On the basis you may well be short of time at this point in the farming calendar, here are four brief nuggets for you to digest from Julie Liddle, director at PFK Rural.

Have you read your tenancy agreement?

Mostly the answer is 'no' it has not been read for years, but it is one of the most disputed matters are what happens at the end of a tenancy, whereby there were perhaps a different set of actions to take in the final year.

This could be related to farming practices, and you could be dilapidated for not having acted accordingly, for example, putting a field of arable back to grass. These negotiations can take time to agree, so the more you understand what actions are needed, and when, the more likely it is you will reduce time and cost.

Sign in haste, repent at leisure

Have you read the repairing obligations in your tenancy? Did you know what they were when you signed up to your current Farm Business Tenancy (FBT)? There is always a repairing clause but often the obligation is to ‘put and keep’ the property in a good tenantable state of repair.

Were you aware of this? Did you factor in the expenditure when you tendered a rent? What actually does 'put and keep' mean (it means what it says on the tin, first put it into condition, then keep it that way).

But I had a Record of Condition taken at commencement of the tenancy, I hear you say. That’s all well and good but that does not save you from the obligation to repair. It simply records a starting point.

Another factor to consider is, how long is the tenancy, and how much work is there for you to do before the end of the period? This needs to refer back to the rent tendered and volume of work expected.

Do you have a partnership agreement?

Is it up to date regarding: The parties – they may have changed over the last two years let alone 20 years. Partnership assets – livestock, machinery etc, what has been added or replaced during the tenancy. Are those involved in full knowledge of what the agreement says? Newer members may not know, it may be a complete surprise to them.

Basically, an out of date partnership agreement is useless. It cannot be replied upon and a family fallout over who owns what and who said what is both painful and costly in this situation. It is far better to be proactive about it. A simple first action to take is to address this now and save much heartache when there is a death, marriage or change of assets. I am sure you will have heard it before but it is hugely more cost-effective to do this now while all parties are in a good working relationship.

Renewable energy schemes

What to do when a ‘short term exclusivity’ is being waved at you and what does it mean. The first thing to do is take advice. Signing something you do not understand, which is usually presented in terms of being '12 months to investigate the potential for solar, etc,’ often means you have signed to say that once the 12 months is up, you will then enter into an Option Agreement over your land with the renewable operator, if they so desire.

You are then limited in the sense of negotiating terms for an Option Agreement because you cannot threaten to remove yourself from the proceedings, as you have signed. The terms can be broadly tweaked but you will have to do a deal with them if they want it.