Move to create a code for landlord-tenant deals

Guidance aimed at ensuring the timely fulfilment of obligations by both landlords and tenants was yesterday launched jointly by the NFUS, Scottish Land and Estates (SLE) and the Scottish Tenant Farmers Association (STFA).

NFUS president Allan Bowie said the guidance was a 'welcome step forward'

The code, which is based on existing legislation, will create a framework for landlords and tenants to agree a planned approach to fulfilling their respective obligations and undertakings promptly and on a collaborative basis.

The three bodies said that while the framework agreed upon was based on a typical agricultural lease – where the landlord was responsible for replacing and renewing worn out assets, and the tenant was responsible for keeping assets in good order through effective maintenance and repair – it could readily be adapted for other legal arrangements.

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The guidance outlines a number of good practice principles that landlords and tenants are expected to adhere to, and recommends that a three-year planning cycle for fulfilling obligations allowing expectation to be tied in with rent reviews.

Welcoming the move, NFUS President Allan Bowie said: “This guidance is a welcome step forward. The productivity of Scottish agriculture depends on farmers having access to land and fixed equipment that are in optimal condition, and landlords or tenants who do not fulfil their obligations promptly risk undermining the success of our industry”.