STFA calls for sensible rent reviews

STFA calls for sensible rent reviews


The Scottish Tenant Farmers Association is urging tenants not to feel pressurised to agreeing last minute demands for unreasonable rent increases.  STFA is frustrated to discover that, despite expressing concerns to ScottishLands and Estates, there are still landlords and land agents who are leaving rent reviews to the last minute despite widespread condemnation of the practice.  Moreover there are some substantial rent rises being demanded despite last year’s appalling weather and a harsh spring.  

STFA has welcomed last week’s publication of a Guide to Good Practice for land agents as a long overdue first step in regulating landlord tenant relationships but is renewing calls for the Guide to be reinforced by a code of conduct backed by meaningful sanctions to bring maverick landlords under control. 

Commenting on the situation STFA chairman Christopher Nicholson said: “It is ironic that in a week which saw the government announce £6m in aid for farmers hardest hit by the worst spring in living memory and the publication of a code of practice for rent reviews, we hear of some land agents only starting to review rents less than a month before the term date and some outrageous rental demands.  Indeed, we have had examples of landlords trying to double rents agreed only three years ago. 

“Yet again this is clear proof of the need not only to regulate the relationship between landlord and tenant but also to bring about a change to the law to ensure that farm rents reflect the economic reality of farming rather than the frenzy of an open market which owes more to land hunger and the economics of the madhouse.  

“Although we support much of the recent Rent Review Group’s recommendations to introduce a practitioners’ guide and a code of conduct we firmly believe that there must be change to the legislation to take proper account of the profitability of farming and to create clear water between an over-heated market for new tenancies and the non-existent market for existing traditional tenancies.  We have given evidence to this effect to the Scottish parliament and will be writing the Cabinet Secretary again to reinforce our view which is shared by the overwhelming majority of tenants in Scotland.”