The Scottish Agricultural Arbiters Valuers Association (SAAVA) has called for Schedule 5, which defines the list of improvements that qualify as tenant improvements, to be redefined to make it relevant to current farming businesses.

The membership organisation, that represents arbiters and valuers, is involved in driving the amendment through the Scottish Parliament. SAAVA representatives are meeting with key stakeholders and Scottish Government civil servants to present and discuss the case for change.

SAAVA President, Rob Forrest, believes these updates should be implemented quickly for the benefit of both Scottish landowners and tenants.

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Mr Forrest explained: "In June, landlords and tenants were offered a 3-year window, to agree an Amnesty on which specific improvements are compensatable when the tenancy ends. Any improvements made from this year will require the tenant to adhere to statutory procedures.

"The opportunity to establish clarity as to what is compensatable has been, and will be a very positive development for landlord and tenant relations over the next 3 years. However, what has become apparent are "omissions" in the list of improvements that qualify.

"We need to remember the Act was formed in 1948, and though a strong base for today's negotiations, some significant modern improvements do not feature on the Schedule 5 list."

Examples outlined by SAAVA that are not included are slurry stores which are an integral part of livestock farming today. An incoming tenant would not be able to continue that type of farming without such a key item.

Mr Forrest went on: "Clearly, some items have involved significant investment from the tenant and it is vital that they are able to establish the compensation terms of any improvements made. This is why SAAVA want to ensure that the list is well debated and any required additions to the current Schedule 5 are made."

Market round-up

Messrs Craig Wilson sold 13 prime heifers at Ayr on Tuesday to a top of £1497 per head and 241p per kg to average £1319 and 232.2p, while a couple of prime bullocks peaked at £1534 and 230p to level at £1439 and 226.6p. A prime bull fetched 209p.

In the rough ring 100 beef cows sold to £1370 and 213.3p to average 138.4p, while 117 dairy cows peaked at £1140 and 147.6p to level at 113.3p. Eight bulls sold to £1280 and 135.4p to average 121.6p, while 7 clean, OTM cattle peaked at £1310 and 195.5p to level at 161.9p.

The firm also had 12 dairy cattle forward that sold to £1780 for a second-calved Holstein Friesian cow and averaged £1500.80.