Scots back changes to tenancies

Scotland’s tenant farmers have given their full backing to changes to Agricultural Holdings legislation that could see a secure tenancy passing from grandparent to grandchild.

Following a long campaign and several high-profile and toughly contested cases, both the Scottish Tenant Farmers Association (STFA) and NFU Scotland have welcomed the Scottish government’s consultation on Agriculture Holdings (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill.

It follows legislation enacted by the government earlier this year that omitted to include widening the class of beneficiary who may succeed to a tenancy.

STFA chairman Angus McCall said: “The bill should clarify that this change – allowing a grandchild to succeed a grandparent into a tenancy – should have immediate effect once the Bill has been passed.

“Thus any notices served to transfer a lease after the Bill comes into force will be effective, even though the tenant had died before the commencement of the new Act.”

The STFA is adament that this should not be the end of tenancy reform in Scotland.

Mr McCall added: “This short bill, making minor changes to the legislation, should not be seen as closing the door on tenancy reform, rather as a stepping stone on the path to bring tenancy law up to date. I am pleased that cabinet secretary Richard Lochhead has recently reiterated his resolve to address these issues and I hope the industry will accept the challenge, leading to a wider discussion as to the shape of the tenanted sector in years to come.”

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