The National Trust today hit back at claims in a BBC news item claiming ‘significant’ dissatisfaction amongst the Trust’s 6,500 farm and residential tenants.
In the report, the independent Tenants Association of the National Trust claimed there were a ‘significant’ and ‘growing’ number of dissatisfied tenants.
However, a recent survey showed that 7 out of 10 of our tenants would recommend the Trust as a landlord to their friends and family.
Patrick Begg from the National Trust said: “The vast majority of our tenants are perfectly happy with the Trust. We always aim to be professional and fair in the way we work with our 6,500 tenants and, whilst we’re not always perfect, we have good relations with the vast majority of them.
“The reason that we rent properties is to raise money to look after the special places enjoyed by tens of millions of people every year. We raise more than £40 million this way each year and it’s ploughed straight back into our conservation work, including the upkeep of our rented property.
“As you would expect from a responsible landlord, we are sensitive to the needs of our tenants and the communities in which they live. When you’re dealing with the places where people live, it’s understandable that our tenants may not always agree with the decisions we take, but we always do this in a fair and professional manner.”
Whilst the average length of tenancies in the Trust is just under 10 years, both of the case studies featured in the BBC report relate to short term tenancy agreements.
The Deans were given a rent holiday in lieu of planned and agreed work on Orchard Farmhouse, but carried out additional work without our knowledge. We’ve agreed that we’ll talk to them about compensating them for some of this additional work when their second six month tenancy comes to an end in December.
Following his 12 month grazing license at Burbage moor, Mr Priestley took part in an open and competitive process for finding the best proposal for the long term Farm Business Tenancy: one that delivered the most for conservation and public access. On this occasion, another local farmer was successful.
Huw Davies, a tenant farmer on the Dolaucothi estate in Carmarthenshire, said: “We have a good relationship with the Trust – as do all of the tenants on the Dolaucothi Estate.
“Of course there are sometimes tensions around the commercial arrangements, for example, when it comes to rent review time which is all normal business practice, but otherwise we have no issues at all.
“We are very fortunate to have the Trust as our Landlords and have a very healthy relationship.”
Vicki Smith, residential tenant and chair of the local parish council in West Wycombe village, said: “I’ve always found them very good to talk to; always ready to listen to what you have to say. I’ve always found them really good.”
To discover more about what Vicki and some of the National Trust’s other tenants have to say, take a look at the video below.