Scottish Land & Estates, which represents land businesses across Scotland, said today its members are wholly committed to make the amnesty on tenant improvements work ‘well and fairly’.
David Johnstone, chairman of Scottish Land & Estates, said: “We support an amnesty. It was landowners who put forward the suggestion of an amnesty to the Scottish Government and clearly want to see it succeed. Understandably, questions are being asked how it will work in practice.
“Given the debate surrounding specific aspects of the amnesty, we are happy to clarify our position on the issue of tenant improvements to farmhouses.
“As the law currently stands, we believe that some improvements to farmhouses are eligible improvements. While this does not necessarily mean that all types of farmhouse improvements are covered, compensation – where it is due - would be payable if there is value to an incoming tenant and the works were deemed to be proportionate to the holding.
“The amnesty needs to be fair. We don’t believe that investment in the holding by a tenant should necessarily be disregarded because it takes place in the farmhouse rather than the farm buildings. Equally, landlords should not have to accept every piece of work undertaken to a farmhouse as an eligible improvement.
“We are continuing to consult our members on wider issues such as updating the Schedule 5 list of improvements and a proposed code of practice. We support an approach that encourages positive dialogue and also accurately reflects legislation.”