Agricultural Holdings Act 1986

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1986 c. 5


Agricultural Holdings Act1986

1986 CHAPTER 5

An Act to consolidate certain enactments relating to agricultural holdings, with amendments to give effect to recommendations of the Law Commission.

[18th March 1986]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I Introductory

Part I

Introductory

S-1 Principal definitions.

1 Principal definitions.

(1) In this Act ‘agricultural holding’ means the aggregate of the land (whether agricultural land or not) comprised in a contract of tenancy which is a contract for an agricultural tenancy, not being a contract under which the land is let to the tenant during his continuance in any office, appointment or employment held under the landlord.

(2) For the purposes of this section, a contract of tenancy relating to any land is a contract for an agricultural tenancy if, having regard to—

(a ) the terms of the tenancy,

(b ) the actual or contemplated use of the land at the time of the conclusion of the contract and subsequently, and

(c ) any other relevant circumstances,

the whole of the land comprised in the contract, subject to such exceptions only as do not substantially affect the character of the tenancy, is let for use as agricultural land.

(3) A change in user of the land concerned subsequent to the conclusion of a contract of tenancy which involves any breach of the terms of the tenancy shall be disregarded for the purpose of determining whether a contract which was not originally a contract for an agricultural tenancy has subsequently become one unless it is effected with the landlord's permission, consent or acquiescence.

(4) In this Act ‘agricultural land’ means—

(a ) land used for agriculture which is so used for the purposes of a trade or business, and

(b ) any other land which, by virtue of a designation under section 109(1) of the Agriculture Act 1947 , is agricultural land within the meaning of that Act.

(5) In this Act ‘contract of tenancy’ means a letting of land, or agreement for letting land, for a term of years or from year to year; and for the purposes of this definition a letting of land, or an agreement for letting land, which, by virtue of subsection (6) of section 149 of the Law of Property Act 1925 , takes effect as such a letting of land or agreement for letting land as is mentioned in that subsection shall be deemed to be a letting of land or, as the case may be, an agreement for letting land, for a term of years.

S-2 Restriction on letting agricultural land for less than from year to year.

2 Restriction on letting agricultural land for less than from year to year.

(1) An agreement to which this section applies shall take effect, with the necessary modifications, as if it were an agreement for the letting of land for a tenancy from year to year unless the agreement was approved by the Minister before it was entered into.

(2) Subject to subsection (3) below, this section applies to an agreement under which—

(a ) any land is let to a person for use as agricultural land for an interest less than a tenancy from year to year, or

(b ) a person is granted a licence to occupy land for use as agricultural land,

if the circumstances are such that if his interest were a tenancy from year to year he would in respect of that land be the tenant of an agricultural holding.

(3) This section does not apply to an agreement for the letting of land, or the granting of a licence to occupy land—

(a ) made (whether or not it expressly so provides) in contemplation of the use of the land only for grazing or mowing (or both) during some specified period of the year, or

(b ) by a person whose interest in the land is less than a tenancy from year to year and has not taken effect as such a tenancy by virtue of this section.

(4) Any dispute arising as to the operation of this section in relation to any agreement shall be determined by arbitration under this Act.

S-3 Tenancies for two years or more to continue from year to year unless terminated by notice.

3 Tenancies for two years or more to continue from year to year unless terminated by notice.

(1) Subject to section 5 below, a tenancy of an agricultural holding for a term of two years or more shall, instead of terminating on the term date, continue (as from that date) as a tenancy from year to year, but otherwise on the terms of the original tenancy so far as applicable, unless—

(a ) not less than one year nor more than two years before the term date a written notice has been given by either party to the other of his intention to terminate the tenancy, or

(b ) section 4 below applies.

(2) A notice given under subsection (1) above shall be deemed, for the purposes of this Act, to be a notice to quit.

(3) This section does not apply to a tenancy which, by virtue of subsection (6) of section 149 of the Law of Property Act 1925 , takes effect as such a term of years as is mentioned in that subsection.

(4) In this section ‘term date’, in relation to a tenancy granted for a term of years, means the date fixed for the expiry of that term.

S-4 Death of tenant before term date.

4 Death of tenant before term date.

(1) This section applies where—

(a ) a tenancy such as is mentioned in subsection (1) of section 3 above is granted on or after 12th September 1984 to any person or persons,

(b ) the person, or the survivor of the persons, dies before the term date, and

(c ) no notice effective to terminate the tenancy on the term date has been given under that subsection.

(2) Where this section applies, the tenancy, instead of continuing as mentioned in section 3(1) above—

(a ) shall, if the death is one year or more before the term date, terminate on that date, or

(b ) shall, if the death is at any other time, continue (as from the term date) for a further period of twelve months, but otherwise on the terms of the tenancy so far as applicable, and shall accordingly terminate on the first anniversary of the term date.

(3) For the purposes of the provisions of this Act with respect to compensation any tenancy terminating in accordance with this section shall be deemed to terminate by reason of a notice to quit given by the landlord of the holding.

(4) In this section ‘term date’ has the same meaning as in section 3 above.

S-5 Restriction on agreements excluding effect of section 3.

5 Restriction on agreements excluding effect of section 3.

(1) Except as provided in this section, section 3 above shall have effect notwithstanding any agreement to the contrary.

(2) Where before the grant of a tenancy of an agricultural holding for a term of not less than two, and not more than five, years—

(a ) the persons who will be the landlord and the tenant in relation to the tenancy agree that section 3 above shall not apply to the tenancy, and

(b ) those persons make a joint application in writing to the Minister for his approval of that agreement, and

(c ) the Minister notifies them of his approval.

section 3 shall not apply to the tenancy if it satisfies the requirements of subsection (3) below.

(3) A tenancy satisfies the requirements of this subsection if the contract of tenancy is in writing and it, or a statement endorsed upon it, indicates (in whatever terms) that section 3 does not apply to the tenancy.

II Provisions Affecting Tenancy During its Continuance

Part II

Provisions Affecting Tenancy During its Continuance

Written tenancy agreements

Written tenancy agreements

S-6 Right to written tenancy agreement.

6 Right to written tenancy agreement.

(1) Where in respect of a tenancy of an agricultural holding—

(a ) there is not in force an agreement in writing embodying all the terms of the tenancy (including any model clauses incorporated in the contract of tenancy by virtue of section 7 below), or

(b ) such an agreement in writing is in force but the terms of the tenancy do not make provision for one or more of the matters specified in Schedule 1 to this Act,

the landlord or tenant of the holding may, if he has requested the other to enter into an agreement in writing embodying all the terms of the tenancy and containing provision for all of the said matters but no such agreement has been concluded, refer the terms of the tenancy to arbitration under this Act.

(2) On any such reference the arbitrator in his award—

(a ) shall specify the existing terms of the tenancy, subject to any variations agreed between the landlord and the tenant,

(b ) in so far as those terms as so varied neither make provision for, nor make provision inconsistent with, the matters specified in Schedule 1 to this Act, shall make provision for all of the said matters having such effect as may be agreed between the landlord and the tenant or, in default of agreement, as appears to the arbitrator to be reasonable and just between them, and

(c ) may include any further provisions relating to the tenancy which may be agreed between the landlord and the tenant.

(3) Where it appears to the arbitrator on a reference under this section that, by reason of any provision which he is required to include in his award, it is equitable that the rent of the holding should be varied, he may vary the rent accordingly.

(4) The award of an arbitrator under this section shall have effect as if the terms and provisions specified and made in the award were contained in an agreement in writing entered into by the landlord...

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