Publication - Advice and guidance

Agricultural holdings and tenant farming guide

Published: 15 Nov 2019

A guide to agricultural holdings and tenant farming.

Agricultural holdings and tenant farming guide
Pre-emptive right to buy

Pre-emptive right to buy

The pre-emptive right to buy legislation offers additional opportunities for tenant farmers who have secure 1991 Act tenancies to buy their agricultural holding if it becomes available on the ‘sale’ market.

Through the 2003 Act, tenant farmers have a pre-emptive right to buy their agricultural holding if their landlord decides to sell.  If you want to take this opportunity, you must first register that right through an application to Registers of Scotland’s Register of Community Interests in Land, who maintain a register of tenant farmers who have recorded their interest in buying the agricultural or farm land that they rent.

The registration of a pre-emptive right to buy, only lasts for 5 years, so a tenant farmer, will need to re-register with Registers of Scotland, if they wish to maintain that right.  

If a tenant farmer decides they no longer want to exercise this right, they must de-register and withdraw their application from Registers of Scotland. Read more: Register of community interests in land




Telephone: 0300 244 9920

By post:
Scottish Government
Agricultural Holdings Team
Agriculture and Rural Directorate
D Spur
Saughton House
Broomhouse Drive
EH11 3XD