Valuations could cause problems for land reform plans

Valuing vacant holdings could prove problematic
Valuing vacant holdings could prove problematic
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A warning that considerable clarification and greater detail will be required to make the Scottish Government’s proposals for farm tenancy assignation a workable proposition was issued this week.

Steering well clear of political machinations which the proposed amendments to the land reform bill had precipitated, the Scottish Agricultural Arbiters and Valuers Association (SAAVA) warned that a number of practical difficulties were also likely to arise.

Under the proposal, a valuer would be appointed to put a price on how much a landlord would be expected to pay to exercise “first refusal” right to recover vacant possession of a holding being vacated under these circumstances.

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The valuation would be based on the tenant’s share of the vacant possession premium and the value of the tenant’s improvements but SAAVA president James Dick said that certain facts were required before this could be calculated. “To do this a valuer would need to know what there is to be valued and the state of the holding. Therefore, it is essential that an agreed written lease and record of both tenants’ improvements and dilapidations be supplied at the beginning the valuation process,” said Dick.

However with many tenancies operating without a formal lease – and hardly any of those that did having a full written record – he said it would be almost impossible for a full and fair valuation to be carried out.