Scottish tenant farmers are being urged to complete a survey on the condition of rented accommodation in all types of agricultural tenancies.
The Scottish Tenant Farmers’ Association (STFA) has welcomed the survey, being conducted by the Scottish Government.
According to the association, much of the housing offered with farm tenancies is sub-standard.
It said it hoped the survey, which covers farmhouses, farmworkers’ cottages and sub-let accommodation, would enable the Scottish Government to work to bring the quality of agricultural housing conditions in line with other rented accommodation in Scotland.
“Housing held under an agricultural tenancy has always been exempt from the housing acts, with the landlord’s responsibility being limited to renewing and replacing what was provided at the start of the lease. Improvements are expected to be carried out by the tenant. In practice, most tenants have improved farmhouses and other cottages to bring them up to an acceptable standard, and, indeed there are some landlords who have also invested in housing accommodation,” said STFA chairman Christopher Nicholson.
“However there are still many tenants occupying houses which are well below minimum repairing standards whose landlords are reluctant to even carry out their basic obligations to keep buildings wind and watertight.”
He urged all tenant farming families to take the time to return the survey before the October 20 deadline.
“This is the first comprehensive survey to be carried out on the condition of the housing stock on tenanted holdings and will help build a picture of and give an indication of the scale of the task to bring all tenanted housing up to acceptable standards,” added Mr Nicholson.
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “We welcome support from the STFA and urge tenant farmers and their landlords to participate in this important piece of research targeting all rented agricultural accommodation.”