Scottish Agricultural Tenure Evidence Review

A review of tenure arrangements in Scotland and case studies of selected countries





4. A feature of crofting

5. A possible contributing factor to this reduction could be the increase in total number of BRNs, partially through the registration of non-farming units (e.g. forests, communities) to access Scotland Rural Development Programme 2007-2013 funds.



8. RESAS explained that when there is no breakdown of tenancy type it is assumed that the land is let through a secure 1991 Act lease. Therefore to calculate these figures for each holding the summation of all other types of tenure (excluding seasonal rents) was subtracted from the total rented land variable and the difference is the estimate of total area and number of holdings with 1991 Act leases.

9. Whilst the data was largely collected from 2005 it was felt that to allow for any data lag from non-responders to JAC then 2007 would be an appropriate point from which to report.

10. This cannot be considered the number of tenancy agreements as some of these businesses have multiple holdings for which there may indeed be more than one formal secure tenancy agreement

11. Unfortunately due to disclosure requirements this cannot be shown.

12. The Register of Agricultural Tenants Interests can be accessed at

13. On April 30th 2014 there were 1,192 registers of interest meaning that there was increased registration activity during the period of the establishment of the launch of the Agricultural Holdings Legislation Review.

14. For example, management control within family farms may or may not align with how tenure is arranged formally and intra-family leases are often complex (Hill, 1974 and 1985).

15. For example, the sampling approach adopted and whether all let land is included. This also causes discrepancies between Tables 1 and 2, with the latter using a different source in order to estimate time-series values.

16. All descriptions here of the situation in Scotland are restricted to non-Crofting tenure.

17. See

18. Although the few remaining perpetual and very long Crown leases are in the process of being converted to ownership.

19. Swinnen et al (2013) estimate the degree to which decoupled farm payments under the CAP have been capitalised into land prices, revealing considerable variation attributed to implementation and contextual differences across different countries.

20. Indeed, adoption of the historical SFP model in Scotland was partly due to concerns over other models' impacts on tenants - including the redistribution of livestock quota capital values.

21. For example, Bergman (1985) notes that 50 pieces of legislation relating to agricultural tenancy arrangements were passed in France between 1946 and 1975; Dutch arrangements are currently being reviewed having already been amended twice in the past decade.

22. A recurrent complaint in the review literature is of poor data hindering evaluation. In particular, data on ownership, leasing and management control are often incomplete and/or inaccurate (a fact confirmed by difficulties encountered in compiling the case studies). Moreover, Hill (1985) notes that de facto control of land may differ from the apparent de jure position due to 'grey' market activities to avoid rent controls or constraints on ownership or simply through different tenures masking managerial responsibility within family-controlled businesses.

23. A crude analogy may perhaps be drawn here with debates about the optimal duration of public franchises (e.g. railways) to encourage investment yet expose holders to some degree of competition from other operators.

24. This rose in the 1990s with the introduction of some area payments and regulatory requirements for sufficient land for manure disposal, but has declined slightly since then.

25. By comparison, the UK average was around €43k (£35k) per farm, €33k (£27k) per FWU. See

26. See

27. Greenland and the Faroe Islands are self-governing overseas territories of Denmark.

28. Budget constraints mean that a Safer may not be able to intervene as much as desired. Moreover, as a Safer takes commission on a sale, there is a potential conflict of interest between seeking to boost budgets and serving individual local farmers' needs. Official recommendations to improve Safers have been made recently.

29. In particular, amendment of the Civil Code 04/09/43 and 10/17/45 with extension sharecropping in 1946. The status of tenancy was then passed by the House of Representatives but rejected by the Senate, on which many landowners sat. The original law has also been regulated several times (1960-1962, 1975, and 1984).

30. Initially, the share of investment operations that could be recovered was quite small but the Act covering this was strengthened in 1960 to enable the lessee opportunities for investment and modernization while trying not to damage the financial interests of the owner.

31. The 'Prefet' is the local government (NUTs 3 level - département) representative.

32. For certain crops (i.e. permanent fruits), the Prefet can issue different minimum and maximum rental values.


34. Although, anecdotally, this may be changing as farmers seek guaranteed access to land for spreading manure in order to comply with NVZ requirements.


Email: Angela Morgan

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