Publication - Research and analysis

Tenant Farming Rent Review Survey: final report

Published: 4 Oct 2021

This report presents the findings from a Tenant Farming Rent Review Survey. The research explores tenant farmers’ views and experiences of the current process of rent reviews.

Tenant Farming Rent Review Survey: final report
2. About the Farm Business

2. About the Farm Business

2.1. Summary of key points

  • The majority of tenant farmers who responded (76%) had 1 agricultural tenancy. 16% had 2 tenancies and the remainder had 3 or more. Tenant farmers' main lease was most likely to cover 51-100 hectares (22%) and be a secure 1991 Act agricultural tenancy (63%).
  • Less Favoured Areas (LFA) Beef & Sheep (53%) was the most commonly noted type of farming carried out.
  • Over 4 in 10 respondents (42%) said that they or their family have had their main tenancy for between 50 and 100 years.

2.2. Agricultural Tenancy Type

Firstly, in terms of all leases 76% of tenant farmers who responded said they had 1 agricultural tenancy, 16% had 2 tenancies and 8% had 3 or more tenancies. This equates to a total of 1,373 tenancies from those who responded.

Figure 2.1 Number of tenancies

Bar chart showing number of tenancies. 76% of tenant farmers had 1 tenancy, 16% had 2, 5% had 3, 2% had 4 and 0.7% had 5 or more.

Unweighted base: n=1,014

In terms of the lease type for all leases, the majority were Secure 1991 Act agricultural tenancies (56%) and a further 18% were Short Limited Duration Tenancies. These were also the lease types respondents were most likely to select as their main lease type.

Table 2.1 Agricultural Lease Type
Lease type All % (n=1,373) Main % (n=1,025)
Secure 1991 Act agricultural tenancy 55.7% 63.4%
1991 Act Limited Partnership 4.3% 3.9%
Short Limited Duration Tenancy (SLDT) 17.6% 12.3%
Limited Duration Tenancy (LDT) 9.8% 8.1%
Modern Limited Duration Tenancy (MLDT) 5.2% 4.2%
Other (non-crofting) lease for more than 1 year 5.2% 5.4%
Don't know/ no response 2.3% 2.7%

Note

Main is where the tenant had more than 1 tenancy.

4 in 10 of all tenancies were 50 hectares or less (40%), 38% were between 51 and 200 hectares and 21% were 200 hectares or more. In terms of the main tenancy, 34% were 50 hectares or less, 41% were between 51 and 200 hectares and 24% were 200 hectares or more.

Table 2.2 Agricultural Tenancy Size for All Tenancies and Main Tenancy
Tenancy size All % (n=1,373) Main % (n=1,025)
Up to 20 ha 24.6% 20.2%
21-50 ha 15.6% 13.4%
51-100 ha 21.6% 22.2%
101-200 ha 16.7% 19.0%
201-500 ha 11.6% 13.6%
501 ha or more 9.0% 10.8%
Don't know/ no response 0.9% 0.9%

Note

Main is where the tenant had more than 1 tenancy.

Analysis of the size of the main tenancy by region reveals that tenant farmers located in Southern Scotland (14%) and Highlands and Islands (13%) were more likely to have larger tenancies of 501 hectares or more than tenant farmers living in North East Scotland (2%). Tenant farmers in Highlands and Islands were also the most likely of all regions to have smaller tenancies of less than 20 hectares (30%).

Table 2.3 Agricultural Tenancy Size analysed by Region
Tenancy size All tenant farmers Central Scotland Highlands and Islands Southern Scotland North East Scotland
Unweighted base 1016 234 255 334 193
Up to 20 ha 20.4% 18.8% 30.2% 12.6% 14.0%
21-50 ha 13.5% 13.2% 15.3% 10.2% 15.5%
51-100 ha 22.4% 22.6% 17.3% 18.0% 40.9%
101-200 ha 19.2% 23.1% 12.5% 24.0% 20.2%
201-500 ha 13.7% 12.8% 11.4% 21.0% 7.8%
501 ha or more 10.9% 9.4% 13.3% 14.4% 1.6%

2.3. Farming Type

Respondents were asked about all types of farming carried out on their farm(s). Over half of tenancies carried out Less Favoured Areas (LFA) beef and sheep farming (53%). This was followed by general cropping (32%), forage (24%) and non-Less Favoured Areas (LFA) beef and sheep farming (21%).

Table 2.4 Farming type
Unweighted base, n=1012 %
LFA Beef & Sheep 53.4%
General cropping 31.9%
General cropping; forage 24.2%
Non-LFA Beef & Sheep 20.9%
Specialist cereals 11.3%
Mixed holdings 10.7%
Diversified activity 6.6%
Specialist dairy 4.0%
Specialist poultry 1.7%
Specialist horticulture & permanent crops 1.4%
Specialist pigs 0.8%
Other 0.3%

2.4. Length of Tenancy

Over half (54%) of respondents said either they or their family has had their main tenancy (even if the type has changed) for 50 years or more.

Figure 2.2 Length of tenancy

Chart showing length of tenancy. 42% said they or their family has had their main tenancy for ‘50-100 years’ and 12% said ‘more than 100 years’. 22% said ‘25-49 years’, 12.5% said ’10-24 years’ and 10% said ‘0-9 years’. Less than 1% were ‘unsure’.

Unweighted base: n=973

2.5. Principal Residence

Over 6 in 10 respondents said their principal residence is on the main tenancy (62%).

2.6. Age and Gender

In terms of the age profile of respondents, very few were aged 40 and under (8%), 40% were aged between 41 and 60, 31% were aged between 61 and 70 and 21% were aged 71 and over.

The vast majority of respondents were male (88%) and 12% were female. Males were more likely to have multiple tenancies (26%) than females (11%).

2.7. Landlord Description

Just over a third of respondents described their landlord for their main lease as being an individual landowner (34%) and the same percentage said their landlord was a Landowner's family trust (34%).

Table 2.5 Landlord description
Unweighted base, n=990 %
Landowner's Family Trust 34.3%
Individual landowner 34.1%
Family business 9.1%
Institution (e.g. Crown Estate or Church of Scotland) 9.1%
A limited company 6.2%
A public sector organisation (e.g. Forestry and Land Scotland) 4.5%
Community ownership 1.1%
Charity 1.1%
Other 0.1%
Don't know 2.7%

1 in 10 respondents (10%) said their landlord or landlords trust was related to them.

Figure 2.3 Is your landlord or landlord trust related to you?

Pie chart showing 10% said their landlord or landlords trust was related to them, and 90% said their landlord or landlords trust was not related to them.

Unweighted base: n=997


Contact

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