Rent reviews must reflect farming uncertainty

This year’s rent settlements must reflect the uncertainty that farming businesses face. That’s one of the main calls from the NFU, as the Michaelmas deadline (29 September) rapidly approaches.

“For tenants facing a rent review this year, there has rarely been a trickier time,” NFU deputy president Meurig Raymond said. “We are faced with annual agricultural input inflation above 35%, one of the worst harvests in recent memory and volatility across the board in terms of returns.”

Many businesses were also long overdue reinvestment, and on the occasions where a rent increase had been agreed, landlords should make some investment in the farm – something that had been lacking for several years, he said.

“We welcome the news from some landlords that they are deciding to leave rents alone this autumn following the service of rent review notices last year. This is the right long-term approach to secure a sustainable business for the future.”

Where reviews were still being carried out, the NFU urged farmers to make sure budgets were calculated correctly, all matters were accounted for and the appropriate advice had been sought. This could help avoid potentially costly mistakes, such as one landlord’s agent that inadvertently included a tenant’s improvement within the rent calculation.

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