Tenant farmers call for urgent action over succession

STFA chairman Christopher Nicholson. Picture: Contributed
STFA chairman Christopher Nicholson. Picture: Contributed
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Tenant farmers are calling for changes to the agricultural holdings legislation included in the recently passed land reform act to be brought into force as soon as possible.

Christopher Nicholson, chairman of the Scottish Tenant Farmers Association (STFA), said although many areas still needed to see secondary legislation finalised, some of the changes could be implemented immediately.

Urging the new cabinet secretary for rural economy, Fergus Ewing, to move swiftly, Nicholson said that new legislation on succession and assignation – and the appointment of a Tenant Farming Commissioner – could be up and running almost immediately.

READ MORE: STFA hits out at rise in rents for tenant farmers

He said there was a danger that some tenants could narrowly miss out on being able to transfer their tenancies to a chosen relative if this part of the act was delayed.

He said: “STFA is aware of several tenants in this position where a delay of weeks, or even days could mean the difference between a family retaining or losing a tenancy.”

Nicholson also said that while he appreciated the need to get the fine details right: “Rent reviews remain one of the most contentious areas of dispute between landlords and their tenants.

“The longer the delay in the new rent test becoming available the greater the chance of land agents trying to pre-empt change by using the current system to hike up rents.”