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Minister proposes changes to Farm Tenancy legislation 4 May 2007

The Minister for the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry has recently released proposals for a significant reform of Agricultural Tenancy legislation, which has been warmly received by the farming sector.

The Minister commented “These proposals are intended to rejuvenate the agricultural tenancy market and provide land owners with the confidence they need in order for them to bring more land onto the rental market.” He added “this is a win win situation for both landlords, who will feel more able to let their land and tenants, who will see more land available to let.”

“This is an important step in providing the industry with the tools it needs in order to restructure over the next few years.”

The Minister explained “The changes will prevent landlords from inadvertently creating a long term tenancy when they only intended to allow short term occupancy. This is important because it is often the fear of allowing a tenant to claim a heritable tenancy which discourages land owners when considering letting their land.”

The Minister has re-assured current tenants in saying “However, this will not affect existing long term tenancies created under the 1969 Act and the tenants under such arrangements would not lose any of their rights.”

The Minister added “Once introduced, these changes would mean that any new agricultural tenancy created without a written agreement defining the term of tenancy, would be a short term tenancy only. This should provide land owners to plan their futures with the confidence that it is safe to let their land.”

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