The following Property practice note produced in partnership with Mike Blair of Gillespie Macandrew LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
There are important differences between agricultural tenants’ improvements and tenants’ fixtures in agricultural tenancies. This Practice Note explains these differences and outlines the landlord and tenant responsibilities and entitlements. It does not cover the provisions for the ‘improvements amnesty’ under section 34A of the Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 1991 (AH(S)A 1991), for which see Practice Note: Agricultural tenants’ improvements amnesty 2017–2020—Scotland.
Under the common law, any fixtures and other improvements added by the tenant would accrue to the landlord at the end of the lease. As many agricultural leases can last for prolonged periods, if not indefinitely through succession, AH(S)A 1991 makes provision to allow a tenant to improve the let holding and to be compensated for those improvements by the landlord at termination of the tenancy. In all agricultural tenancies other than repairing tenancies and grazing lets, broadly speaking (but with different rules for the different types of tenancy), landlords are required to provide the necessary fixed equipment (which may include buildings) to run the farm. See Practice Note: Buildings and other fixed equipment in agricultural tenancies in Scotland.
The nature of what types of work qualified as statutory improvements and which class they fall into has altered over successive statutes, in particular Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 1923, Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 1931 and Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 1949
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