News & EventsWho? What? Where? Why? Read all about it here!

Get the Latest

Latest

Comment on Tenant Farmers’ Right to Buy

Agriculture specialist comments on the ‘right to buy’ farmers issue raised by Rob Gibson MSP last week.

Colin Clark,

a partner at Pagan Osborne and accredited specialist in agricultural law, writes:

“There has been a sharp exchange of letters recently which illustrate the landlord-tenant divide and once again raising the very fraught and difficult question of tenant farmers having an absolute right to buy the farms which they lease. Crofters already have rights such as this, however the possibility of tenant farmers having a similar right is highly controversial.

“This is an issue which Scottish Ministers seemed to have ruled out and landlords had hoped was no longer on the agenda, but as far as the debate is concerned it appears to have been put firmly back on the agenda following comments made by SNP MSP Rob Gibson last week.

“Many organisations including the Tenant Farming Foru) have done extremely valuable work in building up the trust and confidence between landlords and tenants. Trust in a long term relationship is essential particularly in traditional agricultural leases which may last for several generations.

“There is little doubt that the fear of an absolute right to buy is a major concern to landlords and does nothing to encourage them to consider letting more land which is a major objective of this Government. Anything which undermines trust between parties undoes much of the hard work that has gone into building relationships between them.

“The renewed threat of an absolute right to buy will have a significant effect on the letting market. Few if any landlords will be prepared to let land if there is a possibility of being forced to sell when they do not wish to do so.

“It is in everyone’s interest to have a healthy tenanted sector but all the feedback from landlords shows that introducing an absolute right to buy is not the way to do it. There is a mechanism in place already which gives tenants a chance to buy their farm although it only applies if the land is put up for sale by the landlord but many tenants have bought in these circumstances.

“It is recognised that tenant farmers play an extremely important role in Scottish agriculture. With land values being high at the moment leasing land is the only realistic chance a new entrant has to farm on their own account short of winning the lottery so every effort should go into encouraging owners to make more land available for let.

“Unfortunately, resurrecting the spectre of an absolute right to buy is likely to have the opposite effect.”

GET IN TOUCH


Not sure where to start? Why not just give us a call today on
0131 624 6820 for Edinburgh or 01334 475001 for Fife to discuss your needs.

All fields marked with * are needed

GET IN TOUCH

Want to work with a local, friendly company? Then find your nearest Pagan Osborne office to you below. However, we also work with clients throughout the UK so you can call any of our numbers and our helpful reception staff will be happy to forward on your call to the most appropriate expert to suit your needs.

Edinburgh
Clarendon House
116 George Street
Edinburgh
EH2 4LH Call Us
Tel: 0131 624 6820
Fax: 0131 220 1612
2 Comiston Road
Morningside
Edinburgh
EH10 5QE Call Us
Tel: 0131 539 3333
Fax: 0131 538 7204
St Andrews
106 South Street
St Andrews
Fife
KY16 9QD Call Us
Tel: 01334 475001
Fax: 01334 476322
Cupar
12 St Catherine Street
Cupar
Fife
KY15 4HH Call Us
Tel: 01334 653777
Fax: 01334 655063
1 Crossgate
Cupar
Fife
KY15 5HA Call Us
Tel: 01334 656525
Fax: 01334 654119
Anstruther
Pagan Osborne
5a Shore Street
Anstruther
Fife
KY10 3EA Call Us
Tel: 01333 310703
Fax: 01333 311918

CALL BACK SERVICE

Got a question? Fill in your details below and we'll give you
a call back on the date and time you have chosen.