Agricultural holdings in Scotland—certain tenants’ right to buy
Produced in partnership with Mike Blair of Gillespie MacAndrew
Agricultural holdings in Scotland—certain tenants’ right to buy

The following Property guidance note Produced in partnership with Mike Blair of Gillespie MacAndrew provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Agricultural holdings in Scotland—certain tenants’ right to buy
  • Agricultural tenants’ right to buy
  • Commercial reality
  • Qualifications for exercising the agricultural tenants’ right to buy
  • Triggers for exercise of the agricultural tenants’ right to buy
  • Use of options
  • Procedure in exercising the agricultural tenants’ right to buy
  • Deciding the price
  • Effect of LR(S)A 2016, s 99 on the agricultural right to buy
  • Sale where landlord owner is in breach
  • more

Agricultural tenants’ right to buy

An agricultural tenant’s right to buy was introduced by the Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003. It is a ‘pre-emptive’ right rather than ‘absolute right’ to buy as it can only be exercised by a tenant when the owner proposes to sell the tenanted land. This Practice Note sets out the right to buy as it was enacted under Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003 and then considers the changes which will be brought in when the relevant sections of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016 (LR(S)A 2016) come into effect.

Only tenants with tenancies governed by the Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 1991 (AH(S)A 1991) commonly referred to as ‘1991 Act tenancies’ (see Practice Note: Agricultural holdings in Scotland—snapshot—1991 Act Tenancies) have a statutory right to buy under Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003.

The practical background leading to the introduction of the right to buy is that:

  1. 1991 Act tenancies can be of indefinite duration, and

  2. a 1991 Act tenancy significantly reduces the value to the owner of a piece of agricultural property

Normally, if an owner intended to sell a property subject to a 1991 Act tenancy, they would often seek to negotiate with the tenant farmer to sell it to them.

The right to buy brought in by Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003 makes it obligatory in most