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New guidance clarifies information requirements for relinquishing farming tenancies

New guidance published today by the Tenant Farming Commissioner clarifies the information that is needed when a tenant is applying to relinquish their tenancy.

New provisions for relinquishment and assignation of agricultural holdings came into force at the end of February 2021. They enable a tenant with a secure tenancy to relinquish their tenancy in return for a payment by the landlord. The Tenant Farming Commissioner has a specific statutory role in that he must appoint a suitably qualified independent valuer to calculate the amount payable by the landlord to the tenant for the relinquishment of the tenancy. 

Today’s guidance details the information that is required to be submitted with a ‘Notice of Intention to Relinquish.’

Urging tenants – who are considering giving up a secure tenancy using the new procedures – to assemble all the necessary information before they submit a ‘Notice of Intention to Relinquish’, Tenant Farming Commissioner (TFC), Bob McIntosh said,

“The new guidance sets out the information required to enable the valuation to proceed. Tenants should seek professional advice at the start of the process to ensure that they are taking the right steps and that they have assembled all the necessary information.”

 “There are strict limits set on the time allowed for the TFC to appoint a valuer and for the valuation to be completed. These timescales cannot be extended. It is therefore absolutely essential that Notices include all the information that the valuer requires in order to carry out their task.

“If the information is not complete or not agreed with the landlord, it is unlikely that the valuer will be able to complete the valuation within the timescale allowed in law, and the TFC will have no option other than to reject the Notice.”

For example, a plan of the leased area clearly showing the extent of the land and buildings within the tenancy, and a list of tenant’s improvements showing those agreed with the landlord, are required.

More information on the process can be found in the Guide to Relinquishment and Assignation on the Scottish Land Commission website.

TFC Guidance

Red tractor on agricultural land in Scotland - credit Rural Matters