Small landholdings in Scotland: legislation review

Review of the legislation governing small landholdings in Scotland and supporting consultation analysis.


agricultural holding - the agricultural land which comprises a lease

agricultural land - land used for agriculture for the purposes of trade or business

agricultural lease - a letting of land for a term of years, or lives of the tenant, or for lives and years, or from year to year

agricultural unit - land defined as an agricultural unit for the purposes of the Agriculture (Scotland) Act 1948

agriculture - includes horticulture, fruit growing, seed growing, dairy farming, livestock breeding and keeping, the use of land as grazing land, meadow land, osier land, market gardens and nursery grounds, and the use of land for woodlands where that use is ancillary to the farming of land for other agricultural purposes

assignation - the transfers of a tenant's interest in an agricultural lease of land

curtilage - the area, usually enclosed, encompassing the grounds and buildings immediately surrounding a farmhouse

diversification - to permit a tenant farmer to diversify his farming operations into non-agricultural use or uses

fixed equipment - includes any building or structure affixed to agricultural land and any works on, in, over or under that land. It also includes anything grown on the land for the purpose other than use after severance from land, consumption of the thing grown or of produce thereof, or amenity.

grass (grazing) or mowing let - normally a 364 day let where the tenant farmer rents land for the purpose of grazing livestock on it or for taking a silage crop from it

infrastructure - the basic physical and organisational structures and facilities ( e.g. buildings, roads, drainage, power supplies) needed for the operation of an enterprise.

Land Court - the Scottish Land Court

Land Tribunal - the Lands Tribunal for Scotland

market garden - a holding, cultivated, wholly or mainly, for the purpose of the trade or business of market gardening

martinmas - Scottish term day, usually 28 November

pre-emptive right to buy - a tenant farmer, under a traditional agricultural leasing arrangement, who has registered their interest to acquire their farm land must be approached first of all by landlord to see if they wanted to buy the farm land

produce - includes anything (whether live or dead) produced in the course of agriculture

rent - how much money is paid by tenant farmer to their landlord for use of his farm land

renunciation - in Scottish law, when a tenant renounces his lease, his contract is terminated completely and the landlord can take personal possession of the property.

resumption clause - drafted in its widest terms, entitles the landlord to recover farm land from the agricultural holding for any non-agricultural purpose

right to buy for tenant farmers - the ability to require a landlord to sell the farm to their tenant farmer without the farm being advertised on the open market

secure "1991 Act" tenancy - a letting of land for a term of years, or lives of the tenant, or for lives and years

sisted - the running of time in any litigation is halted, it is like the operation of a "pause" button and the parties are not required to take any positive action regarding their court procedures

solum - an area of ground upon which buildings have been constructed. An owner of a building will also own the solum, unless there is provision to the contrary, but not necessarily the mineral rights.

succession - a right to inheriting a tenant farmer's agricultural leasing arrangement (tenancy)

tenant - the holder of land under a lease of an agricultural holding and includes the executor, assignee, legatee, disponee, guardian, curator bonis, tutor, or permanent or interim trustee (within the meaning of the Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 1985), of a tenant

Tenant Farming Commissioner - a commissioner of the Scottish Land Commission (with effect from 1 April 2017) who will have responsibility for developing new industry led guidance for landlords and tenants of agricultural holdings

tenants improvements - improvements made to a farm, including improvements made to buildings, by the tenant farmer

termination - the termination of the lease by reason of effluxion or expiration of an agreed period of time or from any other cause

vacant possession - the value of a tenant farm if there was no agricultural tenancy in place on the farm

waygo - effective date or termination date on a notice of intention to quit or a notice to quit of an agricultural leasing arrangement

whitsun - Scottish term day, usually 28 May

Women in Agriculture - a Scottish Government-funded research project established to identify the opportunities and challenges for women involved in Scottish agriculture.


Email: Claudine Duff

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