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Originally The Model Clauses were the default provision for repairing obligations under the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986. If the tenancy agreement is silent on where the liability will fall then the Model Clauses filled that gap.
The 1973 provisions are now updated and we now have an overdue refresh of the provisions which now provide clarity on such things as slurry and silage systems and roof and wall insulation.
It is not just the 1986 Act tenancies that are affected; Farm Business Tenancies (FBT’s) also find themselves affected. Many FBT’s will adopt the Model Clauses as their base for repairing obligations and so by default will revert to the 2015 regulations. Where FBT’s fall silent on certain repairing obligations the 2015 regulations will now fill the gap and provide the default reference.
The 2015 regulations have also transferred liabilities from Landlord to Tenant and vice versa as well as adding addition obligations for both parties. This raises some concerns where one party has not met their repairing obligations for some years and now the responsibility has changed ownership. Where this is the case an assessment should be made of the situation as well as cost and then a decision can be made to pursue compensation.
There is a window given of one month for either party to refer the issue to arbitration for a claim of compensation. After this window there will be no opportunity for claims for compensation and both parties could find themselves with a costly repairing obligation.
If you would like to discuss your situation further please do contact Christopher Powell from the Woolley & Wallis Farm and Rural team in Marlborough for a confidential discussion on 01672515252.
Farm & Rural