Not Every Lease Of Land Is An Agricultural Lease

Published date15 September 2021
Law FirmShepherd and Wedderburn LLP
AuthorMr Hamish Lean

When is an agricultural lease not an agricultural lease?

An agricultural lease provides a tenant with various rights, including security of occupation for the agreed length of the lease. That might be for five or 10 years or longer under a fixed duration tenancy or even for the foreseeable future, if the lease is a traditional lease entered into before November 28 2003. However, not every lease of land is an agricultural lease. Whether it is or not depends on the purpose of the lease. To be an agricultural lease, the land subject to the lease must be used for agriculture for the purposes of a trade or business.

Agriculture is defined by the Agricultural Holdings Acts as including: horticulture; fruit growing; seed growing; dairy farming; livestock breeding and keeping; the use of land as grazing land, meadow land, osier land, market gardens and nursery grounds; and the use of land for woodlands where that use is ancillary to the farming of land or other agricultural purposes. Livestock is defined as including any creature kept for the production of food, wool, skins or fur or for the purpose of its use in the farming of land. Accordingly, letting out land for grazing horses or for breeding horses or for serving a livery business will not create an agricultural lease regulated by the Acts because the horses are not being kept for the production of food, wool, skins or fur or for the purpose of being used in the farming of land. I suppose if we began eating horsemeat in Scotland and horses were kept for that purpose then a lease of land for horses might be an agricultural lease, but this seems unlikely in the near future. In the right circumstances, a let of a building on its own can create an agricultural tenancy regulated by the Agricultural...

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