SCOTLAND'S TENANT farmers will be given an extra six months of the amnesty that allows them to have undeclared farm improvements recorded by their landlords, and included in their waygo terms.

Cabinet Secretary Fergus Ewing’s decision to extend the tenants’ amnesty on improvements until December 12 this year has this week been endorsed by the Scottish Parliament, and will be implemented through secondary legislation.

Scottish Tenant Farmers Association chairman Christopher Nicholson said: “This will be very good news for tenants who have been increasingly concerned that they would not be able to complete their amnesties before the June deadline due to difficulties they have been experiencing from the current Covid19 crisis.

"We commend the Cabinet Secretary for listening to STFA’s concerns and his officials for their prompt response to STFA’s request for an amnesty extension and finding parliamentary time to implement the necessary legislation.

“This does not mean, however, that tenants and their advisers should put their amnesties on the backburner," added Mr Nicholson, who advised them instead to press ahead and get amnesties concluded well before the new December deadline.

Head of Policy Team at NFU Scotland, Gemma Cooper commented: “By the time we get to June 12, the amnesty period will have been running for three years. While a six month extension is welcome, those who have yet to engage in this process must crack on as soon as possible and not delay things any further. The extension is not an excuse for further delay on this.

“We remind tenants that it is important to complete the amnesty on improvements to be able to use the important assignation process when it is introduced into legislation or carry out rent reviews in the future.

“The NFUS and Davidson and Robertson ‘waygo’ helpline regarding the amnesty on tenant’s improvements has already helped a good number of tenants and landlords. The 0131 449 6212 number remains available to help our members with any amnesty related queries.”