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    Agricultural tenancies

    This section looks at the rights of tenants who rent agricultural land or an agricultural holding and have an agricultural tenancy. There are four main kinds of agricultural tenancy: 1991 Act tenancies, limited duration tenancies short limited duration tenancies and grazing lets.

    The page about agricultural tenancies explains the differences between these tenancies and how to identify them.

    The law governing agricultural tenancies is complicated, and this section only offers an overview of the law. Clients with complex problems should be advised to contact a solicitor who specialises in agricultural law.

    Members of the National Farmers Union Scotland (NFUS) also have access to a free legal helpline for advice, while members of the Scottish Tenant Farmers Association have access to a professional panel of chartered surveyors, valuers, solicitors and accountants.

    About agricultural tenancies

    If a tenant rents agricultural land or an agricultural holding, s/he is likely to have an agricultural tenancy. This page explains what an agricultural tenancy is and how to tell the difference between a 1991 Act tenancy, a limited duration tenancy and a short limited duration tenancy. 

    1991 Act agricultural tenancies

    This section looks at the rights of tenants who live on an agricultural holding and have a tenancy regulated by the Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 1991. 

    1991 Act Subletting, assignation and succession

    This page explains subletting, assignation and succession in relation to 1991 Act tenancies. 

    1991 Act Right to buy

    As of 2004, 1991 Act agricultural tenants can formally register their interest in buying the land they rent from their landlord. 

    Eviction before a 1991 Act lease expires

    This page explains the rights of a tenant with a 1991 Act agricultural tenancy if their landlord asks them to leave the land prior to the expiry of the lease. The landlord can only end the tenancy in certain circumstances. 

    Eviction when a 1991 Act tenancy expires

    A landlord can only end a 1991 Act tenancy by following the correct procedures. S/he must start by sending the tenant a valid notice to quit. This does not necessarily mean the tenant will have to leave: their rights to stay on will depend on the reasons for eviction. 

    Eviction from an inherited 1991 Act tenancy

    If a tenant has inherited a 1991 Act tenancy from a relative, they may have less protection against eviction. This page explains their rights. 

    Limited duration tenancies

    Limited duration tenancies (LDTs) were introduced in 2003. If a tenant has taken on a lease of more than fifteen years for agricultural land since then, s/he is likely to have an LDT. 

    Short limited duration tenancies

    Short limited duration tenancies (SLDTs) were introduced in 2003. If a tenant has taken on a lease for agricultural land of five years or less, they will probably have an SLDT. SLDTs offer fewer rights than other agricultural tenancies. This page explains what a short limited duration agricultural tenancy is, and gives an overview of tenants' rights. 

    Eviction before an LDT or SLDT lease ends

    If a tenant has a limited duration tenancy (LDT) or short limited duration tenancy (SLDT), her/his written lease should say how long the tenancy lasts and when the lease expires. The landlord can only evict the tenant before this date in special circumstances. 

    Eviction when an LDT or SLDT ends

    If a tenant has a limited duration tenancy (LDT), her/his landlord can only evict her/him at the end of the lease by following the correct procedure, and s/he may not necessarily have to leave. If a tenant has a short limited duration tenancy (SLDT), s/he will have fewer rights, and will probably have to leave if the landlord wants them to. 

    Compensation for agricultural tenants

    When a tenant leaves an agricultural tenancy, s/he should receive compensation for any improvements s/he has made to the land. This applies regardless of whether s/he gives the landlord notice or the landlord asks her/him to leave. In some circumstances, the tenant may be entitled to additional compensation for disturbance. If the tenant has allowed the land to deteriorate, s/he may have to pay the landlord compensation. 

    This content applies to Scotland

    Last updated: 29 December 2014