Property matters: agricultural restructuring and changing landlord-tenant relationships in England
Ilbery, B., Maye, D., Watts, D. and Holloway, L. (2010) Property matters: agricultural restructuring and changing landlord-tenant relationships in England. Geoforum, 41 (3). pp. 423-434. ISSN 0016-7185
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2009.11.009
Little research has been conducted on the restructuring activities of tenant farmers in response to changing tenancy legislation and recent CAP reforms. This paper examines the geography of farm tenancy agreements in England since 1995 and presents some findings from postal and telephone surveys on the possible future business trajectories of tenant farmers and the changing nature of landlord–tenant relationships. A clear north–south divide is identified in terms of farm tenancy agreements and a complex array of different tenancy agreements is demonstrated. The relationships between landlords and tenants are changing and the increasing variety of agreements provides evidence of a more fluid (post-feudal) system of agricultural leases. Nevertheless, high levels of uncertainty and negativity characterise tenant farmers’ views on the impacts of CAP reforms. Crucially, the very identity of a tenant farmer is changing, towards an owner-occupier who rents additional land, and there is an urgent need for more detailed research on the ‘consequential geographies’ of farm property rights and the changing nature of landlord–tenant relationships.
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