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Tenant Farming Commissioner issues Sporting Rights Code of Practice

Scotland’s Tenant Farming Commissioner, Bob McIntosh, has issued a Code of Practice to be followed by agricultural tenants, landlords, agents acting on their behalf and the holder of sporting rights.

The Code of Practice for The Management of Relationships Between Agricultural Tenants and the Holder of Sporting Rights is the third to be published by the Commissioner under the authority of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016.

The Tenant Farming Commissioner (TFC) is responsible for issuing a suite of codes to guide and shape the behaviours and processes which accompany the interactions and negotiations between landlords and tenants, including agents and intermediaries acting for either party.

Bob McIntosh said: ‘’ It is normal for landowners who let agricultural land to retain the game sporting rights, and to exercise those rights either themselves or to lease them to a third party.

The aim of this code of practice is to minimise conflict between landlords, tenants and the holder of the sporting rights on tenanted land “The code explains that good communication and cooperation between the landlord, tenant and holder of sporting rights is key and provides a series of actions and behaviours which if followed should minimise conflict.

“I have worked closely with the Scottish Tenant Farmers Association, NFU Scotland, Scottish Land & Estates and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in developing this code so that, wherever possible, agreed positions are reasonable and fair to both landlords and tenant farmers.

“As with all codes issued by the Tenant Farming Commissioner, if a landlord or tenant feels that the other party, or an agent of that party, has acted in a way that breaches the code of practice they are able to make a complaint to the Commissioner. “

The Code of Practice for The Management of Relationships Between Agricultural Tenants and the Holder of Sporting Rights can be found on the Land Commission’s website www.landcommission.gov.scot.

Meet & Greet – Glasgow

NEW DATE ADDED:

Tuesday 28 November 2017 from 6pm

City Halls, Glasgow

This is your opportunity to find out more about the new Scottish Land Commission, who we are and what we do.

We would also like to hear from you and what you think the priorities for land reform should be.

This event is free and tea and coffee will be provided. For more information call 0300 244 4452 or email info@landcommission.gov.scot.

New Tenant Farming Advisory Forum meet for first time

The first meeting of the new Tenant Farming Advisory Forum took place today, Tuesday 19 September 2017.

The Forum has been established by Scotland’s Tenant Farming Commissioner (TFC), Bob McIntosh, to discuss issues affecting the tenant farming sector. It will be the role of the forum to advise on the priorities for the Codes of Practice issued by the TFC, priorities for the commissioning of research and investigative studies and identifying barriers to creating a thriving tenant farming sector.

The membership of the forum comprises representatives from a range of industry bodies including: Scottish Tenant Farming Association, Scottish Land & Estates, National Farmers Union Scotland, Scottish Agricultural Arbiters & Valuers Association, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Agriculture Law Association and Scottish Government.

Bob McIntosh said:

“The Tenant Farming Advisory Forum is an important step for the tenant farming sector and by working together we can ensure that not only does it survive but, in the long term, also thrives.

“We had a really productive meeting today discussing a wide range of topics with a particular focus on the implications of Brexit. The forum will have a crucial role to play in looking ahead and identifying and advising on the repercussions of Brexit for the tenant farming sector.

“It is important to have a forum where all of the industry bodies can come together keeping important issues at the forefront and working to secure the future of the tenant farming sector and the vital contribution it makes to Scotland’s rural economy.”

Review of agents begins

Tenant Farming Commissioner starts work on the review of the conduct of agents of landlords and tenants

 Scotland’s Tenant Farming Commissioner, Bob McIntosh, has begun work on the review of agents. The review will look at the views and experiences of tenant farmers and landlords with regard to the conduct of professionals engaged by either party to act on their behalf in matters relating to agricultural holdings.

Under the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016, the Tenant Farming Commissioner must complete the review and make recommendations to Ministers to improve the operation of agents of landlords and tenants by March 2018.

Bob McIntosh explains:

“This is our first substantial piece of research and it is important that a broad range of evidence is collected on the views and experiences of landlords and tenants regarding their satisfaction with the conduct of agents acting on their behalf.

“This research will help to get a true understanding of the current situation with regard to the operation of agents and the impact it has on relations in the sector. The findings from the completed report with be discussed with key representative bodies, who will be given the opportunity to make submissions to inform the review, before recommendations are made to Scottish Ministers.”

The Scottish Land Commission has issued a notice on Public Contracts Scotland asking for contractors to submit tenders to carry out this important piece of research. More information on the contract specifications can be found here: www.publiccontractsscotland.gov.uk.

Tenant Farming Commissioner issues guidance on relinquishment of 1991 Act tenancies

 Scotland’s Tenant Farming Commissioner, Bob McIntosh, has issued a short guide to the provisions in the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016 for the relinquishment of 1991 Act tenancies.

The new arrangements for relinquishing tenancies were introduced by the 2016 Act with the aim of enabling tenants to realise the value in a secure tenancy when they relinquish it, in the hope that this would release more tenanting opportunities for new entrants to farming.

The guide describes the main features of the legislation, however landlords and tenants involved in relinquishment cases are advised to obtain appropriate professional advice relevant to their own particular circumstances.

The guide can be found here.

More dates added to Land Commission’s series of events

The Scottish Land Commission has added more dates to its series of Meet & Greet events which are taking place across Scotland over the coming months.

Due to the success of the first Meet & Greet events held in April and May the Commission has announced the addition of three new dates to the series, with meetings to take place in Inverness, Islay and Oban.

Chair of the Scottish Land Commission, Andrew Thin, said:

“We are really encouraged by the response to the Meet & Greets so far. We have had varied audiences at the public meetings from those interested in community land ownership to tenant farming and with representation from both urban and rural communities.

“The discussions at the meetings have been really insightful and are helping the Commission to form our priorities for our three year strategic plan.

“We are keen to keep the momentum going with the additional meetings in Inverness, Islay and Oban and we hope to have even more over the coming months. This is a rolling programme of events and we would like to engage with as many people as possible.  I would urge everyone to attend a Meet & Greet in their area to find out more about who we are, what we do and importantly; how land reform can directly impact their community.”

The next Meet & Greet event is taking place at Leith Community Centre, Leith, Edinburgh on Thursday 22 June from 7pm and will be followed by:

  • NEW Tuesday 27 June, 7pm — Inverness

Scottish Land Commission, Longman House, 28 Longman Road, Inverness

  • NEW Thursday 13 July, 7pm – Islay

Ionad Chaluim Chille Ìle (the Columba Centre Islay), Bowmore

  • Thursday 27 July, 7pm — Biggar

Gillespie Centre, Biggar

  • NEW Thursday 17 August, 7pm – Oban

Corran Halls, Oban

  • Thursday 21 September, 7pm — Clydebank

Clydebank Town Hall, Clydebank

  • Thursday 26 October, 7pm — Dumfries

Georgetown Community Centre, Dumfries

  • Thursday 23 November, 7pm — Perthshire

Comrie Community Centre, Comrie

  • Thursday 22 February 2018, 7pm – Skye

The Fingal Centre, Portree

  • Thursday 22 March 2018, 7pm – Isle of Lewis

Bridge Community Centre, Stornoway

 

The events are free and tea and coffee will be provided. For more information visit www.landcommission.gov.scot, call 0300 244 4452 or email info@landcommission.gov.scot.

Scottish Land Commission appoint Hamish Trench as Chief Executive

The newly formed Scottish Land Commission has announced the appointment of Hamish Trench as their permanent Chief Executive.

Hamish will join the Scottish Land Commission from the Cairngorms National Park Authority. He will be responsible for the strategic leadership and operational management of the organisation and supporting Commissioners in fulfilling their functions.

Hamish will assume the role on 31 July 2017 taking over from the Commission’s interim Chief Executive, Hilary Pearce, who is currently seconded from Scottish Government.

Hamish said:

“I am delighted to have been appointed Chief Executive of the Scottish Land Commission. Working in such a new and exciting organisation and being part of driving land reform forward is a unique opportunity.  It is a privilege to lead the Commission at this important time and I look forward to working with Commissioners, staff and other partner organisations.”

Chair of the Scottish Land Commission, Andrew Thin, said:

“I am very pleased that Hamish is joining the Commission. He has extensive knowledge and experience in land issues, as well as enthusiasm and drive to lead the organisation forward in developing and implementing our Strategic Plan.

“I would like to thank Hilary for all of her work over the last few months in setting up the organisation and supporting Commissioners. The establishment phase of any new organisation is always tricky and Hilary has created a solid foundation for Hamish to build on.”

Land Reform Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said:

“I would like to congratulate Mr Trench on his appointment as the Chief Executive of the Scottish Land Commission. As a chartered surveyor with extensive experience in the public and private sectors, he will bring leadership and focus to land reform issues, shaping future developments and ensuring that land continues to play a major part in helping communities across Scotland realise their potential. I wish him great success with this crucial work.”

Background

Hamish Trench

Hamish Trench will join the Scottish Land Commission from the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) where he is currently Director of Conservation and Visitor Experience.

Hamish joined CNPA in 2004 and has held a number of different roles including Director of Strategic Land Use and Head of Heritage and Land Management. He was also seconded from the Authority to the Deer Commission for a year taking on the role of Head of Strategy.  A Chartered Surveyor, Hamish worked for a number of years as a Land Agent at Bidwells Property Consultants.  Hamish has had several pieces of research published which look at various land matters including community ownership, farming tenure and research collaboration.

Scottish Land Commission invites Aberdeenshire residents to community event

The newly formed Scottish Land Commission has announced a series of community ‘Meet and Greet’ events and the next one is taking place in Inverurie.

 

The Scottish Land Commission, which was officially established on the 1 April 2017, is holding an informal meet and greet event to give people across Aberdeenshire the opportunity to find out more about the work of the organisation and to meet with the Chair of the Commission, Andrew Thin, and the Tenant Farming Commissioner, Bob McIntosh.

 

The event is being held at Thainstone Mart, Inverurie on Thursday 25 May from 7pm – 8.30pm.

 

Chair of the Scottish Land Commission, Andrew Thin, said:

 

“The Commissioners and I are really keen to get out and about to speak to people from across Aberdeenshire, in both urban and rural communities, to let them know more about the work of the Commission and to also find out what they think the priorities for land reform should be.

 

“This is one of a number of monthly events taking place across Scotland throughout the year from Stornoway to Dumfries, Inverurie to Clydebank and we hope to meet as many people as possible. Bob and I will be hosting the event and I would encourage everyone to attend and make the most of the opportunity to meet with us to discuss the land reform agenda.  It is important that all voices are heard and we work together to make the most of our land.”

 

The event is free and tea and coffee will be provided. For more information visit www.landcommission.gov.scot, call 0300 244 4452 or email info@landcommission.gov.scot

Tenant Farming Commissioner calls on tenants and landlords to consider Brexit in rent reviews

Scotland’s Tenant Farming Commissioner, Bob McIntosh, is calling on landlords and tenants of agricultural holdings to carefully consider the impact of Brexit where a rent review is due.

 

Bob McIntosh said:

‘’Consideration of the prevailing economic conditions in the agriculture sector is an important component of rent review discussions.

“Rent reviews initiated this year will fix rents until 2021 and that period will overlap with the UK’s planned withdrawal from the European Union. Given the uncertainty over the impact of Brexit on agricultural commodity prices and, possibly, the level of support payments, there is a risk that rents fixed now may turn out to be significantly out of kilter with the market place within two years.

“While rent reviews provide a good opportunity for landlords and tenants to meet to discuss current issues there are good reasons to consider whether this is the right time to make changes unless there are pressing reasons for doing so.”

 

Scottish Tenant Farmers Association Chairman, Christopher Nicholson, said:

“This is a welcome and sensible proposal from the Tenant Farming Commissioner. STFA have been advising tenants to factor Brexit risks into rent reviews, in particular the prospect of falling support payments and commodity market uncertainty which make rent increases difficult to justify.  Any tenant who feels they are being pushed to agree to an unfair rent rise should refer the matter to the Commissioner.”

 

NFU Scotland’s President, Andrew McCornick, said:

“Both landlords and tenants face an unparalleled level of uncertainty as a result of the Brexit decision. With little clarity on future support levels or what direction our agricultural policy may take, it makes sense to consider whether this is the right time to make changes until a clear picture emerges.”

 

Scottish Land and Estates Chairman, David Johnstone, said:

“It is recognised good practice to regularly review rents and Brexit should clearly be considered as one factor, alongside many others, when undertaking such a review. It should also be remembered that the service of a rent review notice does not mean that a landlord is necessarily seeking an increase, it simply allows the matter to be looked at on the due date. Brexit may bring both negative and positive effects in the short and longer-term, but our message for both landlords and tenants is to take account of each other’s business circumstances and maintain positive and constructive dialogue throughout future rent reviews.”

Scottish Land Commission launches monthly community events

The newly formed Scottish Land Commission has announced a series of community ‘Meet and Greet’ events taking place across Scotland.

The Scottish Land Commission, which was officially established on the 1 April 2017, is holding a series of monthly meet and greet events to give people across the country the opportunity to find out more about the work of the organisation, meet with Commissioners and to discuss priorities for land reform.

Chair of the Scottish Land Commission, Andrew Thin, said:

“The Commissioners and I are really keen to get out and about to speak to people, in both urban and rural Scotland, to let them know more about the work of the Commission and to also find out what they think the priorities for land reform should be.

“By holding monthly events throughout the year from Stornoway to Dumfries, Inverurie to Clydebank, we hope to meet as many people as possible. I would encourage everyone to attend and make the most of the opportunity to meet with Commissioners to discuss the land reform agenda.  It is important that all voices are heard and we work together to make the most of our land.”

The first of the monthly Meet and Greet events will take place at the Simpson Institute, Upper Largo, Fife on Thursday 27 April from 7pm and will be followed by:

  • Thursday 25 May, 7pm — Aberdeenshire – Thainstone Mart, Inverurie
  • Thursday 22 June, 7pm — Edinburgh – Leith Community Centre, Leith
  • Thursday 27 July, 7pm — Gillespie  Centre, Biggar
  • Thursday 21 September, 7pm — Clydebank Town Hall, Clydebank
  • Thursday 26 October, 7pm — Dumfries – Georgetown Community Centre, Dumfries
  • Thursday 23 November, 7pm — Perthshire – Comrie Community Centre, Comrie
  • Thursday 22 February 2018, 7pm – Skye – The Fingal Centre, Portree
  • Thursday 22 March 2018, 7pm – Isle of Lewis – Bridge Community Centre, Stornoway

The events are free and tea and coffee will be provided. For more information visit www.landcommission.gov.scot, call 0300 244 4452 or email info@landcommission.gov.scot.