The Scottish Tenant Farmers Association has greeted the proposal from SL &E for an amnesty for tenants’ improvements as a step in the right direction.

Responding to the landlords’ proposals STFA Chairman Christopher Nicholson said:  “Although we have been discussing way-go compensation in the TFF ad nauseum over a decade, this proposal has now come out of the blue.  Whilst we  welcome the general thrust of these proposals it is difficult to understand why this extremely contentious issue has never been resolved or concluded and is now being  brought up at the eleventh hour in the wake of a ministerial led review of Ag Holdings.

“Compensation for improvements and rent reviews are the most contentious issues between landlords and tenants and little or no progress has been made on these in the TFF.   This suggestion of an amnesty could have been made long before now  rather than coming as a knee jerk reaction from an organisation, obviously feeling under pressure.  This is a very complex subject and the SL& E proposal needs to be studied in detail before STFA makes its recommendations to the Review Group.

 “If such an amnesty is to take place it must have a statutory basis and any disputes over the eligibility of an improvement must be referred to an independent panel of experts.  Many landlords will undoubtedly resist this proposal even if it has the backing of SL&E and the tenanted sector must not find itself tied up in endless expensive legal wrangles.  We have already seen how ready some landlords and their professional advisors are to challenge parliamentary legislation.”

“STFA has just concluded a comprehensive survey of members which has given the association compelling evidence of dire situations which many tenants find themselves in.  These results give STFA the mandate to call for radical change.  Way-go compensation is highlighted as one of the major concerns of tenants with 85% of respondents believing they would not receive proper compensation should their tenancies come to an end.  This is unacceptable in a modern inclusive society and the results of the survey will be published in full shortly.

“It has also to be remembered that any legislative change will not take place for at least two years and provision must be made to safeguard the interests of tenants whose tenancies will come to an end in the interim.”

Scottish Lands and Estates press release can be found at: