Agricultural tenancy law
An agricultural tenancy is an agreement whereby the lessor gives immovable property (a farmstead or separate land) or a part thereof in use to an agricultural lessee for the operation of agriculture, in exchange for consideration (often a financial amount). This is therefore actually a special form of tenancy law
. For an agricultural tenancy to exist, commercial operation of agriculture must take place. This is a complicated and specialist branch of law substantively as well as procedurally. Although in principle everyone can take care of their personal interests, it is advisable to have legal assistance. If the procedural rules are not properly followed, there can be serious consequences. This is because the person who uses a parcel could suddenly be confronted with a long-term tenancy relationship, or an agricultural lessee could lose his or her claims to the tenanted land.
‘Tenancy law' in hotel and catering establishments
Every agreement which fulfils the aforesaid description is an agricultural tenancy agreement. It therefore makes no difference if the agreement is called something else, such as a user agreement or lease; legally it remains an agricultural tenancy agreement. This also works in reverse: an agreement can be called an agricultural tenancy agreement, but if it does not fulfil the conditions an agricultural tenancy cannot come into effect. In practice the term 'agricultural tenancy' is also used in case of hotel and catering establishments. However, this is a misunderstanding; in most cases this concerns tenancy law.
The agricultural tenancy agreement
The most usual forms are regular agricultural tenancy, deregulated agricultural tenancy for separate land and seasonal lease. The regular agreement can be entered into for a farmstead, agricultural dwellings, separate agricultural commercial buildings or separate land. The statutory duration is twelve years for a farmstead. For separate land and separate buildings this is six years. After the expiry of this period the agreement is automatically extended by a period of six years, unless the agreement is terminated. The agreement can last for a longer or shorter period subject to conditions. It is not possible to enter into an agreement for an indefinite period. The price must fulfil the requirements of the Agricultural Rents Decree. The legislation has many provisions for the protection of the agricultural lessee.
Deregulated agricultural tenancy is a more flexible form than the regular type. There is less recorded in the law, but this form is only possible in case of tenancy of separate land and if the duration is less or more than six years.
Separate land can also be let through a seasonal lease for one or two year harvests for which crop rotation is necessary. This agreement can be entered into for a duration not exceeding one or two years. In this case a right actually arises to grow crops on the land for a period of one or two years and most protection provisions do not apply.
Agricultural tenancy law is a good example of how an agricultural land user can be confronted with very complicated and comprehensive legislation. The regulations are complex due to many changes in the law, mandatory statutory provisions and the variety of forms of contract. Complex cases such as extension proceedings, notice of termination and substitution usually have far-reaching consequences.
The property specialists of AK Advocaten possess a wealth of knowledge regarding this material and can assist you with the drawing up of such agreements as well as the termination of the agricultural tenancy and any other legal problems which could arise during a long-term tenancy relationship. Our lawyers possess comprehensive experience of proceedings in this field and can properly assess the procedural law aspects of a case for you.
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