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Agricultural Holdings (Amendment) (Scotland) Act 2012

Section 1: Succession by near relatives

4.Section 1 replaces the current definition of “near relative” in paragraph 1 of Part III of Schedule 2 to the Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 1991 (“the 1991 Act”) with an extended definition. The definition has been extended to include a grandchild of a deceased tenant.

5.The definition was previously extended to include a surviving civil partner of a deceased tenant by article 2 of the Civil Partnership Act 2004 (Consequential Amendments) (Scotland) Order 2006 (SSI 2006/379).

6.The reference to an adopted child has been deleted. Section 40(1) of the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007 (status conferred by adoption) provides that “an adopted person is to be treated in law as if born as the child of the adopters or adopter.” As “child” automatically includes “adopted child” the reference to “adopted child” is unnecessary.

7.The definition operates within the context of Section 25 of the 1991 Act which is the operative provision. Section 25 applies where notice to quit is given to the tenant of an agricultural holding who acquired right to the lease of the holding by succession.

8.Where notice to quit is given to a successor tenant who is a “near relative” of the deceased tenant, that person is entitled to give the landlord a counter notice requiring that the Scottish Land Court consents to operation of the notice to quit.

9.A landlord can serve an incontestable notice to quit on any successor as tenant if they are not a near relative of the deceased tenant.

10.The addition of “grandchild” to the class of “near relatives” will afford a grandchild who succeeds a statutory protection, as it will confer upon him or her the right to serve a counter notice to a notice to quit.

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