2014-03-26  

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Call to Those Who Rent Out Land to Engage in Survey

NFU Scotland is urging all land owners who rent or lease out land on any basis to engage in the Scottish Government’s survey of the sector.

Surveys asking about experiences and views on letting out land in Scotland are being sent over the next week to about 3,000 farm businesses that the Scottish Government knows rent out land. The Scottish Government is also asking agents to contact clients who are land owners to let them know about the survey.

Farm Imagges

photo © farm-images.co.uk

Responses will feed into the Ministerial-led Agricultural Holdings Legislation review, announced by the Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead last year. Members of the expert group to carry out the review were announced in November 2013. The review is considering many issues related to the tenanted sector, including an absolute right to buy for traditional secure 1991 agricultural tenancies. The survey of tenant farmers has already been concluded.

The surveys have been developed in conjunction with the Scottish stakeholder group, the Tenant Farming Forum, of which NFU Scotland is a member.

In 2013, NFU Scotland held two seminars which saw a wide range of stakeholders map out a vision for how land tenure in Scotland might look come 2020. The Union is also currently meeting tenant and landlord members at meetings round Scotland to help inform its forthcoming submission to the review group.

NFU Scotland President Nigel Miller, who is chairing the current round of meetings, said:

“It is hugely important to Scottish agriculture that we have a tenanted sector that works for existing tenants and landlords, while also ensuring that there are opportunities for new and expanding businesses to rent land. It is important that those who let out land on a permanent basis, a fixed term tenancy or seasonal basis feed in their views to this survey.

“The remit of the review group is to examine if we have the appropriate legislation to deliver a tenanted sector that’s fit for purpose or if changes are required to improve existing tenancy agreements, such as changes to the rent review process and waygo. At the end of the process, we need a legislative framework that encourages the owners of land to rent while providing security to the tenant, allowing them to invest in their farms.

“The recent successful survey of Scottish tenant farmers was the first piece in the review process jigsaw and now it is the turn of those who let out land. Their participation will ensure any future decisions by the review group are balanced and based on the most accurate data available.”

NFUS

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