LANDOWNERS HOPING to rent out their land can protect future entitlement to the single farm payment after action by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Mark Sanders, head of the RICS‘ agricultural tenancies monitoring group, said new clauses to the organisation‘s model tenancy agreements used for many FBTs should remove some of the uncertainty from new agreements that are entered into before the SFP has been allocated.

The number of new farm business tenancies being agreed has fallen, partly because of confusion as to who would be able to claim the SFP and landlords‘ fears that they will lose the payments to their tenants.

But, Mr Sanders said, under the new clauses both parties would agree at the outset to obtain the largest possible entitlement to SFP when it is allocated in 2005; to retain the largest possible entitlement for the tenant during continuation of the agreement and, after its termination, allocate all entitlements to the new occupier.