The New Model Clauses for England come into force on 1st October 2015 which alter the liability for the maintenance, repair, replacement and insurance of fixed equipment between landlord and tenant where tenancies are governed by the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986.

The Model Clauses apply to all agricultural tenancies governed by the AHA, save for those that contain an agreement which makes contrary provision on the allocation of responsibility between a landlord and tenant for fixed equipment. With advances in the equipment being used, the 1973 regulations were simply out of date.

The main changes to the Model Clauses are:

  • New repair obligations on tenants including equipment generating heat or power and maintenance obligations on slurry, silage and effluent systems.
  • Increased liability for some landlord’s general repair and replacement obligations such as the electrical supply system.
  • Additions to the items where the landlord may be able to recover one half of the costs from the tenant.
  • Changes to the instances where a tenant can carry out the repairs for which a landlord is responsible and the procedure for recovering the cost.
  • The 2015 Model Clauses no longer impose liability on the tenant to keep field drains and their outlets clear from obstruction.

Model Clauses and Farm Business Tenancies

 The Model Clauses do not apply to FBT’s unless an agreement specifically invokes the Model Clauses for repairing obligations.

Reclaiming liabilities

Where a liability has been transferred between landlord and tenant, the party acquiring the liability has the opportunity to make a claim against the other where there has been a failure to meet the liability. Any claims must be made within the month of October 2015 in order to refer a claim to arbitration.

Please note this is not an exhaustive list of the changes to the 2015 Model Clauses. If you require additional assistance as to whether your repairing obligations are affected by the changes or wish to make a claim, please get in touch and we would be more than happy to help.