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Tenant farmers urged to take on greedy landlords

18 February 1998
Tenant farmers urged to take on greedy landlords

TENANT farmers have been urged to use the negotiating skills of land agents when taking on greedy landlords “hell-bent” on pushing up rents this year.

“If anything, rents should be coming down, not going up, in light of the current problems in agriculture,” Tenant Farmers Association chief executive George Dunn said at the associations AGM today.

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Tenant farmers urged to take on greedy landlords

18 February 1998
Tenant farmers urged to take on greedy landlords

By Boyd Champness

TENANT farmers have been urged to use the negotiating skills of land agents when taking on greedy landlords “hell-bent” on pushing up rents this year.

Tenant Farmers Association chief executive George Dunn said rents for many tenant farmers were up for review on Lady Day, 25 March. He said many landlords were asking for unrealistic rent increases of 10-15% despite the crisis in the countryside.

“If anything, rents should be coming down, not going up, in light of the current problems in agriculture. Im getting about four or five phone calls a day from people all over the country screaming at me about how much landlords want to increase their rents this year,” he said.

Mr Dunn told tenant farmers not to “kow-tow” to landlords, saying that landlords were frightened of arbitration because of the costs involved. He urged tenant farmers to use one of the associations 50 top agents if their situation got ugly.

“A lot of tenant farmers are worried about using agents because they feel that it might sour the relationship between them and the landlord. But they need to be reminded that the landlord will invariably use an agent to put his case forward,” he said.

Mr Dunn said it has been proven time and time again that those tenant farmers who use agents end up securing better rent deals than those who go it alone – and this more than covers the cost of an agent.

The TFA is holding its AGM in London today.

Apart from attacking greedy landlords in his AGM address, TFA chairman Reg Haydon also criticised supermarkets and the Government. He said the Governments response to the crisis gripping the countryside had been “disappointing”.

Mr Haydon said the power of supermarkets, who claim to speak on the behalf of consumers, has increased remarkably in recent years. He said supermarkets have rightfully demanded better regulations and food safety standards following the BSE crisis.

But he said the farming sector has been asked to pay for these new regulations and farm assurance schemes while farm incomes continue to decline.

“It is my view that consumers have never had it so good both on price and safety of the food they eat,” he said.

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