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The management of estates, farms and other rural property often involves leases, whether agricultural, residential, commercial, minerals or sporting.

Agricultural leases are strictly regulated by statute and early advice should be taken to ensure your position is protected.

How can Thorntons help?

At Thorntons, our Land and Rural Business team can advise you on all aspects of landlord and tenant issues.

Shooting and fishing leases must be carefully drafted and our team can advise you on the appropriate conditions, which will include:

  • Rights of access to the areas to be let
  • Extent of rights (including types of game and numbers of days permitted for fishing or shooting)
  • Compliance with the rights of access available to the public under the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 and the Access Code
  • Compliance with environmental legislation including wildlife crime
  • Health and safety
  • Non-interference with other farming or estate activities and cooperation with agricultural tenants
  • Occupiers’ liability and insurance
  • Muirburn

Residential leases bring different issues and our team regularly advises on:

  • Creation or termination of Short Assured Tenancies
  • The new Tenancy Deposit Regulations
  • Tenancies for farm or estate employees
  • Holiday or seasonal tenancies
  • Appearance before a Private Rented Housing Panel on behalf of a landlord or tenant
  • Implications of The Long Leases (Scotland) Act 2012
  • Commercial leases are increasingly being used on estates and farms where diversification projects are being introduced and a new business structure is being put in place. These may be used for renewable energy projects, hotel and other leisure businesses, farm shops or corporate events. Our team has considerable experience in advising rural clients on the appropriate leasing arrangement.


Minerals leases require specialised advice, which our team provides. Verification of ownership of, and full rights of access to work, the minerals must be followed by advice on health and safety and insurance liabilities, reinstatement obligations, planning and environmental matters, indemnity clauses and royalty payments.