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Book reviews

17 April 17

Review of Agricultural Tenancies (Gill)

by Melanie Roberts (review editor: David J Dickson)

Agricultural Tenancies

4th edition

THE RIGHT HON LORD GILL
PUBLISHER: W GREEN
ISBN: 978-0414015012
PRICE: £248

The long-awaited fourth edition of the renowned Agricultural Tenancies book does not disappoint. It confidently retains its name as the bible for agricultural practitioners. It is an absolute must for any practitioner with farming clients, whether landlords or tenants. The book consists of two volumes, in total comprising almost 2,000 pages.

The law is as stated as at 1 August 2016, covering all legislative changes (including the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016) and judicial decisions since the last edition, which dates back to 1997.

The significant changes made by the Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003 are explained in the greatest of detail. Although there is a whole section dedicated to the legislative history, the book cleverly consolidates the current law, revealing the historical position that still remains in place and what has been substituted.

Not only are the volumes divided into parts but each chapter is further subdivided into sections, making the book very easy to navigate. It is therefore very easy to pinpoint a specific subject matter from the contents pages. Whereas Volume 1 is more of a discussion on the law, Volume 2 contains a reproduction of the many Acts discussed in Volume 1 as well as a table of the relevant cases.

Of particular use to executry practitioners are the chapters concerning testate and intestate succession to tenancies. The major reforms to the law of succession are taken into account; the book helpfully states the position as it was before the relevant sections of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016 came into force and also the updated position post-enactment. It details the extended list of potential successors and the tightening of the landlord’s grounds for objection, and will be of assistance in estate planning.

Not only are the main Acts affecting agricultural tenancies covered in detail but also a number of pieces of ancillary legislation that could be invaluable in dealing with farms and estates. For example, it contains up-to-date provisions regarding wildlife, nature conservation, deer and muirburn. It is therefore a vital reference source for anyone seeking guidance when dealing with some of these more obscure subject matters.

Part III of the first volume of the book is dedicated to limited duration tenancies and includes essential information regarding short limited duration tenancies, limited duration tenancies and the new modern limited duration tenancies.

All in all this is a comprehensive work, covering all aspects of the law of agricultural tenancies and providing an up-to-date source of reference for any practitioner requiring to give advice to either landlords or tenants.

Melanie Roberts, partner, Melrose & Porteous, Duns

 

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