Farm rent rise alert

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Tenant farmers are being warned against agreeing increases to their rent without seeking professional advice.

A NFU spokesman said: “Before agreeing to any increase in rent make sure you have a decent land agent working on your behalf.

“One farmer from the north west told me he’d been forced into accepting a 40 per cent increase in his rent.

“As a result he’s thinking of packing the job in as he cannot afford to make a profit or reinvest.

“I don’t think the increase would have been as large as it was had he been supported by an NFU panel surveyor.”

NFU North West regional director Robert Sheasby, said: “Farmers should remember that rents for traditional Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 tenancies are calculated very differently to Farm Business Tenancy rents, so don’t be confused by headline rent figures.

“Why not speak with a NFU panel surveyor before agreeing a rent review that not only may hurt your business but could also hurt your neighbouring tenants as well if it is used as a comparable.”

Details are available from the NFU’s regional office on 01695 554900.

A dedicated NFU Tenants Helpline, on 0870 300 0288, is NFU members’ first point of contact on tenancy issues.