Scottish Land & Estates reminds members that it is important to have taken action to resolve situations affected by the Supreme Court’s ruling on the legality of elements of the Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003, following the case of Salvesen vs Riddell.
The Supreme Court ruled that the Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003 must be amended, because a subsection of that Act breached the rights of landlords under the European Convention on Human Rights. This related to situations where dissolution notices were served in limited partnership arrangements during the narrow window from September 16, 2002 – June 30, 2003.
The 2003 Act allowed full 1991 agricultural tenancies to exist under certain circumstances, but the Supreme Court’s ruling meant that full 1991 agricultural tenancies created under the defective legislation are no longer guaranteed to be available for those who had their limited partnership dissolved during the period September 16, 2002 – June 30, 2003. In cases where full 1991 agricultural tenancies were created, affected landlords have the option of converting to a tenancy held under section 73 of the Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003. This type of tenancy allows landlords, if they wish, to recover vacant possession following a three year notice period.
Crucially, any affected landlord wishing to convert to a section 73 tenancy must serve notice of this by November 28, 2015. If no action is taken, the tenancy will remain a full 1991 agricultural tenancy.
Scottish Land & Estates would simply alert members to this fact and encourage anyone that may be affected to familiarise themselves with the Scottish Government’s guidance (http://www.gov.scot/Topics/farmingrural/Agriculture/agricultural-holdings/limitedpartnerships) and seek legal advice.