The Tenant Farmers Association (TFA) has joined forces with Davis Meade Property Consultants to warn farm tenants to look carefully at all clauses within new Farm Business Tenancy Agreements to avoid being tied to unreasonable or costly commitments.
The TFA said It has become the usual practice for landlords’ agents to use “lazy and dangerous” standardised agreements when drawing up new farm business tenancies, rather than putting together agreements which best fit the circumstances of the relationship envisaged between the landlord and tenant.
The TFA said it often finds cases where tenants are surprised by the impact of certain clauses within their tenancy agreements once they have signed them when it is too late to change it. One such clause it identified is the ability for a landlord to recover legal costs from a tenant for merely contemplating bringing an action against the tenant.
The TFA also advise how “vital” it is that tenants seek advice about the terms of their agreements before they are signed.
TFA chief executive, George Dunn, said: “The use of standard agreements by landlords’ agents is both lazy and dangerous. Any additional cost incurred at the beginning of an agreement to ensure that it is drafted on a bespoke basis for the circumstances of each case would be dwarfed by the potential expenses incurred in trying to unpick matters at a later stage when it was found that the agreement was not fit for purpose.”