Launch of tenancy code of conduct working group delayed

The launch of a working group set up to prepare a draft code of conduct for landlords, tenants and agents has been delayed by at least two months.

The group, established as part of the government’s response to the Rock Review of the tenant farming sector in England, was supposed to meet for the first time on 19 July, with work on the code facilitated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

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But following an internal RICS disagreement which led to the mass resignation of the entire standards and regulation board, Defra has taken the decision to bring the work back in house.

The Farm Tenancy Forum (FTF), which was also set up in response to the Rock Review, will now take on responsibility for drawing up a draft code.

A first meeting on the issue not expected to take place until at least September.

Tenant Farmers Association chief executive George Dunn said: “The code of practice is a central piece of work.

“It should set the tone for how land agents, in particular, should be operating to facilitate positive change within the landlord/tenant environment and inform future policy, regulation, statute, arbitration and tribunal hearings.

“Ultimately, the TFA’s position is that such a code of practice should sit within the office of a new Tenant Farming Commissioner, for which the FTF has been charged by Defra to carry out a call for evidence.”

The FTF held its first meeting on Wednesday 19 July, at which members were addressed by farming minister Mark Spencer and the chair of the Rock Review, Baroness Kate Rock.

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