SLE raises tenancy concerns with Scottish Land Commission

Press Release

SLE has today written to the Scottish Land Commission to raise concerns about recent comments regarding agricultural fixed-term tenancies.

The letter follows comments this week by SLC chairman Andrew Thin with regards to a five-year Short Limited Duration Tenancies (SLDT) entered into by Buccleuch which concluded in February 2018. Mr Thin said he had yet to see a ‘reasonable explanation’ from the landowner as to why they wouldn’t enter into a longer tenancy and said SLC didn’t have ‘authority to force the issue’.
David Johnstone, chairman of Scottish Land & Estates, said: “We have received many enquiries from members in the wake of the SLC chairman’s comments and they are deeply concerned that the legitimate right of a landowner to resume land at the end of a fixed-term tenancy is being called into question. Short Term Limited Duration Tenancies are one of a number of tenancy vehicles which have been actively promoted by the Scottish Government but we risk confidence being damaged again if an owner is to be criticised for legitimately resuming land at the end of a fixed period tenancy. This affects small-scale owners of land as much as Scotland’s larger estates.

“I have now written to Mr Thin to seek clarification regarding his comments and we are also asking for a meeting with the commissioner in order to understand the Scottish Land Commission’s position on this matter.

“The improvements to the sector which have been made in recent years have been achieved on the basis of dialogue and cooperation and we do not wish to see this being jeopardised.”