Scottish Land & Estates said today that the judgement by the Scottish Land Court on a key rent dispute highlights the need for constructive and transparent discussion between landlord and tenant.
David Johnstone, chairman of Scottish Land & Estates, said: “The determination in the Roxburgh Mains case shows only too clearly the need for constructive and transparent discussions between landlord and tenant.
“From what we all know, this was a case that should not have reached the court. Numerous attempts were made by the estate to settle the rent of the farm at a level that was in keeping with other farms on the estate. These were all rejected and any postponement of hearings, whilst the Moonzie case was decided, was sought by the tenant.
“The rent that has now been set by the court does represent a significant increase for the tenant but there are facts that ought to be borne in mind, namely that the rent had not been increased since 1996 until 2009, and the offers that were made by the estate were below the level eventually decided by the court. The court itself decreed the rent to be fair and took into account comprehensive comparisons with six other farms, one an open market rent and the others rents for existing 1991 Act tenancies.
“If there is a lesson to be learned from this it is that the various industry organisations, such as Scottish Land & Estates, STFA, NFUS and others should discuss what more can be done to ensure parties are better informed throughout a dispute process.”