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Legal insights & industry updates

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Tenancy of Shops (Scotland) Act - Repeal, Replace or Reform?

The long-awaited Scottish Law Commission discussion paper on the Tenancy of Shops (Scotland) Act 1949 has been published today (30 April 2024). The outcome will have an impact on anyone involved in retail and leisure property in Scotland, and the advice they are given around expiry of leases in those areas. 

Whilst the Act is rarely seen in practice nowadays, it allows tenants in Scotland to apply to the Sheriff Court to have their lease renewed for up to one year beyond its termination date. Many consider that this outdated piece of legislation should simply be dispensed with altogether, but there is an argument that the rationale for having the Act in the first place (helping small businesses under pressure) is still relevant in today's retail and leisure sectors. 

The options being considered by the Commission are to repeal, replace or reform the Act and comments are invited from anyone with an interest. Reponses to the discussion paper can be made until 31 July 2024, after which recommendations will be made to the Scottish Government.  

“The proposals in this paper affect virtually every let shop, pub or eatery on the high street, not to mention retail parks and shopping centres large and small. It’s vital that in these difficult economic times the law is as helpful as possible to both tenants and investors. We invite everyone to have their say.”


commercial property, food and drink, retail