Examination of Witnesses

Part of Agriculture Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:13 pm on 11th February 2020.

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Judicaelle Hammond:

What I have said before about schedule 3 stands. We do not particularly like the commercial unit test removal; we think that it is actually well worth having and it should be strengthened. Why would individuals who are already successfully farming elsewhere have the privilege of reduced rent? It does not seem fair and it does not make sense. Apart from that, my significant concern is with the arbitration proposal for dispute resolution on landlord’s consent.

There are a number of things that the CLA welcomes in there, for example provisions relating to landlord investments, which we think will provide protection for both the landlord and tenant, and the removal of the minimum retirement age of 65 and also the widening of the pool of potential arbitrators. We are not opposed to the whole of schedule 3, but we certainly have significant concern with what is in there at the moment. We certainly would not favour any extension to the AHA tenancies, which we regard in this day and age, and given the flexibility that the market requires, as an outdated system, which certainly should not be prolonged.