Dialogue key to rent review process

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Press Release

Communication between landlords and tenants - especially in relation to the impact of Covid-19 - is vital when conducting rent reviews, Scottish Land & Estates said today.

Responding to a call from the Scottish Tenant Farmers Association for farm rent reductions, SLE said rent reviews should be conducted in line with sector guidance from the Tenant Farming Commissioner.

Sarah-Jane Laing, Chief Executive of Scottish Land & Estates, said: "We have evidence from landlords that they have been taking the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic into account in relation to rent reviews. In some circumstances, that has meant reviews being deferred or rents held at current levels. Any allegation of landlords acting unreasonably should be supported by transparent evidence and brought to the attention of the Tenant Farming Commissioner.

“Rent reviews are a two-way process, and if any tenant is experiencing difficulties they should contact their landlord without delay.   Communication is vital, especially at the current time. As well as direct communication between landlords, tenants and their agents, we would encourage anyone who has concerns to speak to the Tenant Farming Commissioner or to organisations such as ourselves, STFA, NFUS, RICS and SAAVA.    

“Serving rent notices for reviews to take place at a future date is a necessary part of the administrative process and should be done in line with the guidance from the Tenant Farming Commissioner which encourages regular and open discussions.  The rent review process allows the parties to look at the rent, it does not automatically result in an increase and the covering letters from landlords and their agents will make this clear. Any rent review which does takes place in the next 12 months will of course take into account the many factors which will affect farming."