Agricultural Holdings Act 1986

The Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 (1986 Act) applies to any agreement in respect of the occupation and possession of an agricultural holding (as defined by the Act) entered into before 1 September 1995. Subject to limited exceptions, any tenancy entered into on or after 1 September 1995 will be a farm business tenancy governed by the Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995 (1995 Act).

Despite the change in regime on 1 September 1995, in limited circumstances, the 1986 Act will continue to provide protection to some agricultural tenants in accordance with the exceptions contained in section 4 of the 1995 Act.  

The statutory scheme under the 1986 Act is relatively prescriptive and confers significant security of tenure on tenants. This is a significant contrast to the 1995 Act, which places a heavy emphasis on freedom of contract.

This section is maintained by Josie Edwards and Vivienne Williams of Michelmores LLP.

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