies granted pre 12th July 1984 to 31st August 1995 give extensive rights to the tenant during his or her lifetime but do not carry succession rights unless the tenancy in question was itself a succession tenancy or it was expressly agreed that succession rights would apply.

New tenancies after 1st September 1996 are Farm Business Tenancies, there are no statutory rights to succession.

There are not many solicitors left with extensive experience of the pre 1st September 1995 tenancies with succession rights and many cases are now concerned with succession to the 3rd and last successor.

There are many considerations to take into account when planning for the future such as:

  • Structuring the family’s financial affairs and landholdings to maximize the opportunity for a successful succession application.
  • Staying in possession with much more limited rights under a new Farm Business Tenancy.
  • Attempting to purchase the farm.
  • Leaving early with a compensation package to allow purchase or renting of another farm.

Rodney Blezard and James Bell have between them over 60 years of experience helping landlords to obtain vacant possession of tenanted land and helping tenants either stay in possession of leave with a compensation package.

James Bell’s own grandfather spent his life upgrading his business through ever bigger tenanted farms but in the early 1940’s there was no security of tenure – the family knew they would be moved on and so their exit plan was to buy a farm for each of the five sons ahead of the inevitable.

There is always a solution and we can help you and your family find it.

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