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About agricultural tenancies

This page explains what an agricultural tenancy is and how you can work out which kind of tenancy you have.

If you rent agricultural land or an agricultural holding, you are likely to have an agricultural tenancy.

What is agricultural land?

Agricultural land or an agricultural holding is land used for commercial farming. This includes:

  • growing fruit, seeds and other crops
  • raising livestock
  • dairy farming
  • market gardening.

Which agricultural tenancy do I have?

You are likely to have a 1991 Act tenancy if:

  • your lease began before 2003, or
  • your lease began after 2003 but the terms and conditions specifically state that your tenancy is regulated by the Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 1991.

You are likely to have a limited duration tenancy if:

  • your lease began after 2003, and
  • your lease lasts for more than five years.

You are likely to have a short limited duration tenancy if:

  • your lease began after 2003, and
  • your lease lasts for no more than five years.

What if I live on a croft?

You will have a crofting tenancy if:

  • you rent land in the Highlands and Islands in the former counties of Argyll, Inverness, Ross and Cromarty, Sutherland, Caithness, Orkney and Shetland, and
  • your holding is registered with the Crofters Commission.

You can find out more about crofters' rights here.

I'm employed by my landlord

If you work for your landlord (for example, if you are a farm worker who rents a cottage from your employer, or a gamekeeper who rents an agricultural holding from your employer), you won't have an agricultural tenancy. You will probably be an agricultural occupier, a service occupier or service tenant. You might find eviction as an agricultural occupier helpful to understand your tenancy rights.

Scotland map Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.
This content applies to Scotland only.
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The important points

  • If you rent agricultural land or an agricultural holding, you are likely to have an agricultural tenancy.
  • Agricultural land or an agricultural holding is land used for commercial farming.
  • There are three types of agricultural tenancy, a 1991 Act tenancy, a limited duration tenancy, and a short limited duration tenancy.   

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