New guidance has been published, aimed at ensuring that the deliberate late or non-payment of farm rent by tenants can be dealt with firmly – while at the same time ensuring support where there are genuine mitigating circumstances.
Drawn up with by industry bodies representing agricultural landlords and tenants from across Scotland, the guidance is based on existing legislation, and creates a framework for judging individual cases in a fair manner.
It emphasises the responsibility that falls on all tenants to budget and avoid getting into arrears, but it also underlines an expectation that landlords and their agents will take all reasonable steps to ensure that tenants fully understand the potential consequences of late payment – and have access to support when this is needed, rather than exploiting the situation to their advantage.
The move adds to several other joint guidance notes issued by the NFU Scotland, Scottish Land & Estates and the Scottish Tenant Farmers Association.
NFUS president Allan Bowie said: “There is no excuse for the deliberate late payment of rent by tenants, but equally there should be no place in 21st century Scotland for landlords who seek to evict tenants unless as a measure of last resort.”
Bowie said he welcomed the emphasis on ensuring that tenants had access to support when they need it – adding that it was right that tenants should expect to be treated with understanding and sympathy while they resolved short term difficulties.