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Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 1991

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Part IIIS Notice to Quit and Notice of Intention to Quit

21 Notice to quit and notice of intention to quit.S

(1)Subject to section 20 of this Act and to subsections (6) and (7) below [F1and to sections [F22A] and 73 of the Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003 (asp 11)] a tenancy of an agricultural holding shall not come to an end except by operation of a notice which complies with this subsection notwithstanding any agreement or any provision in the lease to the contrary.

(2)In this Act, a notice which complies with subsection (1) above is referred to as a “notice to quit” if it is given by the landlord to the tenant and as a “notice of intention to quit” if it is given by the tenant to the landlord.

(3)A notice complies with subsection (1) above if—

(a)it is in writing;

(b)it is a notice of intention to bring the tenancy to an end;

(c)where the notice is to take effect at the termination of the stipulated endurance of the lease, it is given not less than one year nor more than 2 years before that date;

(d)in the case of a lease continued in force by tacit relocation, it gives not less than one year nor more than 2 years’ notice.

(4)The provisions of the M1Sheriff Courts (Scotland) Act 1907 relating to removings shall, in the case of an agricultural holding, have effect subject to this section.

(5)Notice to quit shall be given either—

(a)in the same manner as notice of removal under section 6 of the M2Removal Terms (Scotland) Act 1886; or

(b)in the form and manner prescribed by the M3Sheriff Courts (Scotland) Act 1907,

and such notice shall come in place of the notice required by the said Act of 1907.

(6)Nothing in this section shall affect the right of the landlord of an agricultural holding to remove a tenant whose estate has been sequestrated under the [F3Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 2016, the] M4Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 1985 or the M5Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 1913, or who by failure to pay rent or otherwise has incurred irritancy of his lease or other liability to be removed.

(7)This section shall not apply—

(a)to a notice given in pursuance of a stipulation in a lease entitling the landlord to resume land for building, planting, feuing or other purposes (not being agricultural purposes); or

(b)in relation to subjects let under a lease for any period less than a year, not being a lease which by virtue of section 2 of this Act takes effect as a lease from year to year.

22 Restrictions on operation of notices to quit.S

(1)Where not later than one month from the giving of a notice to quit an agricultural holding (or, in a case where section 23(3) of this Act applies, within the extended period therein mentioned) the tenant serves on the landlord a counter-notice in writing requiring that this subsection shall apply to the notice to quit, subject to subsection (2) below F4..., the notice to quit shall not have effect unless the Land Court consent to the operation thereof.

(2)Subsection (1) above shall not apply where—

(a)the notice to quit relates to land being permanent pasture which the landlord has been in the habit of letting annually for seasonal grazing or of keeping in his own occupation and which has been let to the tenant for a definite and limited period for cultivation as arable land on the condition that he shall, along with the last or waygoing crop, sow permanent grass seeds;

(b)the notice to quit is given on the ground that the land is required for use, other than agriculture, for which permission [F5requires to be obtained, and has been obtained, under the enactments relating to town and country planning ];

(c)the Land Court, on an application in that behalf made not more than 9 months before the giving of the notice to quit, were satisfied that the tenant was not fulfilling his responsibilities to farm the holding in accordance with the rules of good husbandry, and certified that they were so satisfied;

(d)at the date of the giving of the notice to quit the tenant had failed to comply with a demand in writing served on him by the landlord requiring him within 2 months from the service thereof to pay any rent due in respect of the holding, or within a reasonable time to remedy any breach by the tenant, which was capable of being remedied, of any term or condition of his tenancy which was not inconsistent with the fulfilment of his responsibilities to farm in accordance with the rules of good husbandry;

(e)at the date of the giving of the notice to quit the interest of the landlord in the holding had been materially prejudiced by a breach by the tenant, which was not capable of being remedied in reasonable time and at economic cost, of any term or condition of the tenancy which was not inconsistent with the fulfilment by the tenant of his responsibilities to farm in accordance with the rules of good husbandry;

(f)at the date of the giving of the notice to quit the tenant’s apparent insolvency had been constituted in accordance with section [F616 of the Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 2016];

F7(g). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

and, where any of paragraphs (a) to (f) above applies, the ground under the appropriate paragraph on which the notice to quit proceeds is stated in the notice.

Textual Amendments

F5Words in s. 22(2)(b) substituted (27.11.2003) by Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003 (asp 11), ss. 67(1), 95(3), 95(4) (with s. 95(2)); S.S.I. 2003/548, art. 2(e) (with Sch.)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C5Ss. 22-24 modified by 2003 asp 11, s. 38N(2)-(6) (as inserted (23.12.2016 for specified purposes) by Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016 (asp 18), ss. 100(2), 130(1) (with s. 128); S.S.I. 2016/365, reg. 2, sch.)

23 Consent by Land Court or arbitration on notices to quit.S

(1)An application by a landlord for the consent of the Land Court under section 22 of this Act to the operation of a notice to quit shall be made within one month after service on the landlord by the tenant of a counter-notice requiring that subsection (1) of that section shall apply to the notice to quit.

(2)A tenant who has been given a notice to quit in connection with which any question arises under section 22(2) of this Act shall, if he requires such question to be determined by [F8the Land Court] under this Act, give notice to the landlord to that effect within one month after the notice to quit has been served on him.

(3)Where [F9the determination of the Land Court] required under subsection (2) above is such that section 22(1) of this Act would have applied to the notice to quit if a counter-notice had been served within the period provided for in that subsection, that period shall be extended up to the expiry of one month from the issue of the [F10Land Court’s determination].

(4)Where such [F11a determination] as is referred to in subsection (2) above has been required by the tenant, or where an application has been made to the Land Court for their consent to the operation of a notice to quit, the operation of the notice to quit shall be suspended until the issue of the [F12Land Court’s determination].

(5)Where the decision of the Land Court giving their consent to the operation of a notice to quit, or the [F13determination] as is referred to in subsection (2) above, is issued at a date later than 6 months before the date on which the notice to quit is expressed to take effect, the Land Court, on application made to them in that behalf at any time not later than one month after the issue of the decision or award aforesaid, may postpone the operation of the notice to quit for a period not exceeding 12 months.

(6)If the tenant of an agricultural holding receives from the landlord notice to quit the holding or a part thereof and in consequence thereof gives to a sub-tenant notice to quit that holding or part, section 22(1) of this Act shall not apply to the notice given to the sub-tenant; but if the notice to quit given to the tenant by the landlord does not have effect, then the notice to quit given by the tenant to the sub-tenant shall not have effect.

(7)For the purposes of subsection (6) above, a notice to quit part of the holding which under section 30 of this Act is accepted by the tenant as notice to quit the entire holding shall be treated as a notice to quit the holding.

(8)Where notice is served on the tenant of an agricultural holding to quit the holding or a part thereof, being a holding or part which is subject to a sub-tenancy, and the tenant serves on the landlord a counter-notice in accordance with section 22(1) of this Act, the tenant shall also serve on the sub-tenant notice in writing that he has served such counter-notice on the landlord and the sub-tenant shall be entitled to be a party to any proceedings before the Land Court for their consent to the notice to quit.

Textual Amendments

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C5Ss. 22-24 modified by 2003 asp 11, s. 38N(2)-(6) (as inserted (23.12.2016 for specified purposes) by Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016 (asp 18), ss. 100(2), 130(1) (with s. 128); S.S.I. 2016/365, reg. 2, sch.)

24 Consents for purposes of section 22.S

(1)Subject to subsection (2) below F14..., the Land Court shall consent under section 22 of this Act to the operation of a notice to quit an agricultural holding or part of an agricultural holding if, but only if, they are satisfied as to one or more of the following matters, being a matter or matters specified by the landlord in his application for their consent—

(a)that the carrying out of the purpose for which the landlord proposes to terminate the tenancy is desirable in the interests of good husbandry as respects the land to which the notice relates, treated as a separate unit;

(b)that the carrying out thereof is desirable in the interests of sound management of the estate of which that land consists or forms part;

(c)that the carrying out thereof is desirable for the purposes of agricultural research, education, experiment or demonstration, or for the purposes of the enactments relating to allotments, smallholdings or such holdings as are referred to in section 64 of the M6Agriculture (Scotland) Act 1948;

(d)that greater hardship would be caused by withholding than by giving consent to the operation of the notice;

(e)that the landlord proposes to terminate the tenancy for the purpose of the land being used for a use, other than for agriculture, not falling within section 22(2)(b) of this Act.

(2)Notwithstanding that they are satisfied as aforesaid, the Land Court shall withhold consent to the operation of the notice to quit if in all the circumstances it appears to them that

[F15(a)a fair and reasonable landlord would not insist on possession][F16; or

(b)where the notice is to quit the whole of the holding, that use of the land for the purpose for which the landlord proposes to terminate the tenancy would not create greater economic and social benefits to the community than would exist were the tenancy not terminated.]

(3)Where the Land Court consent to the operation of a notice to quit they may F17... impose such conditions as appear to them requisite for securing that the land to which the notice relates will be used for the purpose for which the landlord proposes to terminate the tenancy.

(4)Where, on an application by the landlord in that behalf the Land Court are satisfied that by reason of any change of circumstances or otherwise any condition imposed under subsection (3) above ought to be varied or revoked, they shall vary or revoke the condition accordingly.

[F18(5)For the purposes of subsection (2)(b) above—

(a)the community ”—

(i)shall be defined by reference to the postcode unit (or postcode units) pertaining to the holding and the vicinity of the holding; and

(ii)comprises the persons from time to time resident in that postcode unit (or any of those postcode units);

(b)economic benefits ” shall be defined by reference to an increase, or the potential for increase, in employment or income;

(c)social benefits ” shall be defined by reference to the likely—

(i)sustaining of, or increase in, the population; and

(ii)improvement of amenities and services.

(6) In subsection (5)(a) above, “ postcode unit ” means an area, determined by the Registrar General for Scotland, in relation to which a single postcode is used to facilitate the identification of postal service delivery points in the area.

(7)The Land Court shall, for the purposes of its determining the matters referred to in subsection (2)(b) above, have regard to such representations as it considers may assist in its consideration of those matters.]

Textual Amendments

F15Words in s. 24(2) renumbered as s. 24(2)(a) (27.11.2003) by Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003 (asp 11), ss. 67(2)(a)(i), 95(3), 95(4) (with s. 95(2)); S.S.I. 2003/548, art. 2(e) (with Sch.)

F16S. 24(2)(b) and preceding word added (27.11.2003) by Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003 (asp 11), ss. 67(2)(a)(ii), 95(3), 95(4) (with s. 95(2)); S.S.I. 2003/548, art. 2(e) (with Sch.)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C5Ss. 22-24 modified by 2003 asp 11, s. 38N(2)-(6) (as inserted (23.12.2016 for specified purposes) by Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016 (asp 18), ss. 100(2), 130(1) (with s. 128); S.S.I. 2016/365, reg. 2, sch.)

Marginal Citations

F1925 Termination of tenancies acquired by succession.S

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Textual Amendments

26 Certificates of bad husbandry.S

(1)For the purposes of section 22(2)(c) of this Act, the landlord of an agricultural holding may apply to the Land Court for a certificate that the tenant is not fulfilling his responsibilities to farm in accordance with the rules of good husbandry, and the Land Court, if satisfied that the tenant is not fulfilling his said responsibilities, shall grant such a certificate.

F20(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Textual Amendments

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C6S. 26 modified by 2003 asp 11, s. 38N(2)-(6) (as inserted (23.12.2016 for specified purposes) by Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016 (asp 18), ss. 100(2), 130(1) (with s. 128); S.S.I. 2016/365, reg. 2, sch.)

27 Penalty for breach of condition.S

(1)Where, on giving consent under section 22 of this Act to the operation of a notice to quit an agricultural holding or part of an agricultural holding, the Land Court imposes a condition under section 24(3) of this Act, and it is proved, on an application to the Land Court on behalf of the Crown that the landlord—

(a)has failed to comply with the condition within the period allowed, or

(b)has acted in breach of the condition,

the Land Court may impose on the landlord a penalty of an amount not exceeding 2 years’ rent of the holding at the rate at which rent was payable immediately before the termination of the tenancy, or, where the notice to quit related to a part only of the holding, of an amount not exceeding the proportion of the said 2 years’ rent which it appears to the Land Court is attributable to that part.

(2)A penalty imposed under this section shall be a debt due to the Crown and shall, when recovered, be paid into the Consolidated Fund.

28 Effect on notice to quit of sale of holding.S

(1)This section shall apply where a contract for the sale of the landlord’s interest in land which comprises or forms part of an agricultural holding is made after the giving of a notice to quit and before its expiry.

(2)Unless, within the period of 3 months ending with the date on which a contract to which this section applies is made, the landlord and the tenant have agreed in writing whether or not the notice to quit shall continue to have effect—

(a)the landlord shall,—

(i)within 14 days after the making of the contract; or

(ii)before the expiry of the notice to quit,

whichever is the earlier, give notice to the tenant of the making of the contract; and

(b)the tenant may, before the expiry of the notice to quit and not later than one month after he has received notice under paragraph (a) above, give notice in writing to the landlord that he elects that the notice to quit shall continue to have effect.

(3)Where this section applies, unless—

(a)the landlord and tenant have agreed that the notice to quit shall continue to have effect;

(b)the tenant has so elected, under subsection (2)(b) above; or

(c)the landlord having failed to give notice of the making of the contract in accordance with subsection (2)(a) above, the tenant quits the holding in consequence of the notice to quit,

the notice to quit shall cease to have effect.

(4)Where this section applies and there is an agreement between the landlord and the tenant that the notice to quit shall continue to have effect, the notice shall not be invalid by reason only that the agreement is conditional.

29 Notice to quit part of holding to be valid in certain cases.S

(1)A notice to quit part of an agricultural holding held on a tenancy from year to year shall not be invalid on the ground that it relates to part only of the holding if it is given—

(a)for the purpose of adjusting the boundaries between agricultural units or of amalgamating agricultural units or parts thereof, or

(b)with a view to the use of the land to which the notice relates for any of the purposes mentioned in subsection (2) below,

and the notice states that it is given for that purpose or with a view to such use, as the case may be.

(2)The purposes referred to in subsection (1)(b) above are—

(a)the erection of farm labourers’ cottages or other houses with or without gardens;

(b)the provision of gardens for farm labourers’ cottages or other houses;

(c)the provision of allotments;

(d)the provision of small holdings under the Small Landholders (Scotland) Acts 1886 to 1931, or of such holdings as are referred to in section 64 of the M7Agriculture (Scotland) Act 1948;

(e)the planting of trees;

(f)the opening or working of coal, ironstone, limestone, brick-earth, or other minerals, or of a stone quarry, clay, sand, or gravel pit, or the construction of works or buildings to be used in connection therewith;

(g)the making of a watercourse or reservoir;

(h)the making of a road, railway, tramroad, siding, canal or basin, wharf, or pier, or work connected therewith.

Marginal Citations

[F2129AHolding to be restored in certain circumstancesS

(1)Subsection (2) below applies where the tenancy of part of an agricultural holding has been terminated by reason of a notice to quit which is rendered valid by virtue of subsections (1)(b) and (2)(f) of section 29 of this Act.

(2)Where—

(a)this subsection applies; and

(b)the land which formed that part has subsequently been made suitable for, and is available for, agricultural use,

that land shall, if the conditions in subsection (3) below are fulfilled, be restored to the holding.

(3)The conditions are that—

(a)the tenancy of the holding continues in force with the same landlord and tenant under the lease; and

(b)any compensation paid to the tenant in consequence of the termination was calculated on the basis that the holding would be restored under this section.]

Textual Amendments

30 Tenant’s right to treat notice to quit part as notice to quit entire holding.S

Where a notice to quit part of an agricultural holding is given to a tenant, being a notice which is rendered valid by section 29 of this Act, and the tenant within 28 days after—

(a)the giving of the notice, or

(b)where the operation of the notice depends on any proceedings under the foregoing provisions of this Act, the time when it is determined that the notice has effect,

whichever is later, gives to the landlord a counter-notice in writing that he accepts the notice as a notice to quit the entire holding, to take effect at the same time as the original notice, the notice to quit shall have effect accordingly.

31 Reduction of rent where tenant dispossessed of part of holding.S

(1)Where—

(a)the tenancy of part of an agricultural holding terminates by reason of a notice to quit which is rendered valid by section 29 of this Act; or

(b)the landlord of an agricultural holding resumes possession of part of the holding in pursuance of a provision in that behalf contained in the lease,

the tenant shall be entitled to a reduction of rent of an amount, to be determined by [F22the Land Court], proportionate to that part of the holding, together with an amount in respect of any depreciation of the value to him of the residue of the holding caused by the severance or by the use to be made of the part severed.

(2)Where subsection (1)(b) above applies, the [F23Land Court], in determining the amount of the reduction, shall take into account any benefit or relief allowed to the tenant under the lease in respect of the part whose possession is being resumed.

Textual Amendments

32 Further restrictions on operation of certain notices to quit.S

(1)Subsections (2) to (5) below shall apply where—

(a)notice to quit an agricultural holding or part of an agricultural holding is given to a tenant; and

(b)the notice includes a statement in accordance with section 22(2) of this Act and paragraph (d) thereof to the effect that it is given by reason of the tenant’s failure to remedy a breach of a kind referred to in section 66(1) of this Act.

(2)If not later than one month from the giving of the notice to quit the tenant serves on the landlord a counter-notice in writing requiring that this subsection shall apply to the notice to quit, subject to subsection (3) below, the notice to quit shall not have effect (whether as a notice to which section 22(1) of this Act does or does not apply) unless the Land Court consent to the operation thereof.

(3)A counter-notice under subsection (2) above shall be of no effect if within one month after the giving of the notice to quit the tenant serves on the landlord an effective notice under section 23(2) of this Act requiring the validity of the reason stated in the notice to quit to be determined by [F24the Land Court].

(4)Where—

(a)the tenant has served on the landlord a notice of the kind referred to in subsection (3) above;

(b)the notice to quit would, apart from this subsection, have effect in consequence of the [F25Land Court’s determination]; and

(c)not later than one month from the date on which the [F26Land Court’s determination] is delivered to the tenant the tenant serves on the landlord a counter-notice in writing requiring that this subsection shall apply to the notice to quit;

the notice to quit shall not have effect (whether as a notice to which section 22(1) of this Act does or does not apply) unless the Land Court consent to the operation thereof.

(5)On an application made in that behalf by the landlord, the Land Court shall consent under subsection (2) or (4) above or (6) below to the operation of the notice to quit unless in all the circumstances it appears to them that a fair and reasonable landlord would not insist on possession.

(6)Where a notice to quit is given in accordance with section 66(3) of this Act in a case where the [F27Land Court’s determination] under that section followed an earlier notice to quit to which subsection (1) above applied, if the tenant serves on the landlord a counter-notice in writing within one month after the giving of the subsequent notice to quit (or, if the date specified in that notice for the termination of the tenancy is earlier, before that date), the notice to quit given under section 66(3) of this Act shall not have effect unless the Land Court consent to the operation thereof.

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