Dairy Farmers Concerned over Rent Increases

UK - The British National Farmers Union is concerned at the requests from some landlord agents for significant rent increases at a time when returns from farming are in decline.
calendar icon 9 September 2009
clock icon 2 minute read
National Farmers Union

In particular the NFU has received calls from concerned dairy farmers whose landlords are looking for significant rent increases at a time when the milk price is falling and costs of production are rising.

It remains a concern that landlords’ budgets prepared ahead of the review are found wanting in their accuracy, and the continuing desire to see assured shorthold tenancy rents used when referring to the value of farmhouses to the tenancy is, by and large, irrelevant given the nature of the terms of most tenancy agreements.

NFU Deputy President Meurig Raymond said: “Landlords need to remember that in order for tenants to maintain the farm in good working order it is imperative that a fair rent is settled.

“At a time when the milk price is falling, input costs are rising and, for many dairy farmers there is the issue of NVZs to be dealt with, now seems a far from appropriate time to be pushing for large rent increases.

“For dairy farmers with concerns about potential rent increases, compounded by the need to invest in additional slurry storage, the NFU has published a joint guidance note on this issue. I would urge dairy farmers to obtain a copy from NFU CallFirst and, if appropriate, discuss this with their landlord.”

“It is my view, when considering rents generally, that the gate has long since closed on increases. There was a brief period at the end of 2007 when prices were high and inputs had yet to gain but that is a long time ago. The current volatility in the cereals sector, together with the recent decline in crop prices with inputs remaining firm, does little to suggest there is much scope for an increase.”

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