Tenants have been given an assurance that their landlords cannot apply to Defra’s Lump Sum Exit Scheme, after reports that some new tenancy agreements have included clauses prohibiting uptake of the scheme.
The Tenant Farmers’ Association (TFA) brought the issue to the attention of Defra after some tenants raised concerns.
In a statement to the TFA, Defra said that when agricultural land is subject to a tenancy agreement, the landlord cannot apply to the scheme if they are not the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) recipient.
“Defra have confirmed that if a tenant applies to the Lump Sum Exit Scheme and meets the rules of that scheme, a lump-sum payment will be paid to the tenant,’’ said the TFA.
“The lump-sum payment will be calculated as set out in the scheme guidance.
“A landlord cannot apply to the Lump Sum Exit Scheme in place of the tenant as only the tenant would be the eligible applicant in this scenario.’’
The TFA strongly recommends that all tenancy agreements are checked before signing.
The scheme, which closes on 30 September and will not reopen next year, aims to incentivise more farmers to retire completely from farming to free up land, via sale, lease, transfer or gift to the next generation, or to new entrants.