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Union Supports AG Holdings Bill Proposals

NFU Scotland has given its backing to changes to Agricultural Holdings legislation that could see a secure tenancy passing from grandparent to grandchild.

Responding to the Scottish Government’s consultation on Agriculture Holdings (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill, NFUS has warmly welcomed extending the definition of “near relative” in the Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 1991 to include grandchildren.

On more technical elements of the consultation, the Union is also supporting amendments to the rent review provisions in the Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003 that prohibit the inclusion of rent review clauses in Limited Duration Tenancies (LDTs) that provide for ‘upward only’ or ‘landlord only’ initiated reviews.  It is also helpful that clarification on how changes in tax, including VAT, affect rental status is to be included in the Bill.

NFU Scotland Vice President, Allan Bowie said:

“As a member of the Tenant Farming Forum (TFF), we warmly welcomed The Public Services Reform (Agricultural Holdings) (Scotland) Order 2011, now enacted, but was disappointed that two elements of the total package for change as sought by the Forum were not included.   The omissions included widening the class of beneficiary who may succeed to a tenancy to include a grandchild, and amending the rent review provisions to prohibit ‘upward only’ and ‘landlord only’ initiated reviews. 

“The good news was that the Scottish Government recognised the merits in these proposals and sought a route to bring them into force.  This consultation maps out the legislative path.

“Extending the definition of “near relative” in the Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 1991 to include grandchildren is good news.  Similarly, prohibiting the inclusion of rent review clauses in LDTs that provide for upward only or landlord only initiated reviews is welcomed.

“It was also timely that recent amendments to agricultural holdings legislation in England regarding taxation could be considered in this consultation. The position clarifying the situation on changes in rent arising from changes in VAT or the like is something that we support. We understand such changes would not constitute a “variation of rent” such as would prevent either a landlord or tenant from seeking a determination from the Land Court on the rent for a period of three years.”

Notes to Editors

Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Date Published:

News Article No.: 116/11


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