Tenant Farming Forum Presents Rent Review Working Group Conclusions

Issued by NFU Scotland on behalf of the Tenant Farming Forum

The Tenant Farming Forum (TFF) today (Monday, 10 December) presented the report ‘Review of Agricultural Rent Review Procedures in Scotland’ commissioned from the Rent Review Working Group (RRWG).

Henry Graham, RRWG Chairman, presented the Group’s findings and recommendations, and Phil Thomas, TFF Chairman outlined the RRWG’s report in the wider context of the route-map TFF is following to consider all aspects of the Scottish farm tenanted sector.   

In August 2012, the Tenant Farming Forum (TFF) established the RRWG to examine how the rent review process works in practice and identify what, if any, changes or improvements need to be made to rent reviews.

Phil Thomas, TFF Chairman said:
“The TFF greatly appreciates the intensive review undertaken by the RRWG over the past few months. They have undertaken a huge amount of work in a short period and have provided an insightful and very helpful report. The TFF will now consider the details of the report in the context of its overall programme of work and will seek to address the specific issues that have been raised.”

Henry Graham, RRWG Chairman thanked the very many organisations and individuals who provided evidence and information to the RRWG. He said:

“My colleagues and I received a wide range of contributions which were very helpful in allowing us to consider the detail of the rent review process and develop our recommendations. We look forward to these providing the foundation for the next steps of development in the rent review process.”  


  • Phil Thomas can be contacted on

Rent Review Working Group

  • The members of the RRWG were Henry Graham (chairman), Ian Duncan Millar, John Ross and John Mitchell.
  • The Group asked for responses to the following questions:
    • Section 13 of the 1991 Act contains the legal framework for a rent review, what do you consider to be its main strengths and weaknesses, both in principle and practice?
    • Rent reviews of 1991 Act tenancies presently take different factors into account.  How do you consider 1991 Act rent reviews are presently conducted in Scotland and will the Court of Session findings in the Moonzie Farm case materially alter present procedures?
    • Where a landlord and tenant are unable to agree a revised rent themselves, how best should that dispute be resolved?
    • By comparing and contrasting Section 13 of the 1991 Act with alternative rent review provisions (including the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986) what changes would provide material differences in the outcome.

Tenant Farming Forum

  • The Tenant Farming Forum’s statement of purpose is: “The primary purpose of the Tenant Farming Forum is to help to promote a healthy farm tenanted sector in Scotland.”
  • It aims to fulfil this purpose by:
  1. Providing a discussion forum among those representing groups/organisations with a direct involvement in the sector, and who are committed to consensus building through fair and equitable discussion and representation;
  2. Contributing to an understanding of the significance, and the practical implications of implementing current legislation, (for example, at this time, the Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003), and any future proposed legislation governing the sector;
  3. Identifying specifically, and raising awareness of issues that may inhibit or act as impediments to achieving effective relationships within the sector;
  4. Formulating views and opinions as to how effective relationships and ‘best practice’ can be developed and secured;
  5. Consulting and liasing with government departments, agencies and other bodies about matters that may directly affect relationships within the sector; and
  6. Having a vision as to how the future well being of the sector can be assured in the context of proposed changes in European and UK agricultural and environmental policies, and their implications for the rural economy; and continually reviewing the implications for the sector of new initiatives, for example, such as contract farming, and rural planning developments.

Defining ‘a healthy farm tenanted sector’

  • In relation to the statement of purpose a ‘healthy farm tenanted sector’ is defined as meaning:
    • One in which it is possible for prospective tenants to gain access to productive agricultural land for lease;
    • One in which there is mobility allowing for new entrants and retirements;
    • One in which there is a mutual understanding, respect and agreement as between tenant and landowner as to aims and objectives regarding the subjects of let;
    • One in which there is a ‘minimum’ of uncertainty as to the future security of each party’s interests;
    • One that secures sustainable outcomes for both tenant and landowner as well as for the land, buildings and the environment that they ‘hold in trust’.


Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Date Published:

News Article No.: 145/12

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