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Your rights if you inherited your 1991 Act tenancy

If you inherited a 1991 Act tenancy from a relative, your rights may be different, so you will need to take this into account if your landlord sends you a notice to quit. This page explains your rights.

The law concerning your rights if you inherited your tenancy is complicated. If you're threatened with eviction, talk to a solicitor who specialises in agricultural law. They will be able to help you work out your rights and possibly delay or prevent the eviction.

How do I know what my rights are?

Before the lease term ends

If your landlord wants to evict you before the date on your lease expires, you'll have the same rights as a tenant who didn't inherit their agricultural tenancy.

At the end of the lease or after the lease term ends

After the lease term has expired, your rights will depend on:

  • when you inherited the tenancy, and
  • who you inherited the tenancy from, and whether they were a near relative (that is, your husband, wife, civil partner, child or adopted child).

I inherited the tenancy before 1 August 1958 and am not a near relative of the deceased tenant

In this case, you'll have the same rights as a 1991 Act tenant who didn't inherit the tenancy - read the page on eviction at the end of your agricultural lease to find out what your rights are.

I inherited the tenancy after 1 August 1958 but am not a near relative of the deceased tenant

If you are in this situation, you won't have many rights. If the landlord sends you a valid notice to quit, you won't be able to apply to the Land Court to stay on in the tenancy and you'll probably have to leave. Talk to a solicitor if you're in this situation - they may be able to help you negotiate with your landlord.

I inherited a lease granted before 1 January 1984 and am a near relative of the deceased tenant

In this case, your rights will be similar to a tenant who didn't inherit their tenancy, as outlined in the page on eviction at the end of your agricultural lease. This means that if your landlord sends you a notice to quit, you can send them a counter notice asserting your right to stay on, provided they aren't using a Section 22 ground:

  • Your landlord will then need to apply to the Land Court to have the tenancy terminated. In order to do so, however, your landlord must have stated one of the following grounds on the notice to quit, and the Land Court must be satisfied that the ground(s) apply: you don't have enough training in agriculture or experience in farming to run the holding efficiently.
  • The holding is not a two-man unit (that is, it doesn't provide employment for two or more people) and the landlord wants to amalgamate (meaning to combine with another holding to form a bigger one) it with another holding.
  • You are already the occupier of a separate two-man unit.

Even if one or more of these grounds applies, the Land Court may decide not to end the tenancy if it doesn't seem fair or reasonable to do so.

I inherited a lease granted after 1 January 1984 and am a near relative of the deceased tenant

Again, your rights will be similar to a tenant who didn't inherit their tenancy. This means that if your landlord sends you a notice to quit, you can send them a counter notice asserting your right to stay on, provided they aren't using a Section 22 ground.

Your landlord will then need to apply to the Land Court to have the tenancy terminated. In order to do so, however, your landlord must have stated one of the following grounds on the notice to quit, and the Land Court must be satisfied that the ground(s) apply:

  • You don't have enough training in agriculture or experience in farming to run the holding efficiently - although this ground won't apply if you have started an agricultural training course which you're expected to finish in the next four years, and you can arrange for the holding to be farmed satisfactorily in the meantime.
  • You don't have sufficient financial resources to farm the holding efficiently.
  • The holding is not a two-man unit (that is, it doesn't provide employment for two or more people) and the landlord wants to amalgamate it with another holding.
  • You already occupy or control or are a partner in a company which occupies a separate two-man unit.

It's up to you to prove to the Land Court that these cases don't apply to you, not for your landlord to prove that they do. However, if your landlord is evicting you on either of the last two grounds (because the holding is not a two-man unit, or you already occupy or control another two-man unit), the Land Court can decide not to end your tenancy if they believe it would be unfair or unreasonable to do so.

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The important points

  • If you inherited your 1991 Act tenancy your rights are different when the agreement comes to an end, compared to a tenant who did not inherit their tenancy.
  • After the agreement has expired, your rights depend on when you inherited the tenancy and who you inherited the tenancy from.

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