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Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016

Section 103 – Assignation of 1991 Act tenancies

591.Section 103 makes provision about the persons to whom a 1991 Act tenancy may be assigned.

592.Section 10A of the 1991 Act makes provision for the assignation of 1991 Act tenancies. Under the current legislation, the tenant can assign the tenancy to any of the persons who would be entitled to succeed to the tenant’s estate on intestacy by virtue of the Succession (Scotland) Act 1964.

593.Section 103 amends section 10A of the 1991 Act by inserting a new subsection (1A), which extends the class of person that a tenancy can be assigned to. Subsection (3) of section 103 sets out the people to whom, under the new subsection (1A), the tenant can assign the tenancy. Those that are already entitled to be assigned the tenancy under the Succession Act as mentioned above still remain so, including cousins of the tenant. However, this Act extends the right to a number of additional people as set out in subsection (1A)(b) to (n).

594.Currently, under section 10A(3), the landlord can withhold consent to the proposed assignee, if there are reasonable grounds for doing so. Section 103(5) and (6) of the Act amends section 10A of the 1991 Act so that, while the landlord can still withhold consent for a person who is not a near relative if there are reasonable grounds, the Act limits the grounds for objecting to a near relative. The inserted subsection (3A) removes reasonable grounds as a valid reason for objection so that the only grounds on which a landlord can withhold consent to assignation to a near relative are the following: that the person is not of good character, that the person does not have sufficient resources to enable the person to farm the holding efficiently, or that the person does not have adequate training or expertise in agriculture to enable the person to farm with reasonable efficiency.

595.The inserted subsection (3B) provides that this last ground of objection does not apply where the person is engaged or intending to enrol, within a specified period, in a course of relevant agricultural training that must be completed within four years of the date notice was given of the intention to assign. That person is also required to have made arrangements for the holding to be farmed efficiently while the person completes the course.

596.Subsection (6) inserts a new subsection (6) into section 10A of the 1991 Act to define “near relative” for the purposes of new subsections (3A) and (3B).

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