SLE supports Borders tenancy agreement

Press Release

Scottish Land & Estates has welcomed the agreement that will enable a Borders farm tenant to remain on a farm he has rented from Buccleuch Estates.

The Tenant Farming Commissioner, Bob McIntosh, announced that he had been approached by Buccleuch in an effort to find a solution and that discussions he held with Buccleuch, the tenant, Mr David Telfer, and the acquirer of the land, James Jones & Sons Ltd, had resulted in an agreement being reached that will enable Mr and Mrs Telfer to remain on Cleuchfoot Farm until their retirement.

Sarah Jane Laing, executive director of Scottish Land & Estates, said: “We fully support this agreement and are pleased that a resolution was found through collaborative and constructive discussion. The Tenant Farming Commissioner’s role has been critical - both in terms of underlining the right of a landlord to resume land at the end of a fixed term tenancy and in facilitating an agreement. This shows that, where there is a dispute, dialogue can - more often than not - resolve seemingly difficult issues.”


Tenant Farming Commissioner statement 

Agreement reached over Borders tenant farmer

The Scottish Tenant Farming Commissioner announced today that a solution had been found to enable a tenant farmer to remain on a farm he rented from Buccleuch Estates.

David and Alison Telfer occupy Cleuchfoot Farm on Buccleuch’s Borders Estate on a short-limited duration tenancy.

The estate had granted a new tenancy until November 2019 – 21 months beyond the end date of the previous lease – and had put the farm and adjoining hill ground up for sale. The couple wished to remain on the farm until retirement and said they had received a verbal assurance from the previous Duke of Buccleuch.

Buccleuch approached the Tenant Farming Commissioner and the acquirer of the land, James Jones & Sons Ltd, in an effort to find a solution.

Bob McIntosh, Tenant Farming Commissioner, said: “Landlords are entitled to resume land at the end of a fixed term tenancy but there was an extraordinary set of circumstances in this case where there was a dispute over what had been discussed in years gone by in terms of the length of occupancy. We are pleased that, through collaborative discussion, a satisfactory outcome has been achieved for the tenant, the new landlord and all other parties.”

Mr David Telfer said: “We appreciate the efforts of all those involved who have worked to find a resolution to this issue and we are pleased to be able to continue to live and work on at least part of Cleuchfoot until our retirement.”

Benny Higgins, executive chairman of Buccleuch, commented: “We were pleased that our proposal found agreement with all the parties involved and thank the Tenant Farming Commissioner for his constructive liaison with the tenant.”