The Tenant Farming Commissioner (TFC), Dr Bob McIntosh has announced today that he has started work on the review of the conduct of agents acting for agricultural landlords and tenants.

The TFC is required to prepare a report on the operation of agents by section 36 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016. The report is to be submitted to the Scottish Ministers by 1 April 2018. In addition, the TFC can also publish a code of practice on the conduct of agents (section 27 of the 2016 Act).

The conduct of agents was widely discussed during the Land Reform bill’s passage through the Scottish Parliament. The duty to prepare the report was added to the Bill by a government amendment at Stage 3 and the report of the proceedings can be found here.

The TFC has highlighted that the first stage in the process is research and he has published an invitation to tender on the public contracts website. The scope for the work is as follows:

This project will gather evidence on the views and experiences of landlords and tenants regarding their involvement with professionals engaged to conduct business on agricultural holdings. It will require 2 separate professional social surveys to be undertaken, one seeking the views of landlords and the other seeking the views of tenant farmers. Robust qualitative and quantitative results will be analysed and reported in a fair and independent manner.

The deadline for applications is 13 September 2017 and the timeframe for completion of the work is 3 months.