Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Reference to Arbitration of Refusal or Failure to Give Consent or of Condition Attached to Consent.

Part of Orders of the Day — Agricultural Tenancies Bill [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 5:30 pm on 19th April 1995.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Michael Jack Michael Jack , Fylde 5:30 pm, 19th April 1995

I thank the hon. Members for North Cornwall (Mr. Tyler) and for Clwyd, South-West (Mr. Jones) and my hon. Friends the Members for Cirencester and Tewkesbury (Mr. Clifton-Brown) and for Stroud (Mr. Knapman) for their warm support for the amendment. My hon. Friends the Members for Cirencester and Tewkesbury and for Stroud spoke with knowledge in Committee and they reflected a genuine anxiety about those matters, as did other hon. Members.

Although the hon. Member for Clwyd, South-West and others pressed for what has become the amendment before the House this afternoon, we had given careful thought to some of the issues that tenant right tackled. I would say, almost as a precautionary note to anyone reading our proceedings, that all the issues that can be covered by the amendment could also have been covered by prior agreement between landlord and tenant. As a result of that discussion, the anxiety was expressed that people who might be used to older practices, or who did not necessarily take those matters into account as a result of difficulties in the landlord-tenant relationship or shoddy drafting of an agreement, might not cover those matters in their preliminary exchanges. That is very much the fail-safe long-stop mechanism that exists for that type of routine improvements.

The hon. Member for Clwyd, South-West perhaps went a little further than the definitions that I had placed on record. I would say to him that the routine improvements are a question of the differentials in valuations. He also asked me about repairs. Repairs would normally be covered by a separate part of the agreement between landlord and tenant, and I would expect that, as part of their discussions, issues of emergency matters would be discussed as a preliminary to their discussions about the way in which they wish to run the holdings, because the issue of dilapidations is also covered separately.

Those questions were largely about agricultural issues and I believe that they were motivated very much by an anxiety about what happened to the crop that might be left in the ground at the end of the tenancy. I hope that I have satisfied the hon. Member for Clwyd, South-West about that matter.

My hon. Friend the Member for Stroud rightly mentioned the RICS guidelines. I apologise to him for the fact that I had not been able to convey to him a message that the RICS would be delighted if he were to call upon it and discuss the progress that it is making with those guidelines. I gather that work is well advanced, and that it hopes that the documentation will be available, certainly in the early summer.

The RICS is wise to be cautious and careful in what it is doing, because that document will be a pivotal one, ensuring that good advice is available to people drawing up farm business tenancies. I told my hon. Friend the Member for Stroud also that there would be further sources of advice, but if he cares to take up that offer I shall be happy to act as an intermediary.

Following the warm words of hon. Members, I thank them for their co-operation on that matter.