6 June 2001
Scots agree new deal for tenants

By Shelley Wright, Scotland correspondent

AFTER months of wrangling, Scotlands farmers and landowners have finally agreed the basis for new tenancy agreements.

Two types of Limited Duration Tenancies are proposed: short-term lettings of up to five years; and longer, whole-farm lets with a minimum term of 15 years.

John Kinnaird, vice-president of the National Farmers Union Scotland, said: “The significance of this agreement should not be underestimated.

“This issue has polarised opinions for far too long.”

Scottish rural affairs minister Ross Finnie told NFU Scotland and the Scottish Landowners Federation (SLF) to reach agreement on new tenancy rules last year.

At long last, the proposals will now be submitted to Mr Finnie.

The union originally wanted new tenancy agreements to be a minimum of 15 years, while the landowners starting point was a maximum of five years.

Robert Balfour, convener of the SLF, said the new tenancies offered a structured system that provided legal certainty to both landowners and tenants.

“We believe that this important agreement does so and the onus is now on the minister to reflect this in the proposed new legislation,” said Mr Balfour.

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