Scotland’s Tenant Farming Commissioner (TFC) Bob McIntosh has published ‘A guide to the professional conduct of agents and how to make a complaint’.

The purpose of the guide is to help agricultural landlords and tenants understand what standards of conduct they should expect from a professional agent, and the actions that they should take to help ensure that any instances of poor conduct are addressed promptly and effectively.

It encourages landlords and tenants to select an agent who is a member of a reputable professional body and sets out the general principles of good practice which agents are expected to follow. The guide applies to surveyors, factors, land agents, solicitors and any other professional adviser acting for either party.

The guide has been developed following a review of the conduct of agents by the TFC in April 2018 which found that, in cases where landlords and tenants were dissatisfied with the conduct of an agent, such dissatisfaction was generally linked to behaviour as opposed to any lack of technical knowledge on the part of the agent.

The TFC explains, ‘This guide provides a handy checklist for anyone considering employing a professional agent, some general principles of good practice that should always be followed and information about how to make a complaint.

‘Most agents perform their duties in a professional manner but the actions of a small minority can have a disproportionate effect on the reputation of the agent, their employers or their profession.’

The guide is available to read on the Scottish Land Commission website.