Farm rent price truth hidden by figures

Farmers should not be expecting big rent increases this year, despite what some surveys suggest, says the Tenant Farmers Association (TFA) .

It has warned that big rents settled in autumn 2012, before the bad weather had set in, were skewing figures and suggesting rents had risen by more than was actually the case.

When the weather failed to improve going into 2013 many landlords agreed lower rent increases, said TFA chief executive George Dunn (pictured).

TFA figures showed all types of rents that were reviewed during the year to the end of April rose 19% on average, compared with Smiths Gore’s 22%.

During the same period Smiths Gore found Farm Business Tenancy rents reviewed had increased by 35%, while the TFA said they had increased by just 25%.

For Agricultural Holdings Act tenancies, rents reviewed had increased by 17% according to TFA figures, but 22% according to Smiths Gore.

However the TFA figures put arable rents above those in the Smiths Gore survey, but the rest were lower, with dairy rents showing the slowest growth.

“While on average rents are increasing, landlords need to be careful not to grab at these percentage increases and headline average rents,” said Mr Dunn.

Rents were still rising, he added, but not by record amounts, and much slower than in 2012.

Scrutinise rent increase figures, TFA warns farmers

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