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TFC Blog: Less than one year left under amnesty for agricultural tenants

Bob McIntosh

Tenant farmers across Scotland have less than a year left to consider if they have improvements to notify their landlord about, under the waygo amnesty.

The amnesty, introduced by the Land Reform Act (Scotland) 2016 runs until June 2020 and

  • allows tenants to rectify any outstanding issues around past improvements that should qualify for waygo, despite missing notices or consents
  • does not apply where the landlord objected to the original improvement notice or the improvement is significantly different from the original notice
  • may be essential when it comes to rent reviews and relinquishment of 1991 Act tenancies

The definition of an improvement is broad and includes any buildings including houses and cottages. It also includes improvements to land such as ditches, drainage, removal of stones; field boundaries and access improvements

With only one year remaining of the amnesty, I urge all tenants to decide promptly whether to use it – or not.

It can take a bit of time to pull together all the evidence you may need to submit through an amnesty notice, so it’s best not to leave it too late.

The amnesty is a one-off opportunity for tenants to ensure that past improvements are eligible for compensation at waygo. In a nutshell, tenants must

  1. submit a list of claimed improvements which are within the scope of the eligibility rules
  2. meet with your landlord on the farm to review the list
  3. assemble as much evidence as you can to resolve any disputed items
  4. record your agreement to the final list

A leaflet that explains the process with useful case studies can be found in the Tenant Farming section on our website where you’ll also find the Code of Practice, guidance and templates.