NFUS supports tenancies passed down family line and sold for a 35 year term

NFU Scotland has written to the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee this week to voice its support for legislation to be broadened to enable tenants in secure tenancies to pass the farm down the family line.

This week the Union also stated that any secure 91 act tenancies should be able to be converted to a Modern Limited Duration Tenancy (MLDT) with the ability to be sold on the open market for a 35 year term. The Union supports the Agricultural Holdings Legislation Review Group in this view.

The Union has extensively consulted with its membership throughout the Bill process.

NFU Scotland’s President Allan Bowie believes this would help achieve more land becoming available for rent, and that land being made available on a longer-term basis.

Recognising that whilst secure tenants are largely in favour of Scottish Government’s proposed amendment to s.79 of the Land Reform Bill the view taken reflects that contention over rent reviews, the practices of land agents, and uncertainty over achieving a fair reflection of investment during the waygo process are all being addressed by the Bill.

NFU Scotland President, Allan Bowie commented: “This Bill must strive to ensure that the right conditions exist to support long term letting and that confidence within the sector is restored to ensure that short term lets are no longer the default letting option. Whilst short term lets have their place, the current situation where they are the default option is something which is not beneficial for the industry.

“There is strong support within the industry for secure tenancies, and we recognise the contribution that these tenancies make to the fabric of Scottish agriculture.

“We have welcomed proposals in the Bill that will modernise the rules of succession and will enable tenants in secure tenancies to pass the farm down the family line.

“We agree with the Agricultural Holdings Legislation Review Group that in balancing the interests of maintaining the supply of tenanted land, all secure 91 act tenancies should be able to be converted to a Modern Limited Duration Tenancy with the ability to be sold on the open market for a 35-year term.

“This will provide the tenant with or without a successor the ability to realise a capital payment for their lease without turning landlord behaviour to be increasingly defensive.”

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