20 Feb 2013

Why does a Duke worth £320m want to double the rents of his farmers?

He is the aristocratic owner of the castle featured in Harry Potter. And although his fortune is said to be around £320million, it seems the Duke of Northumberland wants more. Ralph Percy, 56, has been accused of wrecking the livelihoods of tenant farmers after his land agents demanded massive rent increases. Some have been asked to pay up to 98 per cent more or face eviction.

duke percy

The Duke, whose son George was last year rumoured to be dating Pippa Middleton, owns some 132,000 acres of land. His 1,000-year-old castle at Alnwick, which featured as Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films, is known as the Windsor of the North. But despite his wealth, it emerged yesterday that the Duke’s Estate is conducting a crippling round of rent reviews on its farmers in Northumberland. There is no legal limit to the rent  the land agents can ask for, and tenants are unlikely to challenge them because this can end up costing them even more. 

Mail Online