HL Deb 02 May 1995 vol 563 cc1348-9

1 Clause 1, page 1, line 27, leave out "before the grant of the tenancy" and insert "on or before the relevant day".

2 Page 2, line 2, after "the" insert "tenancy or".

3 Page 2, line 4, after second "the" insert "tenancy or".

4 Page 2, line 8, at end insert: ( ) In subsection (4) above 'the relevant day' means whichever is the earlier of the following—

  1. (a) the day on which the parties enter into any instrument creating the tenancy, other than an agreement to enter into a tenancy on a future date, or
  2. (b) the beginning of the tenancy.
( ) The written notice referred to in subsection (4) above must not be included in any instrument creating the tenancy.".

Earl Howe

My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 1 to 4 en bloc.

On Report and at Third Reading, the noble Lord, Lord Gallacher, drew the attention of the House to a possible trap. As the Bill was drafted, any tenancy granted before 1st September would have been subject to the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986, That would be the case even if the tenancy did not begin until on or after 1st September and the parties had intended it to be a farm business tenancy. The noble Lord tabled an amendment to Clause 36 which I could not accept, but I undertook to consider the issues which he had raised. He could hardly have anticipated the number of amendments which were needed to address his point!

The first group of amendments relates to Clause 1 and will assist parties wishing to comply with the notice conditions. Under the Bill as drafted notices had to be exchanged before the tenancy was granted. An oral agreement to enter into a farm business tenancy might be held to be a contract of tenancy, in which case the tenancy would have been granted when this initial agreement was entered into. It would already he too late to exchange notices.

The amendment allows notices to be exchanged at any time on or before the day on which the lease, that is the instrument creating the tenancy, is signed. Where there is no written tenancy, notices must be exchanged before the beginning of the tenancy. I commend the amendments to the House.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 1 to 4 en bloc.—(Earl Howe.)

Lord Carter

My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for explaining this matter. We warned him that that point might arise. We are glad that the Minister has explained that it is the date of signing the lease which is important rather than the date at the beginning of the tenancy.

On Question, Motion agreed to.