Scottish Tenant Farmers Association

News Release

26th August 2018



This Monday sees the launch of a week-long campaign by the industry to raise awareness of the amnesty on registering improvements that tenant farmers may have made to their properties and land. The campaign will be mainly conducted through the press and social media and aims to emphasise the importance of the amnesty period which started on 13 June 2017 and lasts for 3 years. A key message of the campaign will be to highlight that the amnesty is not only essential to gain agreement on improvements for which the tenant can claim compensation at the end of the tenancy, but also for rent reviews. A key principle has always been that a tenant should not be expected to pay rent on his own improvements.

The week-long campaign will feature video interviews with Crown Estate tenant Brian Shaw and his factor Mark Fogden from Savills who will speak about their experiences in conducting the amnesty, and it will also promote the Tenant Farming Commissioner’s Code of Practice.

The amnesty is one of the provisions of the Land Reform Act (Scotland) 2016 and allows for certain past improvements carried out by the tenant to be eligible for waygo despite missing notices or consents. The amnesty will last only for a 3 year period during which a tenant may give notice to his landlord that he intends to claim compensation at waygo for certain existing improvements.

Commenting on the campaign, STFA Chairman Christopher Nicholson said: “We are delighted that the whole industry is getting behind this move to encourage tenants to take part in the amnesty. The clock is ticking fast as STFA and tenants should remember that they are responsible for initiating the process and should do so as soon as possible.

“The fact that this is an industry backed initiative, landlords, tenants, lawyers and land agents as well as the Scottish Government, should give even the most diffident tenant the confidence to approach his landlord and register his improvements. Individuals can do much of the work themselves, but there is plenty of advice and guidance available, so our message is – don’t delay. The nights are drawing in and there will soon be time to devote to compiling a list of improvements and supporting evidence, so no excuses!”