The Agricultural Landlord and Tenant Code of Practice

    The Agricultural Landlord and Tenant Code of Practice

    April 2024 saw the launch of the Agricultural Landlord and Tenant Code of Practice.  The Code provides guidance to agricultural landlord and tenants on the standards of behaviour expected of them and their professionals.  Those affected will be expected to adhere to the Code in their future communications and transactions.  The Code was drafted following the 2022 Rock Review which identified a deteriorating relationship between landlords and tenants in the agricultural sector.

    However, the Code has launched to mixed emotions. 

    It's intentions are good: it ‘exists to support landlords and tenants, and their professional advisers, to establish and maintain positive, productive and sustainable commercial relationships.  It aims to foster positive, productive landlord-tenant relationships, achieved through dialogue and a sense of fairness and proportionality’.

    The Code speaks of clear communication, mutual respect between landlord and tenant, positive constructive and flexible approaches to negotiations, timetables and realistic expectations. 

    The Code is intended to improve relationships and collaboration at all stages of the tenancy.  For example, when the terms of the tenancy agreement are under negotiation; when the landlord is conducting rent reviews and looking to agree new rent; negotiating variations of the existing lease; and dilapidations on the holding.

    However, the Code is voluntary.  That is to say that landlords and tenants have no obligation to comply with its provisions unless any tenancy agreement that is entered into, or varied in the future, adopts it as a contractual obligation.  Short of that, the Code can only be considered as best practice and there would be no implications for a failure to comply by either party to the landlord and tenant relationship.

    Time will tell whether new tenancy agreements do adopt the Code as a contractual obligation going forward, and if the Code does bring positive change to interactions between agricultural tenants and landlords. 

    View a copy of the Agricultural Landlord and Tenant Code of Practice for England here.

    How can we help?

    For assistance in dealing with the Agricultural Landlord and Tenant Code of Practice, or questions on any rural business matters, contact Helen Williams on or click below for our dedicated team. 


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