SAAVA members provide clients with professional advice and valuation expertise on a wide range of issues affecting the countryside. They must have a wide knowledge of rural life, understand the relevant law, keep abreast of government regulations and have a strong sense of practicality in times when there are many new or increasing pressures on and opportunities in the countryside, at all times dealing professionally on behalf of clients.

Types of work often include:

Landlord and tenant matters- agricultural tenancies under the Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Acts, commercial and residential lettings.

Agriculture- stocktaking valuations, livestock, machinery and equipment, milk quotas, contract farming arrangements, grazing lets.

Scheme applications and advice- Single Payment Scheme, Less Favoured Area Support. Agri-Enviroment schemes including Rural Development Programme Schemes, Woodland schemes, SSSIs, Waste Management and NVZs.

Valuations and taxation- advice and valuation for rural taxation and finance: VAT, CGT, Income and Corporation Tax and Inheritance Tax.

Agency and management- sale purchase, valuation, mortgage and letting of farms, estates, houses, commercial premises and land.

Compulsary purchase and other compensation claims-
Including water and gas pipelines, road and rail schemes, electricity wayleaves/servitudes.

Rural planning and development- advice, applications and appeals.

Rural diversification- advice, grant applications, planning issues.

Renewable energy- wind, biofuels, biomass, hydro and solar.

Telecommunications masts- sites, advice on agreements.

Arbitration and dispute resolution- dispute settlement, mediation, independent expert, evidence preparation and hearings.

Background and History

Following enactment of the Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003 the Scottish Land Court became the primary forum for settling rent reviews or other disputes between the landlord and tenant of an agricultural holding.

It remains open to the landlord and tenant of an agricultural holding to agree at or after a time that a dispute arises that the dispute be determined by a method of alternative dispute resolution rather than the Scottish Land Court.

What methods of alternative dispute resolution are applicable to agricultural tenancies?

Arbitration – the position of an arbitrator is similar to a judge but the process to be followed is less formal and is confidential. The process is now governed by the Arbitration (Scotland) Act 2010. An arbitrator will hear submissions from both parties and issue a decision called an “Award”.

Expert Determination – an Independent Expert may also hear submissions from both parties. In addition they can make their own investigations and apply their own experience to the matter referred to them. An Independent Expert will issue a decision called a “Determination”.

How can SAAVA assist?

Under the Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Acts a reference to arbitration or expert determination requires to be agreed by landlord and tenant. In the event that landlord and tenant can agree the procedure but not the identity of an arbitrator or independent expert SAAVA is registered as an Arbitral Appointments Referee under the Arbitration (Scotland) Act 2010 and can appoint an arbitrator or independent expert on the joint application of a landlord and tenant.


Please contact the secretary for more information.

Professional Representation

It is not essential that parties are professionally represented in an arbitration or expert determination but it may be beneficial. The “Find a Valuer” section on this website provides details of SAAVA members that may be able to assist.

Useful Documents