Changes ahead for tenants repairs and maintenance obligations

by Eifion Bibby of Davis meade Property Consultants

The Welsh government is to review the statutory repair and maintenance obligations of landlords

and tenants in agricultural tenancies.
These Model Clauses for repairs and maintenance of fixed equipment to agricultural tenancy agreements under the Agricultural holdings Act (ACA) 1986 have already been updated in england and the Welsh Government has now started this process for Wales, although the new Welsh Model clauses

will not quite be identical to those in england. The review is welcomed because it will give much clearer guidelines for agricultural tenants and landlords as to their liabilities and responsibilities throughout the tenancy agreements and hopefully enable a fairer outcome for tenants in terms of any settlements when their tenancy comes to an end (where the agreement allows amendments to the current regime). It should also ease the current confusion for farmers with cross

border tenancies, to a degree.
A lot has changed in farming since the existing model clauses were

established in 1978 and the new regulations will update, modernise and allow for additional items such as fitted kitchens, electrical systems and renewable energy fixtures to be covered

For fitted kitchens, for example, the Wales AhA Model clauses state the tenant should repair and the landlord replace.
Other items include:
Electrical systems – the repair and replacements of electrical circuits and equipment would be the landlord’s responsibility

Livestock handling systems – tenant to repair, landlord to replaceElectricity generating equipment – tenant to repair, landlord to replace The new regulations are expected to come into force by the end of

the year.
For existing tenancies a point to consider is whether or not the

tenancy agreement allows for amendments to the model clauses. If the agreement just refers to the old model clauses without stating (for example) “as amended” then the chances are that any new provisions will not apply.

We are advising clients to scrutinise their tenancy agreements carefully and check that they are not taking responsibility when not applicable.
Eifion Bibby is based at the Colwyn Bay office of Davis Meade Property Consultants on 01492 510360 email:

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