Leading land agency firms in Scotland have issued a declaration of their commitment to best practice.
The declaration has been made in light of recent criticism of land agents involved in the tenant farming sector.
The declaration has been sent to the Scottish Government and the Agricultural Holdings Legislation Review Group as well as the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
It states: “There is a clear responsibility on land agents to demonstrate high professional and business standards and our firms wish to reaffirm that we are wholly committed to the implementation of these standards.
“We are acutely aware of the polarised and sensitive debate around the tenant farm sector and especially landlord-tenant relationships. Land agents have been criticised, rightly or wrongly, for their approach to these matters.
“While there are mechanisms in place that give potential complainants an opportunity to seek redress, we wish to make clear our unwavering support for the highest standards of professional practice and recognise that practitioners should continually strive to be beyond reproach.
“Our people feel a strong and natural commitment to the work they do, the wide variety of people they work with daily, and are committed to being part of a dynamic rural sector. Whilst individual cases of poor practice will certainly exist, the recent characterisation of our profession as ‘clumsy’ is unjust.
“In the performance of our duties as land agents we are regulated by the robust professional Rules of Conduct, determined by Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Regulation.
“Our firms also recognise the efforts of NFUS, Scottish Tenant Farming Association and Scottish Land & Estates in the recently publicised rent review initiative, which is aimed at bringing stability and confidence to the sector. We are also committed to further engagement with the Agricultural Holdings Legislation Review Group and all relevant stakeholders.”