Agricultural Holdings (Notices to Quit) Act 1977

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1977 c. 12


Agricultural Holdings(Notices to Quit) Act 1977

1977 CHAPTER 12

An Act to consolidate sections 23 to 33 of the Agricultural Holdings Act 1948 and certain other enactments relating to notices to quit agricultural holdings in England and Wales and related notices.

[30th March 1977]

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:—

Notices to quit whole or part of agricultural holding

Notices to quit whole or part of agricultural holding

S-1 Length of notice to quit ordinarily needed to end tenancy of agricultural holding.

1 Length of notice to quit ordinarily needed to end tenancy of agricultural holding.

(1) A notice to quit an agricultural holding or part of an agricultural holding shall (notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in the contract of tenancy of the holding) be invalid if it purports to terminate the tenancy before the expiration of 12 months from the end of the then current year of tenancy.

(2) Subsection (1) above shall not apply—

(a ) where a receiving order in bankruptcy is made against the tenant;

(b ) to a notice given in pursuance of a provision in the contract of tenancy authorising the resumption of possession of the holding or some part thereof for some specified purpose other than the use of the land for agriculture;

(c ) to a notice given by a tenant to a sub-tenant;

(d ) where the tenancy subsists under an agreement entered into before 25th March 1947—

(i) to a notice given by or on behalf of the Secretary of State under the provisions of any agreement of tenancy, where possession of the land is required for naval, military or air force purposes; or

(ii) to a notice given by a corporation carrying on a railway, dock, canal, water or other undertaking in respect of land acquired by the corporation for the purposes of their undertaking or by a government department or local authority, where possession of the land is required by the corporation, government department or authority for the purpose (not being the use of the land for agriculture) for which it was acquired by the corporation, department or authority or appropriated under any statutory provision;

(e ) where the tenancy is one which, by virtue of subsection (6) of section 149 of the Law of Property Act 1925 , has taken effect as such a term of years as is mentioned in that subsection.

(3) In the application of subsection (2)(d )(ii) above to a Board, the reference to land acquired by the corporation for the purposes of their undertaking shall be construed as including a reference to land transferred to that Board by section 31 of the Transport Act 1962 or, in the case of the London Transport Executive, by section 16 of the Transport (London) Act 1969 , being land—

(a ) acquired, for the purpose of an undertaking vested in the British Transport Commission by Part II of the Transport Act 1947 , by the body carrying on that undertaking; or

(b ) acquired by a body carrying on an undertaking vested in any such undertaking as is mentioned in paragraph (a ) above by virtue of an amalgamation or absorption scheme under the Railways Act 1921 , being a scheme that came into operation on or after 7th July 1923,

and the reference to the purpose for which the land was acquired or appropriated by the corporation shall be construed accordingly.

In this subsection ‘a Board’ means any of the following namely the British Railways Board, the British Transport Docks Board, the British Waterways Board and the London Transport Executive.

(4) Where, by virtue of an Act (whether public general or local) passed, or an instrument having effect under an Act made, after 7th July 1923 and before 30th July 1948, any right of a corporation carrying on a water undertaking or of a local authority to avail itself of the benefit conferred by section 25(2)(b ) of the Agricultural Holdings Act 1923 was transferred to some other person, that other person shall have the like right to avail himself of the benefit conferred by subsection (2)(d )(ii) above as the corporation or authority would have had if the Act or instrument by virtue of which the transfer was effected had not been passed or made.

S-2 Restriction on operation of notices to quit agricultural holdings.

2 Restriction on operation of notices to quit agricultural holdings.

(1) Where—

(a ) notice to quit an agricultural holding or part of an agricultural holding is given to the tenant thereof; and

(b ) not later than one month from the giving of the notice to quit the tenant serves on the landlord a counter-notice in writing requiring that this subsection shall apply to the notice to quit,

then, subject to subsection (2) below, the notice to quit shall not have effect unless the Tribunal consent to its operation.

(2) Subsection (1) above shall not apply in any of the Cases set out in subsection (3) below.

(3) Those Cases are—

Case A—the Tribunal have consented under this section to the operation of the notice to quit before the giving of it, and that fact is stated in the notice.

Case B—the notice to quit is given on the ground that the land is required for a use, other than for agriculture—

(a ) for which permission has been granted on an application made under the enactments relating to town and country planning; or

(b ) for which, otherwise than by virtue of any provision of those enactments, such permission is not required,

and that fact is stated in the notice.

Case C—on an application under subsection (4) below made to the Tribunal not more than six months before the giving of the notice to quit, the Tribunal—

(a ) were satisfied in relation to the holding that the tenant was not fulfilling his responsibilities to farm in accordance with the rules of good husbandry; and

(b ) certified that they were so satisfied,

and that fact is stated in the notice.

Case D—at the date of the giving of the notice to quit the tenant had failed to comply with a notice in writing served on him by the landlord, being either—

(a ) a notice requiring him within two months from the service of the notice to pay any rent due in respect of the agricultural holding to which the notice to quit relates; or

(b ) a notice requiring him within a reasonable period specified in the notice to remedy any breach by the tenant that was capable of being remedied of any term or condition of his tenancy which was not inconsistent with the fulfilment of his responsibilities to farm in accordance with the rules of good husbandry,

and it is stated in the notice to quit that it is given by reason of the matter aforesaid.

For the purposes of this Case—

(i) a notice such as is mentioned in paragraph (b ) above must be in the prescribed form;

(ii) where such a notice in the prescribed form requires the doing of any work of repair, maintenance or replacement, any further notice requiring the doing of any such work which is served on the tenant less than twelve months after the earlier notice shall be disregarded, unless the earlier notice was withdrawn with his agreement in writing; and

(iii) a period of less than six months shall not be treated as a reasonable period within which to do any such work.

Case E—at the date of the giving of the notice to quit the interest of the landlord in the agricultural holding to which the notice relates had been materially prejudiced by the commission by the tenant of a breach, which was not capable of being remedied, of any term or condition of the tenancy that was not inconsistent with the fulfilment by the tenant of his responsibilities to farm in accordance with the rules of good husbandry, and it is stated in the notice that it is given by reason of the matter aforesaid.

Case F—at the date of the giving of the notice to quit the tenant was a person who had become bankrupt or compounded with his creditors, and it is stated in the notice that it is given by reason of the matter aforesaid.

Case G—there had died within three months before the date of the giving of the notice to quit a person who immediately before his death was the sole (or sole surviving) tenant under the contract of tenancy, and it is stated in the notice that it is given by reason of the matter aforesaid.

For the purposes of this Case ‘tenant’ does not include an executor, administrator, committee of the estate, trustee in bankruptcy or other person deriving title from a tenant by operation of law.

Case H—the notice to quit is given by the appropriate Minister and—

(a ) the appropriate Minister certifies in writing that the notice to quit is given in order to enable him to use or dispose of the land for the purpose of effecting any amalgamation (within the meaning of section 26(1) of the Agriculture Act 1967 ) or the reshaping of any agricultural unit; and

(b ) the instrument under which the tenancy was granted contains an acknowledgement signed by the tenant that the tenancy is subject to the provisions of this Case (or to those of section 29 of the Agriculture Act 1967).

In this Case ‘the appropriate Minister’ means, in relation to England, the Minister and, in relation to Wales, the Secretary of State.

(4) For the purposes of Case C the landlord of an agricultural holding may apply to the Tribunal for a certificate that the tenant is not fulfilling his responsibilities to farm in accordance with the rules of good husbandry; and the Tribunal, if satisfied that the tenant is not fulfilling his said responsibilities, shall grant such a certificate.

(5) Where—

(a ) the landlord is a smallholdings authority; or

(b ) the landlord is the Minister and the holding is on land held by him for the purposes of smallholdings,

then, in considering whether the interest of the landlord has been...

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