The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016 provides for the establishment of the Commission and also sets out the functions of the five Land Commissioners and the Tenant Farming Commissioner. The function of the Commission, as an administrative body, is to enable the Commissioners to perform their respective functions and to facilitate coordination between them.
Functions of Land Commissioners
As set out in the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016, the functions of the Land Commissioners are, on any matter relating to land in Scotland:
- review the impact and effectiveness of any law or policy,
- to recommend changes to those laws or policies,
- to gather evidence, carry out research, prepare reports and provide information and guidance.
The Land Commissioners can carry out their functions in order to address issues which relate to the ownership of land and land rights, the management of land, the use of land, and the land use strategy of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009. In doing their work they must have regard to the Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement.
Functions of the Tenant Farming Commissioner
The Commission encompasses the work of the Tenant Farming Commissioner (TFC). The aim of the TFC is to improve relationships between landlords and tenants of agricultural holdings. The TFC is working with the main stakeholder organisations and is responsible for:
- establishing codes of practice,
- providing practical guidance to landlords and tenants,
- consulting on and promoting the use of these codes and keeping the codes under regular review.
The TFC will also prepare recommendations for a modern list of improvements to agricultural holdings, thereby helping to enhance and secure the future of tenant farming for newcomers. Tenant farmers and landlords will be able to refer alleged breaches of the codes to the TFC who will inquire into the matter and publish a report on whether there has been a breach of the code. The overarching purpose of the TFC is to provide impartial support and guidance to tenant farmers and landlords alike. Find out more.