Posted on Mar 29, 2016 in Land and Rural Business
The Land Reform (Scotland) Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament in June 2015. It has now passed Stage 3 of the parliamentary process and awaits Royal Assent.
The Land Reform (Scotland) Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament in June 2015. This followed:
The Land Reform Review Group Report The Land of Scotland and the Common Good
A Consultation on certain recommendations from that Report
A statement from the Scottish Government on its plan to develop Land Reform and to amend the law of succession in Scotland
The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 which gives further powers to urban and rural communities to acquire land, particularly “abandoned or neglected land”
The Agricultural Holdings Legislation Review Group (“AHLRG”) Report
The Bill has now passed Stage 3 of the parliamentary process and awaits Royal Assent, following which it will become law.
However, only 4 sections will come into force on the day after Royal Assent (general interpretation, ancillary provisions, commencement and the short title). This means that none of the substantive legislative changes will come into force for the time being. All other provisions will come into force through Regulations and it is to be assumed that these will be phased as there is still a considerable amount of detail to be added to a number of the important provisions.
For the time being, the existing legislation remains effective. However, for both landlords and tenants of agricultural holdings, we recommend that current leases are reviewed to establish whether any action requires to be taken and that early professional advice is taken on plans for future leases, as the Bill provides for new types of leases.
The Bill is lengthy and Part 10, which concerns Agricultural Holdings, adds yet another layer of legislation to an already complex area of law.
This Briefing Note can only highlight key provisions in the Bill. Further, more detailed Briefing Notes will be prepared on the most important changes in due course.
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