Coronavirus: Landlords urged to 'give respite' to tenant farmers

Landlords have been urged to 'act reasonably' amid the spread of the coronavirus
Landlords have been urged to 'act reasonably' amid the spread of the coronavirus

Rural landlords have been urged to 'give respite' to tenant farmers who are experiencing difficulties as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Tenant Farmers Association (TFA) said there will be those who farm land they do not own who will be impacted by control measures put in place.

TFA National Chairman, Mark Coulman, said “A significant number of farming families rely on income earned off the holding, either through employment or self-employment which, in many cases, will have dried up.

"Others who are involved in food service supply chains may find themselves in difficulty. Their processors and purchasers may struggle to find retail outlets for the farm produce they handle.”

All landlords should act reasonably in offering rent abatements or deferrals where needed, the group urged.

They have also been called to halt current disputes, including all rent reviews and in providing flexibility when tenancies are beginning or ending.

“It’s absolutely critical that all parties, however acrimonious relationships may have been, pull together on this one to reduce anxiety, poor mental health and to ensure there’s an economically viable industry," Mr Coulman said.

"Landlords must not use this to forget the challenges the winter has presented to farmers, and the medium-term impact this will have.

"It’s likely to never have been more important to have a thriving tenanted sector producing food and caring for the environment,” he added.

Landlords have also been urged by the TFA to 'see sense' and put off rent reviews into next year.