Right-to-buy hits lettings

Tenants’ right to buy their farms in Scotland is affecting the attitude of large estates towards letting, according to Robin Maitland of Strutt & Parker.

Landowners are reluctant to let farms, he said in the firm’s annual Scottish Estates Review, because they are worried about whether the legal requirement for tenants to be offered first refusal when farms come on the market could become an absolute right.

“The tenant could demand to buy a farm whether or not the owner wants to sell,” he said. The Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003 has also placed a greater onus on landlords to provide fixed equipment such as grain driers and feed bins.