Spring Awakening: A Look into Scotland’s Highlands and Islands Property Market in 2024

As the early Easter passed by, so did the rush to list properties in Scotland’s Highlands and Islands. With the early holiday dampening the desire to showcase homes amidst chilly weather and barren gardens, many clients opted to wait until spring truly sprung.

Now, as April unfolds, the landscape is changing. Colourful blooms adorn once-dormant gardens, and the weather turns milder, signaling the perfect time for homeowners to unveil their properties to eager buyers. The delay has only heightened anticipation, and the market is abuzz with newfound activity.

In recent weeks, there has been a noticeable surge in properties hitting the market, accompanied by an increase in viewing requests. This uptick in interest is promising as we transition into the warmer months.

Particularly noteworthy is the heightened attention surrounding high-end island properties nestled along the picturesque coastal regions. These gems have captured the imagination of prospective buyers with the allure of coastal living, combined with the impending summer ferry timetable contributing to this burgeoning interest.

The current sentiment among industry insiders is one of optimism and anticipation. With the stage set for a bustling selling season, stakeholders are gearing up for what promises to be a dynamic period in the region’s property market. The delayed onset of Spring has only served to amplify excitement, with sellers and buyers alike eager to capitalise on the newfound momentum.

As we navigate through the Spring months, all signs point to a flourishing market in Scotland’s Highlands and Islands. With properties blossoming onto the scene and interest steadily mounting, the stage is set for an exciting and rewarding market ahead.

If you are looking to buy or sell in the Scottish Highlands, contact our local property expert Joanne Stennett on 01463 717799 or email joanne.stennett@bellingram.co.uk.

Our people

Joanne Stennett

Joanne Stennett

Associate
Estate Agency
Tel: 01463 717 799

About: Joanne heads up the Estate Agency team in our Beauly office and is focused on ensuring her clients have a positive experience when they list their property with Bell Ingram. From country houses to farms and estates, she has been marketing prime residential property in the Highlands and Islands for over 17 years. Joanne is well known in the local area, having developed excellent relationships with buyers and sellers. Interests: Residential Estate Agency, Rural Property Sales.

Get in touch

We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

    Scotland’s West Coast property market witnesses the joy of spring

    Spring is the time of year for new life. As the days become longer, the landscape here on the West Scotland changes, from flat brown hues to a palette of vibrant greens, a vivid backdrop where fields come alive with the arrival of newborn lambs and calves. Spring is a season of hope.

    As I travel the length and breadth of Argyll carrying out property appraisals, I am also witnessing new life in the residential property market. After a relatively steady winter period, Spring has brought a steady rise in the level of enquiries across most property search locations. Clients are now beginning to make plans for the year ahead with many new buyers excited to relocate to this beautiful part of Scotland.

    We have achieved several ‘off market’ sales in recent months – matching purchasers with properties without the need for listing the property on the open market. This works well over the traditionally quieter months, and we would advise buyers to register with us at an early stage to receive early information on new and upcoming property listings, especially those with specific requirements, such as island locations, properties with direct coastal frontage or crofts and amenity farms.

    The market remains somewhat challenging for those seeking financing, but we anticipate that conditions will stabilise as the year unfolds. A recent decline in inflation, combined with the possibility of additional interest rate reductions should hopefully instil greater confidence in the market and make conditions easier for buyers.

    I’ve recently been invited to carry out appraisals for several new crofts, farms and smallholdings, properties which present a captivating opportunity for those looking to embrace an outdoor lifestyle.

    Bell Ingram prides itself on rural land sales and has expertise for both farm and estate management. As agents for AMC, we have specialists who can offer key advice on long term finance for rural businesses across Argyll.

    There is no denying that Scotland’s property market still presents some ongoing challenges, but as we progress through the year we are optimistic that the market will continue to flourish.   

    Find out more about the services are Oban Estate Agents offer here.

    Our people

    Andrew Fuller

    Andrew Fuller

    Senior Associate
    Estate Agency
    Tel: 01631 566 122

    About: Andrew heads up the Estate Agency team in our Oban office and is focused on ensuring his clients have a first-class experience when they list their property with Bell Ingram. A resident of the Isle of Mull, Andrew is very well known across the West Coast of Scotland and has developed an excellent reputation for marketing prime residential property, including plots, crofts, island homes and lifestyle opportunities. Andrew joined Bell Ingram following almost 15 years managing several high-level private and commercial development projects in the United Arab Emirates. Interests: Residential Estate Agency, Rural Property Sales.

    Get in touch

    We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

      Changes in Scotland’s Private Rented Sector

      Since September 2022, there have been regulations in place to control rent increases and safeguard against evictions for privately let residential properties, established under the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Act 2022. However, effective April 1st, 2024, these restrictions, including the 3% rent increase cap, will be lifted.

      To mitigate the risk of significant rent hikes, pending parliamentary approval, the process for rent adjudication will be temporarily adjusted for one year, starting April 1st, 2024. This adjustment aims to provide a fair approach to resolving rent disputes during this transitional period.

      Here’s what landlords need to know about rent reviews in April:

      Private residential tenants can dispute a rent increase, with disputes reviewed by Rent Service Scotland or the First-tier Tribunal.

      Rent will be determined based on the lowest of three figures: the open market rate, the rent requested by the landlord, and a comparator based on the difference between the market rate and the current rate.

      Proposed regulations necessitate the use of a rent taper formula if a tenant applies for rent adjudication:

      • If the rent increase is 6% or less than the market rent, the landlord can increase the rent by the proposed amount.

      • If the gap between the market rent and the current rent exceeds 6%, the landlord can increase it by 6% plus 0.33% for each percent that the gap exceeds 6%. The total rent increase cannot exceed 12%.

      Read the Rent Adjudication (Temporary Modifications)(Scotland) Regulations 2024 here..

      As demand for rented property rises, many privately let properties with existing tenants now have below-market rent due to the 3% cap in place since 2022. This is likely to lead to widespread rent increases across the country, although the full impact on the market remains to be seen.

      Before these restrictions are lifted, further changes are set to take effect on March 1st, 2024, with new measures being added to the Repairing Standard, which applies to all privately let residential properties and Short Term Lets. These include:

      • Safe Kitchens

      • Fixed Heating System

      • Safe Access to Common Parts

      • Consent to Work on Common Parts

      • Safe and Secure Common Doors

      • Residual Current Devices

      • Properties must be free of lead pipes, or a water quality test must be carried out.

      • Other fuels, such as oil installations, must meet the same repair standards as gas and electricity installations.

      For full information regarding the changes to the Repairing Standard, click here. While many properties will already meet these additional requirements, there is a risk, primarily to older tenancies, that may not meet the new requirements, necessitating additional works.

      For further discussions on how these changes affect your property, please contact our professional letting agents at Bell Ingram.

      Our people

      Hamish Hope

      Hamish Hope

      Surveyor, MRICS
      Land Management
      Tel: 01463 717 799

      About: Hamish is an experienced RICS Chartered Surveyor and Registered Valuer, working across the Highlands with a focus on rural estate management from traditional sporting estates to diversifications. He is a graduate of Edinburgh Napier University with MSc Real Estate Management and Investment. Interests: Estate Management, Sales & Lettings, Valuations, Domestic Energy Assessments.

      Get in touch

      We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

        Contract Farming Agreements – what to consider

        By Douglas Ogilvie, Farming Consultant

        Farmers need to respond to the challenges of increasing productivity, innovation, climate crisis, extreme weather and unknown policy changes that will hopefully help boost sustainable food production while supporting the environment.

        One way is for a landowner or tenant, while remaining in complete control of their business and being an active farmer, to harness the management skills, labour, machinery, sometimes breeding livestock and technology of another farmer.

        A Contract Farming Agreement is a straightforward Agreement whereby a Landowner or Occupier (the Farmer) engages the services of another Farmer or Contractor (the Contractor) on pre-arranged terms.

        These agreements can be extremely flexible, prospectively long term and many agreements have been going for over 30 years.

        The agreements are subject to the law of contract, and it is critical that these are properly drafted. There are many instances of agreements running into difficulties during inspections because of inadequate documentation or incorrect supervision.

        It is vital therefore, that the documentation is correctly drawn up and supervised. Agreements work better with a third-party adviser being a facilitator and prevent problems festering. The adviser helps prevent mistakes, parties behaving contrary to the agreement, or it being found a sham.

        Contract Farming Agreements should be distinguished from other agreements such as tenancies, partnerships, employment agreements, share farming and short term lets.

        The Farmer usually provides:

        • The land

        • The buildings

        • Fixed equipment (eg. grain drier), although sometimes the Contractor will provide these facilities

        • Single Farm Payment, LFASS, SSBSS, SUSSS and in certain cases AECS

        • Finance to administer the agreement

        • Short and long-term policy objectives

        The Contractor usually provides:

        • Labour

        • Machinery and all associated costs

        • Breeding livestock and replacements although these can also be provided by the Farmer.

        • Management expertise to implement the farming policy

        Variable Costs and Fixed Costs

        All variable costs are paid by the No. 2 Account. The Contractor pays for all his own labour and power costs. The remaining fixed costs are paid out of the No. 2 Account and may include:

        Livestock

        Breeding livestock can be owned by either the Farmer or the Contractor.

        Finding a Contractor

        Finding the right contractor this is the most important key to a successful long-term agreement, not the financial reward.

        Finally

        These agreements work extremely well for both parties for all enterprises whether arable or livestock. They are extremely popular and very flexible.

        For further information

        Contact Douglas Ogilvie who has over 37 years’ experience of Contract Farming Agreements or one of the Bell Ingram team in your local office. Tel. 01738 621 121.

        Our people

        Douglas Ogilvie

        Douglas Ogilvie

        Farm Management Consultant
        Rural Land Management
        Tel: 01738 621 121

        About: Douglas has been involved in providing strategic farm management consultancy to private clients and public bodies in Scotland from the Borders and Lanarkshire up to Sutherland and the Highlands and Islands since 1987. Douglas is renowned for his experience in setting up, providing documentation and managing over 30 arable and livestock Contract Farming Agreements, managing farms, advising on BPS, LFASS, AECS and completing subsidy applications. Douglas joined Bell Ingram in October 2023. Interests: Farm Management.

        Get in touch

        We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

          First class portfolio of farms comes to market in Stirlingshire

          A large portfolio of farms in Stirlingshire including agricultural land and six dwellings has come to the open market.

          Rural Estate Agents, Bell Ingram is marketing the farms, which total 513.5 hectare (1,268.70 acres), as a whole at offers over £8,450,000 or in six individual lots.

          Bonnyhill Farm, Dykehead & Seabegs and Bonnyside Farm are all located within close proximity of the town of Bonnybridge and within about three miles of centre of Falkirk.

          The main farming units at Bonnybridge are used as a base for a dairy enterprise whilst the farms and land further east, near Larbert and Falkirk, are used mainly for the rearing of beef cattle and also for the growing of arable crops. The farms also include areas of woodland and include a number of dwellings and farm buildings.

          Estate Agent, Carl Warden comments on the sale: “We kick off the 2024 farm sales market with this large portfolio of businesses in Central Scotland. These first-class farming properties are currently used for a variety of different agricultural enterprises including dairy, beef cattle, arable crops and woodland. This sale presents an excellent opportunity for a diverse farming business looking to expand production.”

          Lot 1 – Bonnyhill Farm Dairy is a first-class dairy farm with a range of purpose-built dairy buildings and equipment, principal farmhouse and two detached modern bungalows. It extends to about 96.20 hectares (237.60 acres) and is the base for a 270-cow dairy herd. It has an asking price of offers over £2,300,000.

          Lot 2Dykehead and Seabegs farms include a cottage, outbuildings, farmland and woodland – 67.30 hectares (166.40 acres). It also includes an area of land at Reilly Road, which is held under Option. The land parcels are divided by railway lines and also by the Forth and Clyde Canal. Offers over £870,000.

          Lot 3 – Bonnyside Farm including outbuildings and land lies to the north of Bonnyhill Farm and adjacent to the village of Bonnybridge. The farm and land, extending to about 108.10 hectares (267.00 acres), currently operates in conjunction with the dairy enterprise and includes a farmhouse and two farm buildings which lie within the village. Offers over £1,550,000.

          Lot 4 – Househill Farm – 158.70 hectares (392.10 acres) including principal farmhouse, outbuildings and a range of land.  The farm is used as a base for a beef farming enterprise. It lies to the west of Larbert and to the southwest of the Forth Valley Hospital, adjacent to the M876 road. Offers over £2,700,000.

          Lot 5 – Arable land at Hardilands extending to approximately 62.80 hectares (155.10 acres).  Lying to the south of the Kincardine Bridge and to the northeast of Skinflats, within close proximity to the River Forth, it has an asking price of Offers over £750,000.

          Lot 6 – Arable land at Inches extending to approximately 20.40 hectares (50.50 acres) in all and lies to the north of Larbert. Offers over £280,000.

          For more information or to arrange a viewing please contact Carl Warden on 01738 621121 or email carl.warden@bellingram.co.uk.

          Our people

          Carl Warden

          Carl Warden

          Partner
          Estate Agency
          Tel: 01738 621 121

          About: Carl heads up the Residential Estate Agency division for the company and has a proven track record within the Scottish property sector. He has been marketing property in the Perth and Kinross area for over 35 years and has vast and detailed practical experience and knowledge of selling prime residential property: from period homes to contemporary developments. Carl is well known in the local area, having developed excellent relationships with buyers and sellers. His wider role involves looking after and supporting our Agency teams and colleagues in Oban, Beauly, Ayr and Forfar. Interests: Estate Agency, Market Valuation, Negotiation.

          Get in touch

          We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

            New UKFS edition released after comprehensive review

            By Sam Guthrie, Forester

            A new (5th) edition of the UK Forestry Standard (UKFS) has been published following an extensive review process.

            This latest update reflects the improvements in scientific knowledge, developments in international approaches to forestry, new or amended legislation, and new information about best forestry practice.

            Enforced across all four UK nations, the UKFS is the reference standard for all foresters to follow, ensuring new forests and woodlands are sustainable – balancing environmental, economic, and social interests. It applies to all woodland, regardless of who owns or manages it.

            A prerequisite for the approval of forest plans, felling and replanting operations, woodland creation proposals and forestry grants, is that forest owners, managers and contractors are responsible for ensuring that forest operations and activities are delivered in accordance with the UKFS.

            Additionally, the UK Woodland Assurance Standard (UKWAS) certification builds on the foundations set out by the UKFS. Benefits of achieving certification can include higher prices and easier movement of certified timber.

            But what does it all mean for forest managers?

            As you might expect given government emphasis on tackling climate change and nature loss, sustainability is front and centre of this refresh, with biosecurity, tree pests and deer control at the heart of this new edition.

            Importantly, the guidance aims to make forests more resilient to a changing climate and the increased risk of pests and diseases so they can continue to deliver multiple benefits.

            Where necessary, good practice requirements have been amended or added to encourage more direct action to ensure forests remain, healthy, vibrant habitats providing timber and a range of environmental benefits to help meet net-zero ambitions.

             Key changes include:

            • The maximum proportion of a single species specified will be reduced from 75% to 65%. This will further diversify the range of species in woodland creation and restocking. Forest Plans submitted after October 1st 2024 will be required to show a transition to the new proportions over time.

            • Requirements to use deer management plans more widely to reduce browsing pressure to acceptable levels and enable the use of natural regeneration.

            • Requirements to plan and implement biosecurity measures across managed land to reduce the risk of introducing or spreading pests and diseases.

            A 12-month transition period is now in place to allow guidance to be updated, users to become familiar with the new edition, and draft woodland plans to be finalised. It will be applied from October 1st 2024.

            The new (5th) edition of the UKFS is available on the Scottish Forestry website.

            Our people

            Sam Guthrie

            Sam Guthrie

            Forester
            Forestry Management
            Tel: 01738 621 121

            About: Sam works across Scotland with a focus on delivering woodland management projects on the ground for a range of corporate and private clients. He has seven years’ experience in the sector and began his forestry career as a planter. Sam is currently studying for a PDA in Forestry Operations from the Scottish School of Forestry. Interests: Woodland Creation, Silviculture, Ecological Restoration.

            Get in touch

            We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

              Harnessing financial opportunities: Landowners and carbon offset strategies in woodland creation schemes

              By Stuart McArtney, Forest Manager

              In the global effort to mitigate climate change, carbon offsetting has emerged as a critical tool to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Landowners, especially those with large expanses of undeveloped land, are presented with unique financial opportunities through participation in woodland creation schemes. However, as with any burgeoning market, there are considerations and potential pitfalls that demand careful navigation to ensure sustainable and ethical practices.

              Carbon offsetting involves compensating for one’s carbon footprint by investing in projects that reduce or capture an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Woodland creation schemes, a subset of carbon offset programs, focus on planting trees to sequester carbon and enhance biodiversity.

              Landowners can benefit financially from participating in woodland creation schemes through various mechanisms. Governments often offer incentives such as grants and subsidies to convert their properties into carbon sinks. These financial incentives can significantly offset the costs associated with planting and maintaining woodlands.

              Investing in land for the explicit purpose of carbon offsetting has become an attractive option for environmentally conscious investors and businesses. However, the acquisition process requires careful consideration of ecological factors, regulatory requirements, and long-term commitment. Sustainable practices must be prioritised to ensure the effectiveness of the carbon offsetting initiative.

              Distorting the market:

              As the demand for carbon offsetting increases, there is a risk of market distortion. Some critics argue that the commodification of carbon may lead to speculative practices, where land is acquired solely for financial gain rather than genuine environmental impact. This raises concerns about the sincerity of carbon offset projects and the potential for greenwashing.

              Ensuring ethical practices:

              To maintain the integrity of woodland creation schemes, landowners must adopt ethical and sustainable practices. This may include selecting native tree species, implementing proper land management techniques, and engaging with local communities. Transparency and accountability in reporting carbon sequestration efforts are crucial to building trust in the market.

              Collaboration and Certification:

              Landowners should consider collaborating with reputable organisations and obtaining certification through the Woodland Carbon Code (WCC) to provide assurance that projects adhere to rigorous environmental and social criteria.

              In conclusion, the financial opportunities for landowners in the realm of carbon offsetting, particularly through woodland creation schemes, are vast. However, it is essential for stakeholders to approach this market with a commitment to sustainability and ethical practices. By carefully navigating the complexities of acquisition, market dynamics, and ecological considerations, landowners can play a pivotal role in combatting climate change while reaping the financial rewards of responsible carbon offset initiatives.

              • Bell Ingram offers a comprehensive range of specialist forestry services to clients across Scotland. To find out more go to our website bellingram.co.uk or phone 01738 621 121 to speak to a member of our forestry team.

              Our people

              Stuart McArtney

              Stuart McArtney

              Associate, BSc For MICFor
              Forestry Management
              Tel: 01738 621 121

              About: Stuart is a highly experienced Forest Manager working across Scotland advising private, corporate and public sector clients on all aspects of forestry and project management. Stuart joined Bell Ingram in 2014 and specialises in new woodland creation schemes. He is also highly experienced in GIS mapping. Interests: Forestry, Mapping & GIS Services, Woodland Management.

              Get in touch

              We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                Thriving café business and home for sale on popular tourism Isle

                A rare opportunity to acquire a thriving café and gift shop business together with a large Victorian stone-built three-bedroom house in a popular tourist destination in the northwest of the Isle of Lewis has arisen.

                Highlands & Islands Estate Agent, Bell Ingram is delighted to bring The Wobbly Dog Café and residential opportunity to the market for offers over £290,000.

                The sale of the Wobbly Dog Café is a superb opportunity to acquire a thriving and profitable business in a popular tourist destination on the Isle of Lewis. It is an ideal purchase for someone looking to take on a thriving business adjacent to their home.

                Established in 2019, it has consistently high ratings on Google and TripAdvisor, the cafe/shop maintains much of the original style and charm of yesteryear, with original heavy wooden counter, glass display cases and fitted shelving. All fixtures, fittings and equipment are included in the sale.

                There are rural views across croft land towards the Atlantic on the west and the Minch on the east making the eatery a popular destination with tourists looking for lunch with a view.

                Attached to the café is a spacious three-bedroom home which has been upgraded throughout while at the same time retaining the charm of some original features.  In addition to a sitting room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom on the ground floor, there are two further bedrooms and WC on the upper floor. The kitchen has a Rangemaster gas cooker and attractive Fired Earth tiling on the floor.

                Commenting on the property, Estate Agent, Joanne Stennett says: “The Isle of Lewis is a favourite holiday destination and the café and residential property offer an excellent opportunity to have a change of lifestyle and take on a thriving business in this beautiful part of Scotland”.

                For more information, or to arrange a viewing contact Joanne Stennett on 01463 717799 or email joanne.stennett@bellingram.co.uk 

                Our people

                Joanne Stennett

                Joanne Stennett

                Associate
                Estate Agency
                Tel: 01463 717 799

                About: Joanne heads up the Estate Agency team in our Beauly office and is focused on ensuring her clients have a positive experience when they list their property with Bell Ingram. From country houses to farms and estates, she has been marketing prime residential property in the Highlands and Islands for over 17 years. Joanne is well known in the local area, having developed excellent relationships with buyers and sellers. Interests: Residential Estate Agency, Rural Property Sales.

                Get in touch

                We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                  The Road to Net Zero: What it means for farmers and landowners

                  by Rhona Booth, Senior Associate

                  In an era defined by the urgent need to address climate change, the UK and Scottish Governments have emerged as global leaders in the race towards a sustainable future. With a commitment to environmental responsibility, both governments have set ambitious Net Zero targets signalling a transformative shift towards a low-carbon, resilient economy.

                  In Scotland, farmers and landowners hold the key to delivering many of the sector targets, specifically around carbon offsetting, sustainable farming practices, afforestation projects and initiatives to enhance biodiversity.

                  The Scottish Government also continues to invest in and promote the development of renewable energy projects, aiming to generate a substantial portion of the country’s energy from clean sources.

                  In this article I explore the financial opportunities around the strategies and initiatives employed by the Scottish Government to fulfil its commitments to achieving Net Zero.

                  Solar Power: One of the most promising avenues for landowners is the integration of solar energy into the national grid. Scotland’s government has been actively encouraging the adoption of renewable energy, and solar power is no exception.

                  Developers are actively pursuing solar opportunities across Scotland with hotspots on the East Coast where irradiance levels are highest. Bell Ingram are acting for numerous land owners, negotiating exclusivity agreements, Heads of Terms and assisting landowners and their legal advisors during the option and lease process.  Lease terms are typically 40 years with rentals significantly greater than those generated from agriculture making hosting a solar development and attractive proposition. Bell Ingram will negotiate the best deal with our knowledge of the market and expertise on practical matters of development. The developer will meet the cost of professional fees. Although the connection date to the grid can be up to a decade away due to the constraints on the electricity network, developers are keen to secure land at the present time via an option agreement.

                  Battery Storage: While solar (and wind power) are integral to the renewable energy landscape, they come with inherent challenges related to intermittency and grid stability. This is where battery storage systems play a crucial role. By storing excess energy generated during peak times and releasing it when demand is high, battery storage helps balance the grid, ensuring a reliable and stable power supply.

                  Landowners can enter into lease agreements with energy developers for the use of their land to host battery storage facilities. These agreements typically involve regular rental payments, providing a steady income stream for landowners without requiring active involvement in the day-to-day operations.

                  The land take for battery storage is relatively small, four to 20 acres making this opportunity as an addition to the farming business and income stream. The proximity of a substation is a prerequisite to hosting a battery storage scheme.

                  Carbon Off Setting: The financial opportunities for landowners in the realm of carbon offsetting, particularly through woodland creation schemes, are vast. However, it is essential for stakeholders to approach this market with a commitment to sustainability and ethical practices. By carefully navigating the complexities of acquisition, market dynamics, and ecological considerations, landowners can play a pivotal role in combatting climate change while reaping the financial rewards of responsible carbon offset initiatives.

                  Electricity Infrastructure: SSE’s massive £10 billion investment in electricity infrastructure is geared towards enhancing and expanding Scotland’s electricity infrastructure. This includes the development of renewable energy projects, grid upgrades, and the deployment of cutting-edge technology. Landowners situated in proximity to these projects stand to benefit significantly.

                  One of the primary opportunities lies in leasing land for renewable energy projects such as wind farms or solar installations. SSE’s commitment to increasing renewable capacity provides an ideal environment for landowners to generate steady income through long-term leases.

                  Beyond renewable energy projects, SSE’s investment includes significant upgrades to the electricity grid. It is important for landowners to engage early with SSE to ensure that their views are taken into account as far as possible in the design of the scheme. New pylons are the unfortunate requirement to secure renewable opportunities across the country and SSE and the Scottish Government has strong statutory powers the roll out their infrastructure programme.

                  Low-Carbon Hydrogen Economy: The Acorn Project, based in North East Scotland, is a groundbreaking initiative that aims to deliver low-carbon energy solutions. At its core, the project focuses on repurposing existing oil and gas infrastructure to support the development of a low-carbon hydrogen economy.

                  One crucial aspect of the Acorn Project is the need for gas transportation to the St Fergus terminal and those landowners situated along the gas transportation route to St Fergus have a unique chance to play a crucial role in this transformative journey. By exploring servitude agreements, lease arrangements, and actively participating in community development, it is envisaged that landowners can maximise the financial benefits while contributing to a more sustainable and resilient energy future.

                  Top Tips:

                  • While the financial opportunities are abundant, it is crucial for landowners to navigate the regulatory landscape effectively.

                  • Understanding planning permissions, environmental impact assessments, and community engagement requirements is essential for a successful partnership with energy infrastructure developers.

                  • Seeking professional advice can help landowners make informed decisions and ensure compliance with regulations.

                  To find out how Bell Ingram can help your rural business make the most of these opportunities phone 01738 621 121 to speak to Rhona Booth or one of our Rural Land Management team.

                  Our people

                  Rhona Booth

                  Rhona Booth

                  Senior Associate, MRICS
                  Rural Land Management
                  Tel: 01307 462516

                  About: Rhona is a highly experienced RICS Chartered Surveyor and Registered Valuer working across Perthshire and Angus advising on all aspects of estate and farm management, including landlord and tenant negotiations, telecommunication mast agreements, utility projects and CPO compensation claims. In addition, Rhona can undertake a range of rural valuations for a variety of purposes as a Registered Valuer. Rhona joined Bell Ingram in 2020 and has over 20 years’ experience in the sector. Interests: Rural Land Management, Valuations, Utilities, Renewable Energy, Agricultural Tenancy Advisor, MRICS Registered Valuer.

                  Get in touch

                  We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                    Busy year of transactions for our Oban Estate Agents

                    It has been a busy year of transactions for our Oban Estate Agency. Operating across Argyll & Bute and the Inner Hebrides our west coast property experts have continued to witness a surge in the demand for second homes and holiday retreats. Buyers are looking properties that offer an escape from urban life, with a focus on outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing and water sports. The region’s rice history and cultural attractions further enhance its appeal, making it a popular choice for both domestic and international and buyers.

                    There is an increasing interest in reviving old properties while preserving their original charm. This trend aligns with a growing appreciation for sustainable and eco-conscious living, as restoration often involves repurposing existing materials.

                    Here is a selection what our Oban Estate Agents have sold in 2023.

                    Craighrannoch, Ballachulish

                    Guide Price £800,000.

                    Set in a picturesque, secluded coastal location on the shores of Loch Leven and on the fringe of the coastal village of Ballachulish, Craighrannoch is a traditional stone villa, perfectly positioned to enjoy the panoramic views.

                    Cuilcheanna & Cuilcheanna Cottages, Onich

                    Guide Price £1,045,000.

                    Cuilcheanna presented a wonderful lifestyle opportunity for the right buyer with a five-bedroom family home and four well established holiday cottages, located within the ever-popular coastal village of Onich. This property offered an excellent opportunity to escape city life with an established holiday business and substantial income potential.

                    Achavaich, Connel

                    Guide price £495,000.

                    This beautifully presented traditional farmhouse with converted barn, set in a much sought-after location on the fringe of the coastal village of Connel and benefitting from far reaching views across the local countryside. This beloved family home offered buyers idyllic family life and carefree rural living coupled with easy access to the thriving coastal hub at Oban.

                    Our Oban Estate Agents are looking for similar properties to sell across Argyll & Bute and the Islands. If you are thinking of moving, discuss our market appraisal contact Andrew Fuller on 01631 566122 or email andrew.fuller@bellingram.co.uk.

                    Our people

                    Andrew Fuller

                    Andrew Fuller

                    Senior Associate
                    Estate Agency
                    Tel: 01631 566 122

                    About: Andrew heads up the Estate Agency team in our Oban office and is focused on ensuring his clients have a first-class experience when they list their property with Bell Ingram. A resident of the Isle of Mull, Andrew is very well known across the West Coast of Scotland and has developed an excellent reputation for marketing prime residential property, including plots, crofts, island homes and lifestyle opportunities. Andrew joined Bell Ingram following almost 15 years managing several high-level private and commercial development projects in the United Arab Emirates. Interests: Residential Estate Agency, Rural Property Sales.

                    Get in touch

                    We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                      High quality of life still drawing buyers to the Highlands & Islands

                      Bell Ingram’s Highland Estate Agency team reflect on 2023 as the Highlands & Islands region continues to experience high demand caused by the rise of remote work. As more professionals embrace flexible work arrangements, there is a growing interest in properties that offer a high quality of life in a remote setting. Waterfront homes, cottages with sea views, and properties nestled in nature are becoming coveted choices for those seeking a quieter and more serene lifestyle.

                      Here is a selection of what our Highland Estate Agents have sold in 2023.

                      7B Drimisdale, Isle of South Uist

                      Offers over £525,000.

                      7B Drimisdale presented buyers a beautiful four-bedroom architect-designed house with studio annexe and approximately 14.17ha (34acres) of croftland in a peaceful lochside location on the Isle of South Uist. Perfect for wildlife enthusiasts this property’s idyllic location overlooked Loch Stilligarry which hosts a variety of rare and beautiful species.

                      Burnside of Enzie, Buckie

                      Offers over £335,000.

                      Burnside of Enzie offered buyers an immaculate steading conversion with four en-suite bedrooms set in the tranquil, rural location of Clochan near Buckie. The steading was built to the highest standard with quality oak finishing throughout.

                      Cuil Breac, Elphin

                      Offers over £300,000.

                      Nestled in the dramatic landscape of Elphin in the Scottish Highlands, this former croft house is a mountain lover’s dream home. Packed with character, the cottage included a recently completed extension which has wonderful living space where one could sit back and enjoy the views of the surrounding mountains and lochs.

                      Ty Cymro, Isle of Berneray

                      Offers over £180,000.

                      This unique property was one of a handful of traditional thatched black houses remaining on the islands. Rare to market this property was brimming with charming features and breath-taking views. Ty Cymro presented the perfect island home filled with charm and a great opportunity for buyers looking to enjoy an idyllic rural lifestyle.

                      Bay Cottage, Carinish

                      Offers over £325,000.

                      Bay Cottage is an exceptional modern and stylish design-led two bedroom waterside eco house located on the island of North Uist. Completely renovated and extended to the highest standards with unique, high-quality features and finishings throughout.

                      Our Beauly Estate Agents are looking for similar properties to sell across the Scottish Highlands and Islands. If you are thinking of moving, discuss our market appraisal contact Joanne Stennett on 01463 717799 or email joanne.stennett@bellingram.co.uk.

                      Our people

                      Joanne Stennett

                      Joanne Stennett

                      Associate
                      Estate Agency
                      Tel: 01463 717 799

                      About: Joanne heads up the Estate Agency team in our Beauly office and is focused on ensuring her clients have a positive experience when they list their property with Bell Ingram. From country houses to farms and estates, she has been marketing prime residential property in the Highlands and Islands for over 17 years. Joanne is well known in the local area, having developed excellent relationships with buyers and sellers. Interests: Residential Estate Agency, Rural Property Sales.

                      Get in touch

                      We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                        Heat in Buildings Bill – Potential impact on privately let residential properties in Scotland

                        Anyone involved in Scottish residential property management has been growing increasingly frustrated by the limited information available around the reform of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) in Scotland.

                        Initial legislation was drafted in 2019 but binned in 2021 due to Covid, and since then landlords and property managers have been left in limbo, knowing that changes to the minimum standard are coming but not knowing when they might come into force or what they might involve.

                        However, more detail emerged this week when the Scottish Government opened the consultation on the proposals for Heat in Buildings Bill.

                        This consultation confirms that the Government plans to require private landlords to meet a minimum energy efficiency standard by the end of 2028, and by the end of 2033 owner occupied homes will also need to meet a minimum energy efficiency standards.

                        So, what will the minimum energy efficiency standard be?

                        For years now, it has been known that a minimum EPC score is incoming but there has been a lack of clarity on how this might be achieved, and if there are going to be any exclusions or if there is going to be a price cap.

                        This new consultation proposes that minimum energy efficiency standards can be met by installing a straightforward list of measures. This list would be developed to ensure the biggest impact with the lowest degree of cost and disruption. It is important to note that the consultation says:

                        “Any homeowner who had installed these measures – or as many of them as are feasible for the type of home they live in – would be considered to have reached a good level of energy efficiency and meet the new standard.”

                        This is reassuring as it confirms that not all proposed measures will need to be met in every single property. The consultation suggests that the list could be:

                        • 270mm loft insulation

                        • Cavity wall insulation

                        • Draught-proofing

                        • Heating controls

                        • 80mm hot water cylinder insulation

                        • Suspended floor insulation

                        Many landlords and homeowners will have made energy improvements to their properties already; therefore this consultation proposes that alongside the above measures, there could be an alternative option of meeting these standards based on the result of an EPC assessment.

                        It is proposed that owner occupied homes that have ended their use of polluting heating, gas or oil for example, by 2033 will not be required to meet the minimum energy efficiency standard. However, private rented properties would still be required to meet the minimum energy efficiency standard, even if a clean heating system is already in place.

                        Finally, there is a hint of clarification around the consequences to landlords if their properties do not meet a minimum energy efficiency standard. The consultation proposes that properties in the private rented sector which do not meet these standards by the end of 2028 would not be allowed to be leased to a new tenant should the existing tenant leave.

                        The consultation on the proposals for Heat in Buildings Bill began on 28th November 2023, and is due to close on 8th March 2024.

                        The consultation can be read in full here.

                        Please contact Bell Ingram’s Rural Land Management team on 01738 621 121 if you have any questions and would like to discuss how this may impact your properties.

                        Our people

                        Hamish Hope

                        Hamish Hope

                        Surveyor, MRICS
                        Land Management
                        Tel: 01463 717 799

                        About: Hamish is an experienced RICS Chartered Surveyor and Registered Valuer, working across the Highlands with a focus on rural estate management from traditional sporting estates to diversifications. He is a graduate of Edinburgh Napier University with MSc Real Estate Management and Investment. Interests: Estate Management, Sales & Lettings, Valuations, Domestic Energy Assessments.

                        Get in touch

                        We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                          Ayr digs in to help local community garden

                          Ayr colleagues took advantage of Bell Ingram’s commitment to supporting local communities by helping out at Eglinton Park in Irvine. The community garden supports people of all ages with their mental health by providing garden therapy through learning about gardening and growing food. Our team rolled up their sleeves for a day of hard work in the garden planting trees. 

                          HR Manager, Kirsty Watson comments: “We were delighted to be able to help at the Community Garden at Eglinton Park, which is a very worthy cause in our local area.

                          “At Bell Ingram we believe that it is important to be active members of the communities we operate in. That’s why we offer all employees one day of volunteer leave a year to take part in projects that are important to them, and to help our communities and countryside thrive.”

                          For more information about working at Bell Ingram visit: bellingram.co.uk/Work-with-us/

                          Our people

                          Kirsty Watson

                          Kirsty Watson

                          Associate
                          HR Manager
                          Tel: 01292 886 544

                          About: Kirsty is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Personnel and Development and has over 20 years' experience providing a general HR function including recruitment, absence management, training and development and policy writing. Interests: Employee wellbeing, equality, diversity and inclusion.

                          Get in touch

                          We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                            Forestry Grant Available for Scotland’s Farmers

                            With 85% of farmland in Scotland classified as Less Favoured Area (LFA) and with current uncertainties over the future of agricultural subsidies, there are significant opportunities for landowners to maximise business productivity by adding value to underproductive land via woodland creation.

                            New woodlands have the potential to create an additional sustainable long term income stream for your business and an important source of low carbon, low cost woodfuel, at the same time as realising tax, livestock and crop productivity and environmental benefits.

                            Farmers looking to unlock the benefits of trees on their land can access £1000 funding from the Farm Advisory Service for woodland creation, which can now be used for Bell Ingram’s forestry services as Specialist Advisors to FAS.

                            Bell Ingram’s Forestry team would be pleased to talk to anyone who would like to take advantage of the funding options available.

                            Woodland Creation

                            Bell Ingram works with clients who wish to undertake woodland creation projects and are able to offer a “one stop shop” encompassing the whole process from the initial design and grant approval stage, through to implementation, maintenance and final establishment.

                            For larger schemes, we can also accommodate any Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) requirements.

                            Most recently Bell Ingram has successful secured a number of Locational Premium Schemes, allowing landowner concerned to benefit from the additional incentives on offer and find an alternative land-use for marginal agricultural land.

                            To find out more about our forestry services in Scotland contact Geoff Brown on geoff.brown@bellingram.co.uk or 01292 886544.

                            Our people

                            Geoff Brown

                            Geoff Brown

                            Partner, MRICS ND For
                            Utilities & Renewables
                            Tel: 01292 886 544

                            About: Geoff is the Service Head of Bell Ingram’s Forestry and Utilities (Scotland) services. He is both a RICS Chartered Surveyor and a fully qualified Forester with a focus on utility and infrastructure clients. Geoff’s expertise includes acquisitions, wayleave and servitude agreements and compensation claims, along with extensive experience of all aspects of woodland management for a range of corporate and private clients. His remit includes providing specialist forestry advice relating to new woodland creation, crop compensation losses, tree felling approval, standing sales and compensatory planting sites. Interests: Utilities & Renewables, Forestry, Corporate Estate Management.

                            Get in touch

                            We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                              Substantial home with views over the Firth of Forth estuary

                              A detached family home in an elevated position overlooking Ravenscraig Park, with far reaching views over the Firth of Forth with over 400 m2 spread over four floors has come to market.

                              New to the market with Scottish estate agents Bell Ingram is Park View House for offers over £600,000.

                              Built about 1970, Park View House was substantially extended and upgraded in 2010 and now has plentiful accommodation, offering a great amount of flexibility for a growing family. 

                              There are a number of areas in the house that take advantage of its stunning location views over Ravenscraig Park and the Firth of Forth. These include a seating balcony accessed from the dining area, and the complete top floor which serves as a public room with glazed doors opening to a balcony with a glazed balustrade. There are great entertaining spaces both internally, with a games room and a bar on the lower floor, and externally with a covered area which also has a wood burning stove.

                              It has very high-quality fixtures and fittings including oak flooring, doors, skirtings and facings throughout. The welcoming reception hall has an oak floor with additional feature detailing, and two oak staircases to the upper and lower levels. The kitchen, in open plan with the dining/living area, has a mix of black and white gloss and glazed base and wall units with white Corian work surfaces.

                              In addition to the six bedrooms, the master en suite bedroom has an adjacent well fitted dressing room. 

                              The grounds extend to about 0.2 acres. The north facing garden is laid to lawn and the south is a terraced garden. The front driveway has ample parking for three vehicles and leads to a garage with a workshop and store on the floor below.

                              Commenting on the property, Estate Agent, Carl Warden says: “The wonderful location of Park View House combined with the wealth of accommodation and the quality of the fixtures and fittings makes this a must-see property. It offers so much flexibility for a growing family”.

                              For more information, or to arrange a viewing contact Carl Warden on 01738 621121 or email carl.warden@bellingram.co.uk 

                              Our people

                              Carl Warden

                              Carl Warden

                              Partner
                              Estate Agency
                              Tel: 01738 621 121

                              About: Carl heads up the Residential Estate Agency division for the company and has a proven track record within the Scottish property sector. He has been marketing property in the Perth and Kinross area for over 35 years and has vast and detailed practical experience and knowledge of selling prime residential property: from period homes to contemporary developments. Carl is well known in the local area, having developed excellent relationships with buyers and sellers. His wider role involves looking after and supporting our Agency teams and colleagues in Oban, Beauly, Ayr and Forfar. Interests: Estate Agency, Market Valuation, Negotiation.

                              Get in touch

                              We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                                Waterside home for sale in idyllic Ross-shire village

                                An immaculate three-bedroom cottage with shore access and set in the idyllic, waterside location of Rockfield near Portmohomack has come to market.

                                Bell Ingram is delighted to bring the delightfully named Seashells to the market for Offers over £265,000.

                                Seashells offers a rarely available opportunity to acquire a delightful, south facing, cottage which enjoys far reaching sea views. The cottage has been sympathetically extended to the rear to offer excellent living space.

                                Seashells is situated in the quiet seaboard hamlet of Rockfield, close to Portmohomack in Ross-shire. Rockfield is a peaceful location which has no through road and so traffic is limited. The hamlet is on the side of the Cromarty Firth and has a small harbour. The village of Portmohomack is only 1.5 miles away and has shops, a primary school, a hotel and two restaurants.

                                The land to the front property is laid to lawn and runs down to the seashore. 

                                A path runs down the side of the property to the rear garden which is accessed by steps to a tiered lawn area with a path which meanders through areas planted with mature trees, bushes and fruit trees. There is also a small patio, and the rear garden is bounded by stock and wooden fencing.

                                There is one public room and three bedrooms, one which is on the ground floor. The kitchen has a good range of base and wall units and there are a number of integrated appliances which are included in the sale. Windows on the side and the back offer plenty of natural light and there is a large picture window with views over the garden.

                                Seashells has mains water and electricity, oil fired central heating and drainage is to a septic tank.

                                Commenting on the property, Estate Agent, Joanne Stennett says: “This immaculate cottage is in a beautiful setting and its direct access to the shoreline makes it a very attractive property either as a family home or an idyllic holiday retreat”.

                                For more information, or to arrange a viewing contact Joanne Stennett on 01463 717799 or email joanne.stennett@bellingram.co.uk 

                                Our people

                                Joanne Stennett

                                Joanne Stennett

                                Associate
                                Estate Agency
                                Tel: 01463 717 799

                                About: Joanne heads up the Estate Agency team in our Beauly office and is focused on ensuring her clients have a positive experience when they list their property with Bell Ingram. From country houses to farms and estates, she has been marketing prime residential property in the Highlands and Islands for over 17 years. Joanne is well known in the local area, having developed excellent relationships with buyers and sellers. Interests: Residential Estate Agency, Rural Property Sales.

                                Get in touch

                                We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                                  Exploring the current trends in the Scotland’s rural property market

                                  The Scottish property market is known for its unique blend of historic charm and natural beauty, making it a sought-after destination for both local residents and international investors. Within this picturesque landscape, several regions stand out as hotspots for real estate activity. In this article, we will delve into the current trends shaping the property markets of Perth & Kinross, Highlands & Islands, and Argyll & Bute. From scenic landscapes to cultural heritage, these areas offer a wealth of opportunities for those looking to buy or invest in Scottish real estate.

                                  1. Perthshire: Bridging the Gap Between Urban and Rural

                                  Perthshire’s property is witnessing a rising trend of buyers seeking a balance between urban conveniences and rural tranquillity. Properties that offer proximity to city amenities while being surrounded by the region’s stunning landscapes are in high demand. The market also shows an inclination towards eco-friendly and sustainable homes, as buyers prioritize energy efficiency and green living.

                                  1. Kinross-shire: The Appeal of Community Living

                                  Kinross-shire’s real estate scene is seeing a surge in demand for properties that promote community living. With a focus on shared spaces, recreational facilities, and social activities, developments that foster a sense of belonging are gaining popularity. Additionally, the region’s connectivity to nearby cities adds to its attractiveness for both commuters and families seeking a suburban lifestyle.

                                  1. Highland & Islands: Remote Work and Lifestyle Shifts

                                  The Highland and Islands region is experiencing a significant shift due to the rise of remote work. As more professionals embrace flexible work arrangements, there is a growing interest in properties that offer a high quality of life in a remote setting. Waterfront homes, cottages with sea views, and properties nestled in nature are becoming coveted choices for those seeking a quieter and more serene lifestyle.

                                  1. Argyll & Bute: Second Homes and Holiday Retreats

                                  Argyll’s real estate market is witnessing a surge in the demand for second homes and holiday retreats. Buyers are looking for properties that offer an escape from urban life, with a focus on outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and water sports. The region’s rich history and cultural attractions further enhance its appeal, making it a popular choice for both domestic and international buyers.

                                  There is an increasing interest in reviving old properties while preserving their original charm. This trend aligns with a growing appreciation for sustainable and eco-conscious living, as restoration often involves repurposing existing materials.

                                  Carl Warden, who heads up Bell Ingram’s Estate Agency Service, concludes: “The rural markets are each driven by unique trends that cater to diverse buyer preferences. Whether it’s the blend of urban and rural living, the focus on community, the allure of remote lifestyles, the appeal of second homes, or the fascination with heritage properties, these regions offer a range of options for those interested in Scottish real estate. As these trends continue to evolve, they will undoubtedly shape the future landscape of the Scottish property market, attracting a wide array of investors and homeowners alike.

                                  “Remember that property trends can shift quickly, so it’s crucial to stay updated with the latest developments if you’re considering entering the market in any of these captivating Scottish regions.”

                                  Our people

                                  Carl Warden

                                  Carl Warden

                                  Partner
                                  Estate Agency
                                  Tel: 01738 621 121

                                  About: Carl heads up the Residential Estate Agency division for the company and has a proven track record within the Scottish property sector. He has been marketing property in the Perth and Kinross area for over 35 years and has vast and detailed practical experience and knowledge of selling prime residential property: from period homes to contemporary developments. Carl is well known in the local area, having developed excellent relationships with buyers and sellers. His wider role involves looking after and supporting our Agency teams and colleagues in Oban, Beauly, Ayr and Forfar. Interests: Estate Agency, Market Valuation, Negotiation.

                                  Get in touch

                                  We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                                    Examining the pros and cons of overhaul of EPC system in Scotland

                                    In the quest for a greener and more sustainable future, the Scottish Government’s ongoing consultation on Domestic Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) reform is a welcome step.

                                    At present, one fifth of Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions comes from our buildings so improving the efficiency of these buildings is vital if we are to achieve net zero by 2045.

                                    Retrofitting our homes to be more efficient not only lowers emissions but also makes them more comfortable and affordable to heat. However, there is a significant monetary cost required to do this and any retrofit must be thought out and assessed to future proof the building.

                                    As our clients and their tenants closely follow these developments, let’s examine why reform is needed and the pros and cons for both parties.

                                    Why is reform needed?

                                    The current RdSAP methodology that determines an EPC score is undoubtedly flawed. Presently, the EPC score is modelled on running costs meaning a property heated via oil fired central heating scores higher than a property heated via efficient electric heaters. If EPCs are to be used to benchmark efficiency to help reach net zero, they must first improve accuracy and make relevant and suitable recommendations. RdSAP 10 will be released in early 2024 and will be introducing changes to the methodology to improve accuracy.

                                    What do the Scottish Government propose?

                                    The Scottish Government proposes to revise the information on domestic EPCs and expand the current metrics. This would separate the certificate into a Fabric Rating, Cost Rating and Heating System Type along with a separate section consisting of the Emissions Rating and Energy Indicator. This would allow for more accuracy while presenting clearer information. Another important aspect to note is that the proposals include reducing the validity of an EPC from 10 years to 5 years.

                                    Pros for Landlords

                                    Increased Property Value: Stricter EPC standards and an accurate methodology would allow properties to be more energy efficient and cheaper to run. Properties being heated correctly could limit maintenance requirements in regard to condensation issues such as mould and damp.

                                    Compliance with Regulations: In the next few years, there will be a minimum EPC requirement to let residential properties. Though dates have not yet been confirmed having a proactive stance could mitigate any potential penalties in the future.

                                    Cons for Landlords

                                    Upfront Costs: Undertaking energy-efficient improvements requires a financial investment. Landlords might face challenges in covering the initial expenses of retrofitting properties with more efficient technologies.

                                    Tenant Resistance: Installing insulation and new heating systems can be disruptive and may require properties to be vacant while improvements are being carried out. Tenants may be hesitant due to potential disruption during renovation periods.

                                    Pros for Tenants

                                    Reduced Energy Bills: Stricter EPC standards would lead to more energy efficient properties, leading to lower utility bills.

                                    Enhanced Comfort: Being able to heat properties correctly and affordably would reduce the risk of mould and condensation issues in the winter months. This reform could contribute to healthier, cosier home for tenants.

                                    Cons for Tenants

                                    Rent Increases: Due to the significant costs required to retrofit properties, it is likely that rents would need to be increased to help cover the upfront costs.

                                    Limited Choices: Not all landlords will be able to or desire to improve the efficiency of their properties which could see a decline in available properties on the rental market. Rural, stone-built properties may never be able to achieve a high scoring EPC which could lead to an even scarcer supply of rural homes available to rent.

                                    Conclusion

                                    Reforming EPCs could be a significant stride towards creating a more energy efficient future. While the pros and cons are clear for both landlords and tenants, it is crucial to recognise that that retrofitting properties is essential for combating climate change and advancing sustainable living. Though we have focused on residential properties, the consultation also covers commercial buildings.

                                    Home Energy Scotland can provide financial support in some cases for both landlords and tenants. Scotland’s Domestic EPC reform consultation closes on 10th October 2023. If you would like to discuss any of the proposals, please contact Bell Ingram and we will be happy to assist you.

                                    Our people

                                    Hamish Hope

                                    Hamish Hope

                                    Surveyor, MRICS
                                    Land Management
                                    Tel: 01463 717 799

                                    About: Hamish is an experienced RICS Chartered Surveyor and Registered Valuer, working across the Highlands with a focus on rural estate management from traditional sporting estates to diversifications. He is a graduate of Edinburgh Napier University with MSc Real Estate Management and Investment. Interests: Estate Management, Sales & Lettings, Valuations, Domestic Energy Assessments.

                                    Get in touch

                                    We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                                      Bell Ingram Design plays key role in £1.6m restoration project

                                      After 18 months under lock and key, Braemar Castle opened its doors in late summer to reveal a startling transformation.

                                      The structure has been restored to its former glory with its turrets, towers and curtain wall rendered in a traditional oatmeal shade, while the castle’s treasured collection has been returned to a now wind and watertight interior.

                                      This soft opening marks a key moment for Braemar Community Ltd., whose volunteers have carefully unpacked the Castle’s treasured items, from the smallest pieces of cutlery to giant four-poster beds.

                                      Bell Ingram Design has been at the heart of the £1.6 million project to restore the A-Listed landmark to its former glory, with conservation architect Susan Burness heading up the team alongside main contractor Harper & Allen Masonry.

                                      Susan Burness said: “The restoration work is a key milestone in the wider plans to transform Braemar Castle and its Estate into a cultural destination and top-class visitor attraction that compliments the amazing landscape and helps promote Braemar as a learning and engagement hub.

                                      “It is an extraordinary building with a fascinating history, and it’s been an honour to work with Braemar Community Ltd. to deliver such an important community project.

                                      “I believe that the work we have done will future proof the building and allow the Trust to preserve the furnishings and artworks which call Braemar Castle home.”

                                      Most of the work was focussed on the external fabric of the building, which included structural repair, and the re-harling and lime-washing of exterior masonry and the curtain wall in an oatmeal colour which was based on a small sample of historic lime wash which was uncovered when the cement harl was removed.

                                      Susan continued: “The restored building reflects the original colour, enhancing the aesthetic appeal of the Castle. Essential interior works, including electrical upgrade, window repairs and drainage upgrade, now provide a more appropriate environment for the collections stopping any further detrimental effects and providing a more pleasant environment for visitors.”

                                      Fog House

                                      Earlier this year, Bell Ingram volunteers spent three days picking heather on the Deeside hillside at Invercauld Estate.

                                      Their job was to collect 80-bales of heather for professional thatcher Brian Wilson to use as material to re-roof a small decorative garden feature – known as the Fog House – in the grounds of Braemar Castle.

                                      The volunteering days were the brainchild of Iain Cram, Director of Bell Ingram Design, who is part of the team restoring the Castle.

                                      Iain said: “The restoration of the Fog House marks an important milestone in the ongoing transformation of Braemar Castle and its grounds to ensure its long-term protection for the enjoyment of visitors from all over the world.

                                      “We are proud to do our part to ensure the survival of this important building for future generations and our partnership with Braemar Community Ltd. has also given our employees a great opportunity to volunteer and make a positive difference to the community.

                                      “Volunteering days like this are a fantastic boost to our conservation and outdoor learning efforts as well as promoting a sense of wellbeing and connection between our staff and the places where they work.”

                                      About Braemar Castle

                                      Braemar Castle, located at the Haughs of Dee, has been an army barracks, family home and visitor attraction since it was built in 1628 by John Erskine, the 6th Earl of Mar as his Highland hunting lodge.

                                      It was a target in the first Jacobite uprising in 1689 and torched by John Farquharson of Inverey. Following the Battle of Culloden, the castle was used as a garrison for Hanoverian soldiers to suppress any lingering Jacobite support.

                                      The castle was gifted to Braemar Community Trust Ltd. on a 50-year lease by owner Captain Alywne Farquharson, 16th Laird of Invercauld and Chief of Clan Farquharson, in 2007. Since then, it has been managed by the Braemar Community Ltd., its interior kept just as it looked when the laird was in residence.

                                      The community group, supported by the help of an anonymous benefactor, helped secure the contents of the castle and the volunteers raised half a million pounds, locally and from generous private donors, which bolstered major funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic Environment Scotland to make the Castle wind and watertight and safeguard its future.

                                      Raising The Standard Project

                                      The £1.6m restoration is part of the castle’s Raising the Standard Project, which has been supported by The Prince’s Foundation, who acted as advisors to Braemar Community Ltd throughout the project.

                                      As well as conserving the fabric, developing the landscaping and work to make the castle more accessible, the project aims to innovatively re-interpret the castle’s story and introduce new opportunities for learning and engagement, and to elevate the castle’s visitor experience creating to a top-class attraction.

                                      Initiatives include a new website, online booking and presence on the Bloomberg Connects app alongside more than 200 places of interest around the world, placing Braemar Castle on the international radar. Together with this sits a full programme of activities including outreach within the wider area and events to be held at the castle which engage the community with the heritage on its doorstep.

                                      The castle’s rebirth has also received royal backing: The Prince’s Foundation has had an advisory role throughout the project development, while a young student linked to its Building Craft Programme has been hands-on removing the old cement harling and applying traditional lime replacement.

                                      Find out more at www.raisingthestandard.org.uk

                                      Our people

                                      Iain Cram

                                      Iain Cram

                                      Architect
                                      Design
                                      Tel: 01738 621 121

                                      About: Iain is Partner in charge of Bell Ingram Design. His main role is working with clients on projects from the initial concept, through site searches, funding challenges and statutory consents. He's an experienced and talented architect with a long track record, working on a diverse range of projects from small scale residential through to large public, commercial, residential and tourism builds. Interests: Architecture, Building Surveying, Trustee of the Scottish Lime Centre, a highly respected historic building skills training centre.

                                      Get in touch

                                      We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                                        Oban Estate Agent answers the Coastguard call

                                        Bell Ingram is proud to support the local communities where we live and work, and our colleagues take this commitment extremely seriously.

                                        None more so than Senior Associate Estate Agent Andrew Fuller from our Oban office, who has joined HM Coastguard as a volunteer coastguard after completing weeks of intensive training.

                                        He is now part of the team on Mull which helps people who run into difficulty along the coastline as well as assisting with other land-based emergencies.

                                        Andrew, who lives on Mull, says: “Ironically my first call-out didn’t involve a sea rescue. My team attended an incident at Ben More after reports of torches seen on the summit around midnight. It turned out to be a group of lads who decided to climb up to get a view of the aurora borealis. No injuries and they got down safe and sound without our help!”

                                        Our people

                                        Andrew Fuller

                                        Andrew Fuller

                                        Senior Associate
                                        Estate Agency
                                        Tel: 01631 566 122

                                        About: Andrew heads up the Estate Agency team in our Oban office and is focused on ensuring his clients have a first-class experience when they list their property with Bell Ingram. A resident of the Isle of Mull, Andrew is very well known across the West Coast of Scotland and has developed an excellent reputation for marketing prime residential property, including plots, crofts, island homes and lifestyle opportunities. Andrew joined Bell Ingram following almost 15 years managing several high-level private and commercial development projects in the United Arab Emirates. Interests: Residential Estate Agency, Rural Property Sales.

                                        Get in touch

                                        We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                                          Meet the Land Agent: Catherine Lawson

                                          Life as a Bell Ingram Land Agent offers variety and progression says Senior Associate, Catherine Lawson.

                                          What is your background?

                                          I am from a farming background and grew up on a farm in North Yorkshire.

                                          Once I left school I went to the Scottish Agricultural College at Auchincruive in Ayrshire to study Rural Tourism. After I graduated I worked at a grain lab in Bedfordshire, having spent all my summers before and during my Degree doing the same. I quickly realised I needed office experience if I wanted to move away from seasonal grain lab work and I got a job as a receptionist and typist at a holiday park company.

                                          While working for that company I quickly realised I wanted to work in the rural/agricultural sectors and in particular the rural surveying sector.

                                          What qualifications did you need to become a Land Agent?

                                          I needed to have a RICS accredited qualification to be able to work towards my RICS Assessment of Professional Competence (APC).

                                          Having obtained a non RICS accredited University of Glasgow First Class Rural Tourism honours degree at the Scottish Agricultural College (now SRUC), I went on to complete a Post Graduate Diploma in Surveying through the College of Estate Management which gave me the necessary accredited qualification. This was completed part time via distance learning, while I also worked full time.

                                          What’s been your career path?

                                          I was given a great opportunity working as a Farm Secretary in Leicestershire for a national firm of Surveyors while I completed my Post Graduate Diploma. This gave me a lot of experience in all the administration involved in farm and estate management, as well as a greater knowledge of the rural property sector. It also made me realise that I had chosen the right career path and I knew that I wanted to go on and qualify as a Chartered Surveyor.

                                          Once I completed my Post Graduate Diploma I planned my move back to Scotland and accepted a job at Bell Ingram as an Assistant Land Agent, based in the Perth office. I passed my APC and CAAV exams two years later in November 2016 and then moved to the Forfar office in June 2019 where I am now a Senior Associate.

                                          What’s the biggest misconception of the job?

                                          I think alot of people assume that we are always out of the office visiting clients and properties. While we are fortunate to do this a lot, we actually spend the majority of our time in the office, writing reports and providing advice. Now, with the use of Microsoft teams/zoom we find ourselves out of the office even less as online meetings become easier and more time efficient for everyone involved.

                                          What do you enjoy about the job?

                                          The variety of the workload is one of the best parts of the job. You never know what your day will bring and where in the country it might take you. There are often times when you are driving to a property or walking around some fields, that you have to remind yourself that you’re actually being paid to be there.

                                          It is also a great feeling when you know the advice you have given or the report you have written has helped someone achieve their goals too.

                                          At Bell Ingram I think we are very fortunate to have a great network of colleagues who are all happy to help and share their knowledge and experiences, which can be really useful when dealing with tricky or unusual situations. There is also a really positive workplace culture which makes turning up to the office, even on a sunny Monday morning, enjoyable.

                                          What’s your advice to those thinking of entering the profession?

                                          Do it! If you have a love for the countryside and are looking for great career progression opportunities and variety in your work then it’s definitely a profession you should consider. The enjoyment you get from it can’t be matched.

                                          For more information about becoming a Land Agent and Life  at Bell Ingram contact careers@bellingram.co.uk

                                           

                                          Our people

                                          Catherine Lawson

                                          Catherine Lawson

                                          Senior Associate, MRICS FAAV
                                          Rural Land Management
                                          Tel: 01307 462 516

                                          About: Catherine is a highly qualified RICS Chartered Surveyor and Registered Valuer working across Perthshire and Angus advising on all aspects of rural estate management, farm management, residential property management and lettings. She joined Bell Ingram in 2014 working in the Perth office before moving to the Forfar office in 2019. As a farmer’s daughter from Yorkshire and now living on a farm in Angus, along with a degree in rural tourism management, Catherine can offer assistance on a variety or rural matters. Interests: Lettings, Rural Land Management, Tourism

                                          Get in touch

                                          We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                                            Beautiful converted steading comes to market near Kinross

                                            A substantial converted country steading with stunning feature roundel room has come to market near Kinross.

                                            Bell Ingram is delighted to bring Horsemill House, Dalqueich, Kinross to the market at offers over £675,000.

                                            With an internal floor area of 286 m2 and in mature grounds of about 0.67 acres, Horsemill House is a substantial detached property in a peaceful yet accessible location close to Kinross.

                                            Dating originally from the mid-1700s, it was beautifully converted in 1991. Horsemill House, as its name suggests, includes the original hexagonal horse mill roundel room which is the outstanding feature of the property. Of stone construction with slates on the main part of the house and tiles on the roundel, there are a number of typical retained features including a number of original window openings.

                                            The accommodation is spread over two floors with options to use some of the ground floor rooms as either an accessible bedroom or a home office. There are a further three public rooms. The kitchen is well fitted with base and wall units and also features an LPG fired Aga with two ovens and two hotplates. The upper floor has four bedrooms, one of which is en suite.

                                            The fixtures and fittings are to a very high standard with many of the ground floor rooms having solid oak floors. 

                                            Externally there is a double garage and workshop and the gravel courtyard can easily accommodate several vehicles. The garden areas are well-tended and there are a number of seating patios and decking to take advantage of the surroundings.

                                            Commenting on the property, Estate Agent, Carl Warden says: “It is not often a property like Horsemill House comes to the market. It has the history of bygone times yet the modern fixtures and fittings make this a comfortable and welcoming home – perfect for entertaining”.

                                            For more information, or to arrange a viewing contact Carl Warden on 01738 621121 or email carl.warden@bellingram.co.uk 

                                             

                                            Our people

                                            Carl Warden

                                            Carl Warden

                                            Partner
                                            Estate Agency
                                            Tel: 01738 621 121

                                            About: Carl heads up the Residential Estate Agency division for the company and has a proven track record within the Scottish property sector. He has been marketing property in the Perth and Kinross area for over 35 years and has vast and detailed practical experience and knowledge of selling prime residential property: from period homes to contemporary developments. Carl is well known in the local area, having developed excellent relationships with buyers and sellers. His wider role involves looking after and supporting our Agency teams and colleagues in Oban, Beauly, Ayr and Forfar. Interests: Estate Agency, Market Valuation, Negotiation.

                                            Get in touch

                                            We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                                              Beautifully renovated former croft house with outstanding mountain views

                                              Nestled in the dramatic landscape of Elphin in the Scottish Highlands, former croft house Cuil Breac, is a mountain lover’s dream home.

                                              Packed with character, this cottage includes a recently completed extension which has created a wonderful living space where one can sit back and enjoy the views of the surrounding mountains and lochs.

                                              Cuil Breac would make an ideal home for outdoor enthusiasts with surrounding mountains (Corbetts and Grahams) include Ben Mor Coigach, Cul Beag, Cul Mor, Canisp and Suilven, right on its doorstep.

                                              The mountains are a constant feature at Cuil Breac, including the garden’s outdoor seating area which takes in spectacular views. The enclosed garden is surrounded by mature trees and is mainly laid to lawn with pretty features.

                                              The recently added extension accommodates the sitting room on the ground floor.  This room is flooded with natural light, having large windows on two sides to take full advantage of the view. There is a log burner which also makes this a lovely cosy room in the winter. The three bedrooms are on the upper floor. 

                                              Cuil Breac is being marketed by Bell Ingram for offers over £300,000. Commenting on the property, Estate Agent, Joanne Stennett says: “This beautiful former croft house is in a peaceful and tranquil location making it the perfect property either as a permanent home or a holiday cottage”.

                                              For more information, or to arrange a viewing contact Joanne Stennett on 01463 717799  or email joanne.stennett@bellingram.co.uk 

                                               

                                              Our people

                                              Joanne Stennett

                                              Joanne Stennett

                                              Associate
                                              Estate Agency
                                              Tel: 01463 717 799

                                              About: Joanne heads up the Estate Agency team in our Beauly office and is focused on ensuring her clients have a positive experience when they list their property with Bell Ingram. From country houses to farms and estates, she has been marketing prime residential property in the Highlands and Islands for over 17 years. Joanne is well known in the local area, having developed excellent relationships with buyers and sellers. Interests: Residential Estate Agency, Rural Property Sales.

                                              Get in touch

                                              We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                                                Still opportunities to be had in competitive land market

                                                There is no shortage of deals to be done in the current farmland market according to rural property experts, Bell Ingram.

                                                In recent times, we have seen land values remaining strong with many of Bell Ingram’s latest sales achieving offers over the asking price, with great demand for arable and mixed units, be it equipped or bare land.

                                                However, with an increasing number of farm businesses look to expand, the number of buyers looking for land continues to outweigh the supply of land coming to the market.

                                                Bell Ingram is urging those thinking about selling their farm or portioning off land for sale to seek advice on the sales process at the earliest opportunity, especially with this year’s harvest around the corner.

                                                Commenting on the market, Chartered Rural Surveyor, John Kennedy says: “With uncertainty surrounding support schemes, increasing red tape and rising input costs, selling off land may be an attractive proposition for your business. Bell Ingram’s farm sales team can talk you through the sales process for both on market and off market deals.

                                                “It is important to seek advice from our sales team at the earliest opportunity to discuss your circumstances and talk you through the best options. Many farmers hold off making preparations for sale until it becomes time critical and the window for photography and launching at a peak marketing point is missed. The earlier you make your enquiry allows for thorough planning and for every option to be explored, ensuring the best outcome for your business.

                                                “It may also be the case that we have a suitable buyer ready to go as we currently have a number of clients on the books looking for suitable land ranging from 20 acres to large scale operations.”

                                                If you are thinking of placing land or your whole farm on the market, John Kennedy will be pleased to have a confidential, no obligation discussion of   your requirements. Email john.kennedy@bellingram.co.uk or call 01307 462516.

                                                Our people

                                                John Kennedy

                                                John Kennedy

                                                Surveyor, MRICS
                                                Rural Land Management
                                                Tel: 01307 462 516

                                                About: John is a RICS Chartered Surveyor working across Perthshire and Angus advising on all aspects of rural estate and farm management. John joined Bell Ingram in 2021 and is a graduate of SRUC in Edinburgh with an Honours Degree in Agriculture followed by a Masters in Land Economy at the University of Aberdeen. Interests: Rural Land Management, MRICS Registered Valuer.

                                                Get in touch

                                                We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                                                  Agritourism to play a key role in driving Scotland’s rural economy

                                                  By Caroline Millar, Scottish Agritourism Sector Lead

                                                  Scotland’s agritourism sector has ambitious plans to provide the same level of economic impact to the rural economy that many other countries enjoy.

                                                  Agritourism includes three main activities based on a working farm or croft – farm retail, farm accommodation and day experiences.

                                                  Farm retail, the direct sale of food and drink from farms either in a farm shop, honesty hut or online, accounts for an estimated £110 million of economic value to the sector.

                                                  Holidays on farm and day experiences are estimated to be valued at £60 million.

                                                  Farmstays now include a vast range of accommodation types from luxury lodges to glamping and campsites, and also include the traditional farmhouse B&B that many people think of when they think of a farmstay.

                                                  Day experiences are where the sector is seeing increasing demand, particularly from the travel trade who organise private tours for couples and groups. Experiences include farm tours, seasonal events such as pumpkin festivals, eating in a farm café or restaurant, adventure sports and weddings.

                                                  The definition of agritourism varies from country to country. The Scottish definition of agritourism is: “Tourism or leisure on a working farm, croft or estate which produces food.”

                                                  The sector body, Scottish Agritourism, was established in June 2020 to formally bring together a strong network of farmers, crofters and suppliers to the sector, to offer peer to peer business support, consumer marketing and representation. Scottish Agritourism has a board chaired by Riddell Graham, formerly Head of Partnerships, Visit Scotland. While working on behalf of the entire sector, Scottish Agritourism is also a membership organisation.

                                                  The agritourism sector is much wider than farmers and crofters at its core. Businesses providing professional services and advice, construction companies and a range of suppliers needed to run a successful enterprise are just some examples of the wider agritourism supply chain that are playing a vital part in the growth of the sector.

                                                  The Scottish Government’s programme for government in May 2021 included an action to produce and implement a strategy to grow agritourism in Scotland. The strategy was part of a 100-day commitment action. The strategy was developed with a working group made up of private sector and public sector leaders, and also included input from international experts in agritourism. It was launched at the Scottish Agritourism conference in November 2021.

                                                  Scottish Agritourism as a sector body plays a vital role in representing private sector businesses in agritourism with the national strategy roll out. Three representatives from Scottish Agritourism sit on the implementation board including Caroline Millar, Sector Lead for Scottish Agritourism and Co-Chair of the board alongside Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Land Reform and the Islands, Mairi Gougeon. The strategy aims to have 100 farmers and crofters in agritourism by 2030 and to increase the economic impact from £170 million to £250 million per annum.

                                                  Find out how Bell Ingram can help you achieve your Agritourism dream here.

                                                  Our people

                                                  Rhona Booth

                                                  Rhona Booth

                                                  Senior Associate, MRICS
                                                  Rural Land Management
                                                  Tel: 01307 462516

                                                  About: Rhona is a highly experienced RICS Chartered Surveyor and Registered Valuer working across Perthshire and Angus advising on all aspects of estate and farm management, including landlord and tenant negotiations, telecommunication mast agreements, utility projects and CPO compensation claims. In addition, Rhona can undertake a range of rural valuations for a variety of purposes as a Registered Valuer. Rhona joined Bell Ingram in 2020 and has over 20 years’ experience in the sector. Interests: Rural Land Management, Valuations, Utilities, Renewable Energy, Agricultural Tenancy Advisor, MRICS Registered Valuer.

                                                  Get in touch

                                                  We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                                                    Are UK house prices falling in a changing market?

                                                    Opinion around the direction of house prices is as divided as ever. One thing’s for sure, there’s a notable increase in properties being either reduced in price or quickly coming back onto the market. But what does this mean for buyers and sellers?

                                                    Having experienced several recessions, it is easier to take a back step and view the market with some objectivity.

                                                    In any market that starts to change, the main difficulty is that sellers continue to assess their property value with the expectation of achieving last year’s premium price of around 15% – 25% above Home Report valuation. That of course is the key. The Home Report valuation which forms the actual ‘bricks and mortar’ valuation was being excessively exceeded in 2022. As the property market readjusts, this premium has now been massively reduced or has disappeared altogether.

                                                    So with sellers still looking for a premium and buyers looking for discount, the resulting gap makes it difficult to progress a deal.

                                                    Many of the price reductions and failed sales are as a result of sellers accepting conditional offers subject to the sale of a property. But with the change in the market, buyers who have made offers subject to a sale, find themselves trying to sell in a market which has changed beyond all recognition from the buoyancy of 2022. They have been caught short with their expectations of selling at a premium price. This has resulted in one of two things, either an attempt to renegotiate the terms of a purchase or to completely withdraw from the transaction. That property is then brought back to the market.

                                                    Some sellers who are committed to a purchase will then have no option but to reduce their own asking price and, in some instances, there have been several reductions in order to secure their own sale. Thus, it is being noted throughout the market that house prices are decreasing.

                                                    Asking prices do need to be realistic and viewers need to be aware that any offer which is subject to the sale of a property is rarely accepted. Once the realisation of this situation becomes clear, then sellers will commence marketing their properties before securing a purchase. This will help to increase the available stock levels which still remain extremely low.

                                                    There are obviously a number of other key factors which are influencing the change in the market. The fluctuating interest rates and the availability of competitive, long-term mortgage rates are all causing a knock-on effect. Add to this the cost-of-living crisis including fuel costs, food costs and the war in Ukraine, and it is easy to appreciate the hesitation and ultimately a lack of confidence in the market.

                                                    So, in answer to the initial question – are prices falling – the answer would be that asking prices and the high levels of expectation are definitely falling, but valuations remain stable.

                                                     

                                                    Our people

                                                    Carl Warden

                                                    Carl Warden

                                                    Partner
                                                    Estate Agency
                                                    Tel: 01738 621 121

                                                    About: Carl heads up the Residential Estate Agency division for the company and has a proven track record within the Scottish property sector. He has been marketing property in the Perth and Kinross area for over 35 years and has vast and detailed practical experience and knowledge of selling prime residential property: from period homes to contemporary developments. Carl is well known in the local area, having developed excellent relationships with buyers and sellers. His wider role involves looking after and supporting our Agency teams and colleagues in Oban, Beauly, Ayr and Forfar. Interests: Estate Agency, Market Valuation, Negotiation.

                                                    Get in touch

                                                    We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                                                      Future Agricultural Support in Scotland as at June 2023

                                                      The Scottish Government have provided some further clarification on the future agricultural policy we are expecting to see from 2025, as well as clarification on the future of other support schemes.

                                                      While Mairi Gougeon has promised there will be no cliff edges as businesses transition into the new support mechanisms, further detail outlining how some of the proposed measures and standards will be implemented remains outstanding. As anticipated, we are beginning to see further clarity on which direction agricultural support is going, with focus on the environment and climate change, and a move to more regenerative farming methods.

                                                      Basic Payment Scheme and beyond

                                                      New conditions for receiving Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) support will be introduced from 2025, before a new support mechanism replaces the existing scheme in 2026. We understand that essential standards will have to be met in order to receive BPS in 2025. These essential standards are focused on farming activity; climate response; biodiversity gain; whilst also safeguarding animal health and welfare standards and workers’ rights.

                                                      In 2025 farming businesses will need to start the transition to the new support scheme which is considered as a ‘stepping stone’ to 2026 and beyond, with the compliance requirements for 2025 BPS linking to Tier 1 for the new support framework. In practice, these conditions will include the following, but may have other items added.

                                                      • the maintenance of existing cross compliance requirements as a minimum for future support;

                                                      • the introduction of new protections for Peatlands and Wetlands as a new condition on basic payments;

                                                      • the foundations of a Whole Farm Plan, including soil testing, animal health and welfare declaration, carbon audits, biodiversity audits and supported business planning;

                                                      • the introduction of new conditions to the Scottish Suckler Beef Support Scheme linked to calving intervals to encourage livestock keepers to reduce the emissions intensity of their cattle production systems.

                                                      2026 support is likely to be structured on a tier mechanism, with Basic Support and Enhanced Support available as outlined below.

                                                      Tier 1: Base  – This will be the closest thing to a direct payment, guaranteed to all farmers and crofters who meet essential standards in farming activity; climate response; biodiversity gain; whilst safeguarding animal health and welfare standards and workers’ rights, as well as existing cross-compliance conditions

                                                      Tier 2: Enhanced – This tier will build on the standards established in Tier 1. It will focus on measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, adapt to climate change, and protect, restore and improve nature. These measures will also incentivise more sustainable and regenerative farming practices, with focuses on farming for a better climate and nature restoration.

                                                      Tier 3: Elective – This tier will be ‘optional’ and likely to be more specific to targeting a certain species or habitat, and will focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, adapting to climate change, and protecting, restoring and improving nature.

                                                      Tier 4: Complementary – Funding in Tiers 1-3 will be complemented by providing applicants with access to support and advice, as well as continuous professional development (CPD) to help achieve the aims of the future support model.

                                                      Payment Regions

                                                      The Regions model will remain, but will be reviewed prior to 2027 to ensure it is fit for purpose within the new scheme guidelines.

                                                      Greening (for arable/other cropping)

                                                      Greening will continue into 2025 and from 2026 will remain, but may alter to better integrate into the new tier system.

                                                      Voluntary Coupled Support

                                                      Scottish Suckler Beef Support Scheme (SSBSS) and Scottish Upland Sheep Support Scheme (SUSSS)

                                                      Both of these schemes will continue in 2025 and 2026, with consideration still being given to how Voluntary Coupled Support will be delivered in 2027

                                                      New conditions will be introduced to SSBSS in 2025 linked to calving interval performance.

                                                      Less Favoured Area Support Scheme (LFASS)

                                                      This scheme is expected to continue to 2026 but changes may be introduced from 2025 to support the transition towards a more economically and environmentally sustainable model. Consideration is still being given to how this type of support will be delivered from 2027.

                                                      Agri Environment and Climate Scheme (AECS)

                                                      This scheme is expected to continue to 2026 to deliver elements of Tiers 3 and 4 until new Elective and Complementary Support is implemented from 2027. Some the options currently available through AECS are being considered for inclusion in Tier 2 so that more people can implement them.

                                                      Forestry Grant Scheme (FGS)

                                                      This Scheme is expected to evolve and continue to deliver elements of Tier 3 and 4 until new support is implemented from 2027. Some of the options available under this scheme are being considered for inclusion as eligible measures/activities in Tier 2 so that more people can implement them.

                                                      Planning for the future

                                                      Preparing for Sustainable Farming

                                                      This new grant scheme is already open for applications for helping businesses prepare for changes, with support for conducting carbon audits and soil sampling, support for animal health and welfare activities and access to herd data for Suckler beef producers through MyHerdStat.

                                                      Put simply, the scheme allows businesses to claim £500 for an eligible carbon audit, up to £600 per 100Ha of Region 1 land for soil sampling and £250 as a development payment alongside the first soil sampling payment for farmers and crofters to spend time on things that will widen their understanding of Nutrient Management Planning. In addition, there is funding available for businesses to select up to two (per year) animal health and welfare interventions, which include bull fertility, calf respiratory disease, liver fluke (sheep or cattle), roundworm (sheep or cattle), sheep scab, sheep iceberg diseases, and sheep lameness.

                                                      Applications are already open for the carbon audit and soil sampling, with funding for the animal health and welfare interventions expected to be available shortly.

                                                      Whole-Farm Plans

                                                      Whole Farm Plans will be introduced from 2025 as a tool to help farmers and crofters integrate food, climate and biodiversity outcomes on their holdings and inform where they can seek support from the future support framework. The intention of the Whole Farm Plan is to help businesses become more environmentally and economically resilient and sustainable, with productivity baselines for soil testing, an animal health and welfare declaration, carbon audits, biodiversity audits and support for business planning.

                                                      To discuss any of this further and what it might mean for your business, please contact a member of the Bell Ingram Rural Land Management team.

                                                      Our people

                                                      Catherine Lawson

                                                      Catherine Lawson

                                                      Senior Associate, MRICS FAAV
                                                      Rural Land Management
                                                      Tel: 01307 462 516

                                                      About: Catherine is a highly qualified RICS Chartered Surveyor and Registered Valuer working across Perthshire and Angus advising on all aspects of rural estate management, farm management, residential property management and lettings. She joined Bell Ingram in 2014 working in the Perth office before moving to the Forfar office in 2019. As a farmer’s daughter from Yorkshire and now living on a farm in Angus, along with a degree in rural tourism management, Catherine can offer assistance on a variety or rural matters. Interests: Lettings, Rural Land Management, Tourism

                                                      Get in touch

                                                      We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                                                        Attractive farm with huge diversification potential for sale on the Isle of Arran

                                                        Rural property experts, Bell Ingram is delighted to bring South Bank Farm to the market, a most attractive farm with traditional farmhouse on the Isle of Arran with uninterrupted sea views towards Ailsa Craig and the Ayrshire Coast. 

                                                        With approximately 121.55 ha (300.36 acres) it is for sale as a whole or in three lots. Lot 1 comprises the farmhouse, a bothy, steading and about 2.83 ha (7 acres). Lot 2 consists of good quality grazing and permanent pasture at about 28.32 ha (70 acres). Meanwhile Lot 3 comprises grazing and hill land at about 89.8 ha (221.8 acres).

                                                        South Bank is a most attractive farm with a stone-built farmhouse, well maintained gardens, a traditional courtyard steading and a mixture of good quality grazing land and hill ground. It is currently run as a productive sheep farm and previously the present owners successfully ran it as farm park with sheep dog trials as an attraction. There is a bothy and former art studio adjoining the outbuildings.

                                                        Given its close proximity to the road it is ideally located for passing trade.

                                                        The farmhouse enjoys uninterrupted sea views towards Ailsa Craig and the Ayrshire coast. It is well presented with well-proportioned rooms. It has a good-sized dining kitchen with useful utility room, living room with log burning stove, study, bathroom and conservatory overlooking the gardens towards the sea. At upper floor level there are three bedrooms, a boxroom and WC.

                                                        The steading lies at the rear of the house and forms a sheltered courtyard. It comprises a bothy which has its own front and rear entrance with kitchen, separate living area and shower room with separate WC. This could have potential to provide possible rental income subject to appropriate consents.

                                                        There is a former studio/gallery which leads to large workshop and a variety of sheds for multi-purpose use including garage, log store and tool shed. To the side of the steading is sheep handling pens.

                                                        The gardens have been well maintained and are laid out mainly in lawn with a variety of mature trees and shrubs. The grazing land of about 2.83 ha (7 acres) is situated close to the house and steading. The land is well fenced and drained.

                                                        Commenting on the property, Estate Agent, Lauren Howie says: “This is an excellent opportunity of acquire a most attractive farm. The acreage and quality of the land combined with the farmhouse and buildings, provide a number of options for diversification”.

                                                        For more information, or to arrange a viewing contact Lauren Howie on 01292 886544 or email lauren.howie@bellingram.co.uk 

                                                        Our people

                                                        Lauren Howie

                                                        Lauren Howie

                                                        Estate Agent
                                                        Estate Agency
                                                        Tel: 01292 886 544

                                                        About: Lauren delivers a complete Estate Agency service for a wide variety of private and public clients across Ayrshire and South West Scotland. Her remit includes the assessment and sale of prime residential and other rural property, preparing properties for sale, overseeing the marketing from launch to offer and negotiating property transactions. Interests: Estate Agency.

                                                        Get in touch

                                                        We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                                                          Well-equipped equestrian property with its own riding arena hits Fife property market

                                                          A well-equipped equestrian property with its own riding arena and 51 acres of land has come to the market.

                                                          Rural property experts, Bell Ingram is marketing Devonside Farm, on the outskirts of the Fife village of Saline, for offers over £820,000.

                                                          The property, which will be popular with equestrian enthusiasts, includes a newly constructed agricultural steel shed measuring approximately 45m x 20m, currently housing a riding arena which has a Combi-Pro riding surface, used in professional riding events.

                                                          The sale includes a stable block with seven loose boxes, a wash bay, a machine and lorry store, a yard and a dog run.

                                                          A fully renovated, six bedroom, B listed farmhouse provides living accommodation, meanwhile a derelict C listed steading and additional buildings add development opportunities.

                                                          The farmhouse is a substantial property with spacious accommodation spread over three floors and a mezzanine floor. It has been modernised over the last two years including new fixtures and fittings throughout, new plumbing and wiring, new double-glazed windows and replacement of the gas fired boiler and yet it retains many features typical of a property of this age.

                                                          The rural setting near Saline provides southerly views over the surrounding countryside towards the Black Devon River to the south.

                                                          Overall the land extends to 51 acres (20.65 ha) or thereby and comprises 42.2 acres (17.07 ha) of grass, 7.0 acres (2.83 ha) of woodland and burn, and 1.8 acres (0.72 ha) of associated buildings including the shed, arena and stables.

                                                          Commenting on the farm, Estate Agent, Carl Warden, says: “This is a very well-equipped and presented property and together with the 51 acres, I anticipate that it will attract a lot of interest from equestrian enthusiasts. The farmhouse has been recently renovated and is now a welcoming family home”.

                                                          For more information, or to arrange a viewing contact Carl Warden on 01738 621121 or email carl.warden@bellingram.co.uk 

                                                          Our people

                                                          Carl Warden

                                                          Carl Warden

                                                          Partner
                                                          Estate Agency
                                                          Tel: 01738 621 121

                                                          About: Carl heads up the Residential Estate Agency division for the company and has a proven track record within the Scottish property sector. He has been marketing property in the Perth and Kinross area for over 35 years and has vast and detailed practical experience and knowledge of selling prime residential property: from period homes to contemporary developments. Carl is well known in the local area, having developed excellent relationships with buyers and sellers. His wider role involves looking after and supporting our Agency teams and colleagues in Oban, Beauly, Ayr and Forfar. Interests: Estate Agency, Market Valuation, Negotiation.

                                                          Get in touch

                                                          We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                                                            Bell Ingram announces string of senior promotions with Rob Whitson stepping up to Executive Board

                                                            Independent land and property specialists Bell Ingram have announced a raft of senior promotions, with Head of Land Management Rob Whitson stepping up to the Executive Board.

                                                            Rob will work closely with Managing Partner Mark Mitchell and Executive Board members Neal Salomon, Gordon Thoms, Geoff Brown, Iain Cram, Steve Parlett, Malcolm Taylor, Mike Thompson and Derek Tyson to set strategic direction for the business, overseeing land management across a wide range of Bell Ingram clients.

                                                            Mark Mitchell, Managing Partner, says: “Rob’s well-deserved promotion follows his adept management of many of our top tier clients. During his career at Bell Ingram, Rob has proven to be a fantastic mentor and manager to staff members, and his calm focus has proven invaluable to clients no matter the challenge.”

                                                            Elsewhere, the company has made a string of promotions across its 10 UK offices. Planning Consultant Catherine Newton (Perth), Architect Murray Fleming, Land Agents Catherine Lawson and Alex Morrison (both Forfar) and Compliance Manager Sam McDonald (Perth) have been promoted to Senior Associate.

                                                            Meanwhile Land Agent Gregor Dalziell (Ayr), HR Manager Kirsty Watson, Land Agent Borzo Taheri (Northwich), Land Agent Waldo Serfontein (Morpeth), Digital Marketing Manager Eleanor Mackay, Finance Partner’s Assistant Sheona Ross (both Perth) and Senior Architectural Technician Scott Ramsay (Forfar) all become Associates.

                                                            Mark Mitchell, Managing Partner, adds: “All these colleagues have played a crucial role in our firm’s continued growth. These well-deserved promotions demonstrate the depth of talent and experience within Bell Ingram, and I’d like to offer a heartfelt congratulations to each of them and look forward to their continued success within the firm.”

                                                            Our people

                                                            Rob Whitson

                                                            Rob Whitson

                                                            Partner, MRICS
                                                            Rural Land Management
                                                            Tel: 01463 717 799

                                                            About: Rob is Bell Ingram’s partner in charge of the Beauly office. He specialises in the management of rural properties for a range of private clients across the Highlands. This has included a number of significant and high profile sporting estates. For Land Management clients, Rob has worked on the negotiation of purchase/sale, servitude rights and renewable energy developments. He provides specialist management advice over a wide range of sporting estates particularly in relation to red deer stalking and salmon fisheries. Rob has enjoyed a long involvement with a number of district salmon fishery boards across the Highlands, and is a trustee of the Cromarty Firth Fishery Trust. He is Chair of the Highland Region for Scottish Land & Estates and also leads on valuations of commercial and rural property throughout Scotland in accordance with the RICS appraisal and valuation standards. Interests: Private Estate Management, Rural Land Management, Sporting Management, Valuations.

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                                                            We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                                                              Bell Ingram colleagues stomp over 11 million steps for charity challenge

                                                              Thirty-five intrepid walkers of all ages and abilities have been stepping up to raise cash for Bell Ingram’s two chosen charities – Parkinson’s UK and Guide Dogs UK Charity For The Blind.

                                                              Clocking up a combined total of 11598589 steps during the month-long April fundraiser, the group of colleagues from across the company’s offices in Scotland and the North of England raised £480 which was split between the two charities.

                                                              Supported by their dogs, children and partners, the walkers fitted in their extra miles before, during and after work as well as at weekends, and a WhatsApp group was set up to motivate the group and soon became a great way of sharing routes and posting pictures.

                                                              Mark Mitchell, Bell Ingram’s Managing Partner, comments: “Our annual Spring Step Challenge is always popular with colleagues. It was born out of lockdown in an attempt to increase the physical and mental wellbeing of our colleagues. It proved so popular that we have kept it going and with this year’s winner racking up 793,557 alone, colleagues continue to amaze me with their competitiveness and physical ability.

                                                              “This year we walked in aid of Parkinson’s UK and Guide Dogs UK Charity For The Blind. We are delighted to be able to give this small gesture to two worthy causes that play a huge role in the lives of some of our colleagues.”

                                                              Deirdre McVean, Perth & District Fundraising Group Coordinator for Guide Dogs, said: “We would like to thank everyone involved in this fantastic challenge in aid of Guide Dogs.

                                                              “It’s incredible when we receive support from businesses, and we are hugely grateful to Bell Ingram for their support.

                                                              “Guide Dogs relies on donations and the funds raised will help us to support more people with sight loss to live actively, independently and well.”

                                                              Parkinson’s is the fastest growing neurological condition in the world and affects an estimated 12,500 people in Scotland.

                                                              Marion Pirrie, Regional Fundraiser for Parkinson’s UK, said: “We are really grateful for the effort the team at Bell Ingram has put in to raise this amount, which will help our work across service improvement, policy, campaigning and providing support for the Parkinson’s community right across Scotland.”

                                                              Parkinson’s UK helps people with the condition, and their carers, live better and also funds research into the most promising treatments.

                                                              “With the generous support of fundraisers, we are able to continue funding research into better treatments for Parkinson’s and push for the right level of support for people living with the condition,” added Marion.

                                                              Our people

                                                              Mark Mitchell

                                                              Mark Mitchell

                                                              Managing Partner, FRICS
                                                              Rural Land Management
                                                              Tel: 01738 646 584

                                                              About: Mark is responsible for the strategic direction and overall performance of the firm. He specialises in all aspects of Estate and Facilities Management for private, corporate and public sector clients. He is experienced in the acquisition, disposal and management of estates and farms, rental negotiation and management of residential property. Interests: Estate Agency, Private Estate Management, Rural Land Management, FRICS Registered Valuer.

                                                              Get in touch

                                                              We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                                                                Bell Ingram recognised as Carer Positive employer

                                                                Bell Ingram is delighted to announce it has been recognised as a Carer Positive organisation by Carers Scotland.

                                                                The Carer Positive award is presented to employers in Scotland who have a working environment where carers are valued and supported. Carer Positive employers recognise the importance of supporting carers in their workforce through flexible working policies or with simple, practical measures which can make a big difference.  This helps with retaining experienced members of staff, reducing absence, and cutting down on avoidable recruitment costs.

                                                                HR Manager, Kirsty Watson said: “People are at the heart of Bell Ingram and as an employer we are committed to supporting our team in all aspects of their lives.  We have several carers already in the organisation who benefit from our supportive working environment. We look forward to working with Carers Scotland on how we can further improve life at Bell Ingram for our employees with caring responsibilities.”

                                                                 

                                                                Our people

                                                                Kirsty Watson

                                                                Kirsty Watson

                                                                Associate
                                                                HR Manager
                                                                Tel: 01292 886 544

                                                                About: Kirsty is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Personnel and Development and has over 20 years' experience providing a general HR function including recruitment, absence management, training and development and policy writing. Interests: Employee wellbeing, equality, diversity and inclusion.

                                                                Get in touch

                                                                We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                                                                  Meet the Land Agent

                                                                  If you have a passion for travel and the countryside then life as a Bell Ingram Land Agent could be for you. We find out more about what the job entails, and routes into the profession from our Ambleside based Senior Associate, Andrew Thompson.

                                                                  What is your background?

                                                                  I am not from a farming background and my interest in surveying started back in the 90s doing work experience for a firm of land agents on Speyside. From those early experiences I realised that surveying could offer an opportunity to travel, learn about the built environment, the social/economic history of a people and a place. I preferred the opportunity as I saw it then, to be outside rather than being sat behind a desk.

                                                                  What qualifications did you need to become a Land Agent?

                                                                  I spent some time at the Royal Agricultural College at Cirencester but moved into private practice in Oxfordshire and then Dorset before finishing because working appealed more than studying at the time.

                                                                  Through the experience route (five years of working) I enrolled and passed the Post Graduate Diploma in Surveying from the College of Estate Management in Reading while working full time in Leicestershire. This qualification then enabled me to do the APC (Rural) through the RICS, which I passed first time, whilst working in Inverness.

                                                                  What’s been your career path?

                                                                  I spent nearly four years in Dorset working on a traditional 12,500-acre estate which had six miles of world heritage coastline, a castle, holiday caravan park, plus a portfolio of farms, cottages and commercial interests. I then spend a short spell in London on the more commercial side of surveying but although well renumerated it wasn’t for me.

                                                                  From there, I moved up to Leicestershire for three years undertaking a range of duties and tasks; then to Scotland and spent five years in Inverness working for one of our competitors. Much of that time was spent working for Crown Estate’s marine portfolio at a time where there was a lot of investment in community assets making local fish and shellfish business more sustainable, whilst encouraging tourism; early days of windfarms; the decommissioning redundant North Sea oil and gas assets. I was also involved in some of Scottish Water’s refurbishment projects. My work took me all over Scotland and I was a frequent visitor to Orkney and Shetland.

                                                                  After that I worked for the National Trust in the Lake District (a National Park and what became a World Heritage Site) for a further five years before returning to private practice at Bell Ingram. My time with the NT was more akin to where I had first started out in the surveying profession down in Dorset where there was a large portfolio of farms and cottages to manage on a day-to-day basis but with a significant emphasis on the environment, the culture, the intrinsic historical context of Beatrix Potter, Wordsworth, Coleridge etc and a big interface with the general public.

                                                                  What’s the biggest misconception of the job?

                                                                  If you are considering a career as a Land Agent or Chartered Surveyor, you might not realise that companies like Bell Ingram tender for much of our work through framework contracts with the major utility companies. This kind of work – acquisition and disposals, compensation and claims, compulsory purchase and land referencing – is very different from traditional estate management or forestry but can be extremely rewarding seeing a massive infrastructure project through from start to finish.

                                                                  My current role, for example, has been focused on a major water project insuring and providing water to the whole of West Cumbria over the past six years, sat alongside other utility and other private client work.

                                                                  What do you enjoy about the job?

                                                                  The scope for variety in the context of ‘surveying’ or ‘rural land management’ or alternatively the ability to specialise and be an expert in a specific discipline. One can be progressive and engaging, giving guidance and opinion on how best to manage land and safeguard it as an asset for future generations and as part of that it’s the travelling and the experiences generated in meeting new people that appeals to me. Working in different parts of the country, experiencing different challenges, putting context to them and sympathetically securing a solution for the client. Just because something works once, it doesn’t mean it’ll work elsewhere.

                                                                  In my current role working on infrastructure projects, though not often acknowledged per sae – I enjoy the problem-solving element of the job, resolving complex issues to the satisfaction of both client and the landowner is often rewarding.

                                                                  What’s your advice to those thinking of entering the profession?

                                                                  The traditional route of university degree and masters followed by your APC and CAAV professional qualifications is not the only route into the rural land management sector. For private practices like Bell Ingram, this pathway is still considered the “gold standard”, but there are different expectations within the utility sector with more “on the job” training and development available to those who prefer a non-academic route or for those who wish to transition into the profession. As an example of this I came across was GP doctor who had a personal interest/hobby in rural sports and decided to take up a position whilst maintaining his GP hours.

                                                                  Bell Ingram is hiring Land Agents across our business and locations. Find out more about the positions available and life at Bell Ingram at bellingram.co.uk/Work-with-us.

                                                                  Our people

                                                                  Andrew Thompson

                                                                  Andrew Thompson

                                                                  Senior Associate
                                                                  Utilities & Renewables Rural Land Management
                                                                  Tel: 01539 896 101

                                                                  About: Andrew, a qualified Rural Chartered Surveyor and RICS Registered Valuer, opened the Ambleside Office in 2017 to facilitate the delivery of a number of utility and land management focussed projects across Cumbria and North Lancashire. Andrew is keen to maximise the full suite of professional services that Bell Ingram can offer, through its Ambleside staff and office. Interests: Utilities, Private Estate Management, Rural Land Management, MRICS Registered Valuer

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                                                                    OnFARM Podcast: Braemar Castle Community Restoration Project

                                                                    Braemar Castle in Royal Deeside has been under scaffolding for many months – as it is being lovingly restored by a team led by the local community, with architecture support from specialists at Bell Ingram. In this episode – the first of two recorded at Braemar Castle – Monty meets vice chair of Braemar Community Ltd. Doreen Wood, director of stonemasonry at Harper and Allen masonry Steven Harper, and Iain Cram, senior architect and partner at Bell Ingram.

                                                                     

                                                                    Our people

                                                                    Iain Cram

                                                                    Iain Cram

                                                                    Architect
                                                                    Design
                                                                    Tel: 01738 621 121

                                                                    About: Iain is Partner in charge of Bell Ingram Design. His main role is working with clients on projects from the initial concept, through site searches, funding challenges and statutory consents. He's an experienced and talented architect with a long track record, working on a diverse range of projects from small scale residential through to large public, commercial, residential and tourism builds. Interests: Architecture, Building Surveying, Trustee of the Scottish Lime Centre, a highly respected historic building skills training centre.

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                                                                      Bell Ingram join multi-disciplinary team on Crown Estate Scotland transactions framework

                                                                      Bell Ingram has been appointed to the Crown Estate Scotland’s Built Development, Coastal and Land Transactions Professional Services as part of a consortium of consultancies.

                                                                      Led by Turner & Townsend the three-year framework aims to support Crown Estate Scotland’s Development, Investment and Divestment strategy as it works to enhance communities and boost local businesses and economies.

                                                                      As part of this expert team, Bell Ingram will provide rural surveying services for projects and capital work programmes over £150,000 and major sales, and purchase of property, land and assets across the Crown Estate Portfolio with a capital value over £350,000. Bell Ingram’s work will include rural valuations, claims and acquisitions and disposals of rural property.

                                                                      Joining the consultancy team alongside Bell Ingram are commercial property experts CBRE and ICENI and Blackhall & Powis, who will be advising on offshore and renewable planning matters.

                                                                      Commenting on the tender win, Aberdeen Partner, James Petty says: “We look forward to working with this multi-disciplinary team to deliver rural surveying services for the Crown Estate Scotland portfolio. Our experience in rural land management and our coverage across Scotland means we are well placed to play such a key role in the delivering this framework.”

                                                                      Oster Milambo, Director of Property, Crown Estate Scotland, comments: “This framework is crucially important to Crown Estate Scotland’s work in the coming year. We look forward to working with Turner and Townsend and the wider multi-disciplinary consultancy team to deliver it successfully to help create great places and lasting value for the people of Scotland.”

                                                                      For more information on our Rural Land Management services visit: bellingram.co.uk/land-management/rural-land-management/

                                                                      Our people

                                                                      James Petty

                                                                      James Petty

                                                                      Partner, MRICS
                                                                      Rural Land Management
                                                                      Tel: 01224 621 300

                                                                      About: James is the Partner in charge of Bell Ingram's Aberdeen office and is an experienced rural surveyor dealing with all types of valuations, utilities and pipelines, rural land management, estate agency, and has experience of compulsory purchase work including the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route. He is an MRICS Registered Valuer and has provided Red Book valuations for a range of property types including mixed estates to traditional owner-occupied farms, residential, access rights and development plots. James has experience of day-to-day management of low ground estate properties including let farms, seasonal land lets and residential property letting. James has also worked with major utility companies on their onshore and offshore wind farm operations and provided land agency services to clients such as Siemens, SSE and SGN. Interests: MRICS Registered Valuer, Agent and Valuer for the Agricultural Mortgage Corporation Pipelines & Utilities, Rural Land Management, Valuations, Estate Agency.

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                                                                      We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                                                                        Meet the Land Agent

                                                                        Life as a Bell Ingram Land Agent is hugely varied and no two days are the same. We find out more about what the job entails, and routes into the profession from our Perth based Assistant Land Agent, Louise Finnie.

                                                                        What is your background?

                                                                        I come from a rural background, my family own a small beef farm alongside a residential and commercial property letting business. From a young age I had ponies and spent my time at my local pony club, making lifelong friends and enjoying all the activities that go along with that. When I changed school, extra-curricular activities meant that I no longer had the time required to continue with this but hope to return to the horse world in the future. Around this time, I also joined Young Farmers and continue to enjoy all the fun and friendship of the wider Association. I am currently Secretary of my club, East Fife, and on the committee for the Fife and Kinross District.

                                                                        What qualifications did you need to become a Land Agent?

                                                                        I hold a BA (Hons) degree in Rural Business Management awarded by Glasgow University in conjunction with SRUC.

                                                                        Why did you decide to go into surveying?

                                                                        I wanted a degree that would encompass both agriculture and property in order to build and expand my knowledge in both areas. Knowing this would give me a mix of both field and office-based work appealed greatly, while at the same time the great variety of work involved would mean that no two days would be the same. Being supported by a team with a diverse pool of knowledge such as is available within Bell Ingram was an important factor when looking for a graduate position.

                                                                        Did you always want to do rural work?

                                                                        Yes, finding something that fitted with my rural interests was important. I think if you do something you enjoy, then it no longer feels like work. I do not believe I could derive so much enjoyment from any other area of employment.

                                                                        When are you hoping to pass your APC?

                                                                        On completion of my four-year degree course, I have gone on to study for a further two years in order to complete my APC. Part of achieving this is the requirement to keep a two-year diary, logging in detail all my competencies. During the summer, I have to submit my chosen case study. In the autumn following that submission, I will be invited to an interview where I will carry out a presentation on my case study to the board of examiners who in turn will ask questions on both my case study and my competencies. I feel I am prepared and hope to achieve gaining my APC this autumn.

                                                                        What do you enjoy about the job?

                                                                        I particularly enjoy meeting with and speaking to clients which brings with it a perfect balance between field and office work. Rural surveying covers a vast range of topics so having two years to trial most of the areas is a great way to rule out, or in, which areas suit you best. Although I have covered a variety of different areas, so far, on completion of my APC I feel I would like to specialise in Valuation.

                                                                        However, due to the changes taking place in the world, Renewables is an area I have not covered extensively but may investigate in the future. Next year I hope to continue my studies and work towards my CAAV exams, knowing once again I can depend on and will be ably assisted by the Bell Ingram team. Being made feel like a valued member of, and being extensively supported by, the Bell Ingram ‘family’ throughout every aspect of my training has undoubtedly given me a strong foundation and broadened my skill set, ideally setting me up for the future.

                                                                        Bell Ingram is hiring Land Agents across our business and locations. Find out more about the positions available and life at Bell Ingram at bellingram.co.uk/Work-with-us.

                                                                        Our people

                                                                        Louise Finnie

                                                                        Louise Finnie

                                                                        Graduate Surveyor
                                                                        Rural Land Management
                                                                        Tel: 01738 621 121

                                                                        About: Louise is a graduate rural surveyor working across Scotland specialising in rural estate and farm management, valuations and lettings. Louise joined the Bell Ingram Perth office in 2021 and is a graduate of SRUC Aberdeen with an Honours Degree in Rural Business Management. She is working towards her APC and CAAV exams. Interests: Rural Land Management, Valuations.

                                                                        Get in touch

                                                                        We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                                                                          Raising awareness of jobs in the rural sector

                                                                          Like most of the rural sector, rural land management and in particular rural surveying is experiencing a serious skills shortage.

                                                                          As one of the UK’s leading firms of rural business specialists, Bell Ingram knows the issue all too well and is taking steps to promote the fantastic work on offer within the sector.

                                                                          With five offices across Scotland the firm employs 30 professional staff involved in rural land management, forestry, renewables, utilities, valuations, and AMC work. For many the hugely varied role of a Land Agent is one of the main attractions to the job as it allows for a real mixture of experiences as well as office and on site working.

                                                                          To help address the skills shortage Bell Ingram has developed strong connections with SRUC and regularly welcomes students from the Rural Business Management course on site for practical valuation experience.

                                                                          A key piece of the puzzle, however, is promoting the sector to those who don’t know the work exists. To help, Bell Ingram has partnered with Countryside Learning Scotland, a charitable organisation founded to help promote rural jobs to all young people across the country, not just those from rural communities.

                                                                          As part of this project a panel of young people from a cross section of the population were tasked with producing a video about rural work, interviewing those in the sector about their career pathway, which premiered at the Highland Show last year.

                                                                          This year the firm is producing social media campaigns promoting the careers available within the sector and profiling the varied work and backgrounds of those in the business.   

                                                                          Head of Rural Land Management at Bell Ingram, Rob Whitson, said: “At Bell Ingram we have a robust training programme in place that has successfully guided trainee Land Agents through their APC exams to become Chartered Rural Surveyors.

                                                                          “But as an industry we must do better at promoting the brilliant work on offer within rural surveying. Whether that is developing stronger relationships with schools and universities or supporting national projects such as Countryside Learning Scotland, it is imperative we have the people with the right skills available to carry out the vital work we do to keep the rural economy thriving.” 

                                                                          Bell Ingram is recruiting for a variety of positions across Scotland including Senior Chartered Surveyor in Beauly, Land Agent in Perth & Ayr, Forester in Aberdeen & Perth. For more information visit bellingram.co.uk/work-with-us/vacancies

                                                                          Our people

                                                                          Rob Whitson

                                                                          Rob Whitson

                                                                          Partner, MRICS
                                                                          Rural Land Management
                                                                          Tel: 01463 717 799

                                                                          About: Rob is Bell Ingram’s partner in charge of the Beauly office. He specialises in the management of rural properties for a range of private clients across the Highlands. This has included a number of significant and high profile sporting estates. For Land Management clients, Rob has worked on the negotiation of purchase/sale, servitude rights and renewable energy developments. He provides specialist management advice over a wide range of sporting estates particularly in relation to red deer stalking and salmon fisheries. Rob has enjoyed a long involvement with a number of district salmon fishery boards across the Highlands, and is a trustee of the Cromarty Firth Fishery Trust. He is Chair of the Highland Region for Scottish Land & Estates and also leads on valuations of commercial and rural property throughout Scotland in accordance with the RICS appraisal and valuation standards. Interests: Private Estate Management, Rural Land Management, Sporting Management, Valuations.

                                                                          Get in touch

                                                                          We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                                                                            Cautious positivity defines the Highland residential market

                                                                            Now that the dust has settled on the turbulent conditions we’ve seen in recent years, the Highland residential market appears to be transitioning towards a more normal level of activity in what is traditionally the busiest time of the year for sellers.

                                                                            Joanne Stennett, who leads the Bell Ingram’s agency team in Beauly, says: “Last year was a successful one for the Highland team with 92% of the 52 properties we sold achieving the asking price or more.

                                                                            “Although the fluctuating mortgage rates and the cost-of-living crisis will inevitably impact 2023’s market conditions, we are seeing plenty of requests for market appraisals, at a level similar to the same period in 2019’s more normal market.

                                                                            “There is definitely a feeling of cautious positivity, and it appears that buyers have more confidence and more choice albeit with revised budgets to accommodate higher mortgage rates.

                                                                            “Pricing, particularly at the upper end of the market, is definitely looking more realistic which would suggest that sellers are heeding their agents’ advice that over-priced property is not attracting interest in this under-supplied market.”

                                                                            New instructions in the traditionally popular Highland villages are still generating a lot of interest.

                                                                            Joanne adds: “Getting your presentation and marketing right is hugely important if you want your property to stand out. Once you have made the decision to sell with Bell Ingram, we will arrange for one of our professional photographers to showcase your property at its best. As well as producing a high quality brochure we offer a  number of online platforms to allow your property to be viewed by the right buyers.

                                                                            “With a wealth of experience in the local residential market, speak to me, or any member of the agency team at Bell Ingram for professional advice and expert guidance to selling your home.

                                                                            Currently for sale through Bell Ingram Highland are:

                                                                            Borlum House, Thurso, o/o £975,000 – An impressive, extensively refurbished country house dating from circa 1700, together with two recently completed self-catering cottages, excellent equestrian facilities and approximately 78 acres of land.

                                                                            Ceol Na Mara and Bayview, Benbecula, o/o £400,000 – Two-bedroom bungalow together with one-bedroom self-catering cottage set in the most amazing waterside location on the Island of Benbecula.

                                                                            South Boisdale, South Uist, o/o £325,000 – A rare opportunity to create a unique new home in an outstanding prime island location.

                                                                            Ty Cymro, Berneray, o/o £225,000 – B listed one-bedroom black house situated in a conservation area in a waterside location on the island of Berneray with stunning sea views.

                                                                            Lilac Cottage, Struy, Beauly, o/o £225,000 – Four-bedroom detached cottage set in a quiet location in the popular hamlet of Struy.

                                                                            1 Redwood Crescent, Inverness, o/o £400,000 – Spacious five-bedroom detached bungalow situated in the desirable area of Milton of Leys, Inverness.

                                                                            Our people

                                                                            Joanne Stennett

                                                                            Joanne Stennett

                                                                            Associate
                                                                            Estate Agency
                                                                            Tel: 01463 717 799

                                                                            About: Joanne heads up the Estate Agency team in our Beauly office and is focused on ensuring her clients have a positive experience when they list their property with Bell Ingram. From country houses to farms and estates, she has been marketing prime residential property in the Highlands and Islands for over 17 years. Joanne is well known in the local area, having developed excellent relationships with buyers and sellers. Interests: Residential Estate Agency, Rural Property Sales.

                                                                            Get in touch

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                                                                              Reasons to be cheerful

                                                                              While the Scottish residential housing market continues to be affected by a scarcity of stock, new data released by the online property portals give sellers some reasons to be cheerful.

                                                                              While buyer demand is down by a third compared to last year’s buoyant market, it’s up 4% on this time in 2019. Plus, there’s been a bigger than usual New Year bounce-back in activity, making a much more encouraging start to the year than many anticipated.

                                                                              Although average asking prices are still £8,720 lower than their peak in October 2022, after two months of falls, they have increased by 0.9% (+£3,301) this month. This is the biggest increase at this time of year since 2020.

                                                                              January 5th saw the number of people sending a request to an estate agent to value their home – the third largest on record. In total the first week of 2023 was the busiest for home valuation requests since August 2022.

                                                                              Carl Warden, Head of Estate Agency at Bell Ingram reports: “These national figures just released mirror the picture I’m seeing across Perth & Kinross. Although the supply of stock remains well below what I would have historically expected to see at this time of year, there’s no shortage of enquiries from potential sellers looking for market appraisals.

                                                                              “Looking ahead I see no reason for house values to decrease in any significant way, but I think we are unlikely to see the big offers over the asking price that characterised the market in 2022. Instead, I predict the market will recalibrate and we’ll see a more realistically priced market emerging.

                                                                              “Despite uncertainty over mortgage rates, inflation and the cost-of-living crisis, people are still looking to move, and if you get the price and presentation correct then there’s no reason why your property won’t sell.

                                                                              “And for buyers, it is not always the ones with the deepest pockets who are coming out on top. Those who have all their ducks in a row, and who are chain-free, are often more successful than the highest bidder in securing their dream home.

                                                                              “If you are looking to sell, then there is no time like the present. Using a prestigious agency such as Bell Ingram, with our property teams embedded in communities throughout the country, means we know the suitable buyers for your property and can secure a premium private deal if you so choose.

                                                                              “Because we ask our buyers the right questions, we always secure the best outcome for our clients. We would therefore recommend that anyone who is thinking of buying or selling their rural property waste no time to get in touch with our agents to discuss your needs.”

                                                                              If you are considering selling you home, farm or estate, our dedicated team is on hand to provide professional advice and expert guidance. Contact Carl Warden on 01738 621121 or email carl.warden@bellingram.co.uk

                                                                              Our people

                                                                              Carl Warden

                                                                              Carl Warden

                                                                              Partner
                                                                              Estate Agency
                                                                              Tel: 01738 621 121

                                                                              About: Carl heads up the Residential Estate Agency division for the company and has a proven track record within the Scottish property sector. He has been marketing property in the Perth and Kinross area for over 35 years and has vast and detailed practical experience and knowledge of selling prime residential property: from period homes to contemporary developments. Carl is well known in the local area, having developed excellent relationships with buyers and sellers. His wider role involves looking after and supporting our Agency teams and colleagues in Oban, Beauly, Ayr and Forfar. Interests: Estate Agency, Market Valuation, Negotiation.

                                                                              Get in touch

                                                                              We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                                                                                The property market is still moving, are you?

                                                                                The decision to sell is never easy, so let our local property experts help. Bell Ingram’s free market appraisal service will give you the confidence that we can achieve the best result for your property’s sale or purchase.

                                                                                Drawing on over 120 years’ experience, we offer an extensive database which provides relevant, comparable evidence for market appraisals when marketing properties and matching buyers to suitable homes.

                                                                                Take advantage of the strong market in your area. Book your free market appraisal online now at bellingram.co.uk

                                                                                Our Team

                                                                                Based in key locations across Scotland our agents have an in-depth understanding of the regional and national markets.

                                                                                Carl Warden, Perth

                                                                                With over 30 years’ experience in the prime residential rural sector, Carl runs Bell Ingram’s Estate Agency service. He works from our Perth office and manages Agency teams in Perth, Beauly, Oban, Forfar, Ayr and Aberdeen. From period homes to contemporary developments, he has a wealth of experience selling high value property as well as plots, cottages, farmhouses and farmland.

                                                                                Carl is supported in Perth by Moira Webley and Johanna Wiseman. Well known in the local area, this expert team has developed excellent relationships with buyers and sellers and is able to offer a comprehensive and professional service.

                                                                                Andrew Fuller, Oban

                                                                                Andrew joined Bell Ingram following almost 15 years managing high-level private and commercial development projects in the United Arab Emirates. He brings a wealth of property management and investment experience to his role as Senior Associate Estate Agent managing Bell Ingram’s Oban office.

                                                                                He is supported by a dynamic team consisting of Laura MacCallum and Mairi Kennedy, and between them they cover Argyll and The Isles and the Morvern Peninsula, focusing on the sale of premium, rural properties.

                                                                                Joanne Stennett, Highland

                                                                                Joanne manages Bell Ingram’s Highland estate agency service from our Beauly office. She offers professional advice and expert guidance to sellers and buyers across the region and the Outer isles where she has strong connections with the local communities.

                                                                                Highly experienced in the assessment and sale of prime residential and other rural property, Joanne  is supported by Fiona Adam and Julie Connor preparing properties for sale and overseeing the marketing from launch to offer and negotiating property transactions.

                                                                                 

                                                                                Our people

                                                                                Carl Warden

                                                                                Carl Warden

                                                                                Partner
                                                                                Estate Agency
                                                                                Tel: 01738 621 121

                                                                                About: Carl heads up the Residential Estate Agency division for the company and has a proven track record within the Scottish property sector. He has been marketing property in the Perth and Kinross area for over 35 years and has vast and detailed practical experience and knowledge of selling prime residential property: from period homes to contemporary developments. Carl is well known in the local area, having developed excellent relationships with buyers and sellers. His wider role involves looking after and supporting our Agency teams and colleagues in Oban, Beauly, Ayr and Forfar. Interests: Estate Agency, Market Valuation, Negotiation.

                                                                                Get in touch

                                                                                We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                                                                                  ,

                                                                                  Our people

                                                                                  Andrew Fuller

                                                                                  Andrew Fuller

                                                                                  Senior Associate
                                                                                  Estate Agency
                                                                                  Tel: 01631 566 122

                                                                                  About: Andrew heads up the Estate Agency team in our Oban office and is focused on ensuring his clients have a first-class experience when they list their property with Bell Ingram. A resident of the Isle of Mull, Andrew is very well known across the West Coast of Scotland and has developed an excellent reputation for marketing prime residential property, including plots, crofts, island homes and lifestyle opportunities. Andrew joined Bell Ingram following almost 15 years managing several high-level private and commercial development projects in the United Arab Emirates. Interests: Residential Estate Agency, Rural Property Sales.

                                                                                  Get in touch

                                                                                  We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                                                                                    ,

                                                                                    Our people

                                                                                    Joanne Stennett

                                                                                    Joanne Stennett

                                                                                    Associate
                                                                                    Estate Agency
                                                                                    Tel: 01463 717 799

                                                                                    About: Joanne heads up the Estate Agency team in our Beauly office and is focused on ensuring her clients have a positive experience when they list their property with Bell Ingram. From country houses to farms and estates, she has been marketing prime residential property in the Highlands and Islands for over 17 years. Joanne is well known in the local area, having developed excellent relationships with buyers and sellers. Interests: Residential Estate Agency, Rural Property Sales.

                                                                                    Get in touch

                                                                                    We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                                                                                      Highlands and Islands property market defies the headlines

                                                                                      The property market in the Scottish Highlands and Islands has been booming for some years and despite signs of a slowing market elsewhere, prices remain strong in the North and West of the country.

                                                                                      With mortgage rates rising and rumours of house prices stagnating, you could be fooled into believing the Scottish property market is about to crash. But our experts in Oban and Beauly are seeing no let up, with predictions that growth is to slow yet to be seen in practice.

                                                                                      In fact, Andrew Fuller, Bell Ingram’s Estate Agent in Oban, recently secured a sale for a home achieving 100% over the asking price, which put paid to the fact that buyers are no longer willing to offer such large sums over the home report value as we have seen post pandemic. Most recently Andrew and his team also secured two notable sales of over £1million for homes in some challenging conditions.

                                                                                      This is just one example, but it would appear to be backed up by the latest figures from Registers of Scotland that show the price of a detached home is up by 13% to £349,000 on average with the biggest increases seen in the council areas of Argyll, Highland and the Islands.

                                                                                      Similarly, Joanne Stennett, our Estate Agent based in Beauly in the Scottish Highlands, is still experiencing huge demand in the region with houses regularly going to closing dates and achieving in excess of 10% over the asking price.

                                                                                      Interest in both the Highlands and Islands remains strong with a constant stream of enquiries from buyers south of the border, and increasingly from the Central Belt. This demand for houses in the regions has remained strong since the pandemic and off market deals are becoming common place as buyers vie for properties before they reach the open market, such is the competition for stock.

                                                                                      Despite a recent uptick in house prices in the regions, they continue to be favourable to those further south and Joanne believes this will only continue as mortgage rates squeeze buyers out of already expensive property markets.

                                                                                      There is one thing Andrew and Joanne do not have on their side while working in some of Scotland’s most regions is and that is the weather. As we look towards the end of this year and early 2023, it will be the only thing holding them back.
                                                                                      If you are interested in taking advantage of this strong market speak to your nearest Bell Ingram office about our free market appraisal service.

                                                                                      Our people

                                                                                      Andrew Fuller

                                                                                      Andrew Fuller

                                                                                      Senior Associate
                                                                                      Estate Agency
                                                                                      Tel: 01631 566 122

                                                                                      About: Andrew heads up the Estate Agency team in our Oban office and is focused on ensuring his clients have a first-class experience when they list their property with Bell Ingram. A resident of the Isle of Mull, Andrew is very well known across the West Coast of Scotland and has developed an excellent reputation for marketing prime residential property, including plots, crofts, island homes and lifestyle opportunities. Andrew joined Bell Ingram following almost 15 years managing several high-level private and commercial development projects in the United Arab Emirates. Interests: Residential Estate Agency, Rural Property Sales.

                                                                                      Get in touch

                                                                                      We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                                                                                         

                                                                                        Our people

                                                                                        Joanne Stennett

                                                                                        Joanne Stennett

                                                                                        Associate
                                                                                        Estate Agency
                                                                                        Tel: 01463 717 799

                                                                                        About: Joanne heads up the Estate Agency team in our Beauly office and is focused on ensuring her clients have a positive experience when they list their property with Bell Ingram. From country houses to farms and estates, she has been marketing prime residential property in the Highlands and Islands for over 17 years. Joanne is well known in the local area, having developed excellent relationships with buyers and sellers. Interests: Residential Estate Agency, Rural Property Sales.

                                                                                        Get in touch

                                                                                        We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                                                                                          Article posted on 12/09/2022

                                                                                          Supporting Young People with ADHD Into Rural Work

                                                                                          By Ian Robertson, Executive Director of Countryside Learning Scotland

                                                                                          Our award-winning ADHD RURAL CONNECT project is the first rural education programme for young people with ADHD. We provide them with “hands on” opportunities to learn new practical skills and qualifications, develop opportunities and employability skills while progressing understanding of their soft skills. It is the first of its kind, offering specialist educational support, to young people with ADHD, helping them into rural work across Scotland and is focused to ensure these young people can reach their full potential, by nurturing their skills for employability and life. 

                                                                                          Thirty-nine per cent of children with ADHD are (at times) excluded from education, so there is a considerable responsibility for us to utilise our 20+ years of experience and expertise when implementing ADHD Rural Connect. With our partners Perth and Kinross ADHD Support Group and NFU Mutual, we are recognising the potential of these young people and the role they could play in tackling the lack of young people embarking on rural careers.

                                                                                          These young people can face many challenges such as poor educational experience; weak interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence; friendship difficulties; not life prepared; lacking in confidence; and impulsivity – meaning poor decision making. ADHD Rural Connect is designed to support these specific challenges through the expertise of the Occupational Therapist and the specialist support to the young people, and the parents, provided by the Perth and Kinross ADHD Support Group. We are combining this nurturing programme with outdoor based practical skills; it is this combination of the two which is unique.

                                                                                          ADHD Rural Connect recently won the Scottish Land and Estates ‘Helping it Happen’ ‘Working with Communities Award’. This recognition gives us the confidence and impetus to keep striving, to take the project to further secondary schools, to support and develop more neurodiverse young people to help them reach their fullest potential whilst delivering a raft of motivated young people as future employees to the rural industries – this can only be seen as a Win-Win situation.

                                                                                          We are known as the charity that provides education opportunities to ‘all across all outdoor industries’ …well  now we are practicing what we preach.

                                                                                          Article posted on 17/08/2022

                                                                                          The year in Rural Land Management

                                                                                          As 2022 draws to a close, it feels right to take time to reflect on the year that has gone and look forward to 2023. I can’t remember which philosopher said that: “you need to know where you have come from to know where you are going”, but I suspect he could not have foreseen such a rollercoaster of a year that we have just endured.

                                                                                          From the highs of the spring and the early months of 2022, the residential property market was as buoyant as we have seen it for many years. At the same time the world of forestry planting land, carbon credits and investment in land by fund managers bore no relation to traditional land values.

                                                                                          It only took a change in personnel in No.10 and No.11 Downing Street, and a mini budget, to send investors into retreat and the housing market to all but disappear. That is everywhere but the west coast of Scotland and the Islands where the market seems to be bucking the trend.

                                                                                          There is no escaping the issue that land management and investment in 2023 faces a number of challenges. That said, where there is uncertainty, there are opportunities for those who are willing to take a calculated risk and who are well advised in the rewards that investing in land, property and forestry can bring.

                                                                                          Interest rates may be rising and the cost of money for the lending institutions is increasing, but there is no shortage of individuals looking to purchase good quality farm land. This year saw a dearth of good quality farms coming to the market but with the increase in the cost of inputs, and the rise in interest rates, it is inevitable that more farms will come to the market in 2023.

                                                                                          The Scottish Government is standing by its targets for forestry planting, but we have seen a cooling in the market for planting land. Good land will sell well, but the poorer land with access and future extraction issues is definitely diminishing.

                                                                                          The Government has published its consultation on the future of agriculture and it is questionable whether they will achieve their aims in this parliament. Muirburn and the licensing of grouse moors are all under scrutiny for 2023, which in effect raises serious questions for the future of rural Scotland and the future of sporting and upland management.

                                                                                          2023 is going to prove a challenging year in terms of land and property management in the United Kingdom. The staff at Bell Ingram are on hand to advise how best to navigate the way through these difficult times. There will be opportunities in 2023 for investing and diversification in land and property. The old adage that “he who hesitates is lost!” might be the maxim for 2023.

                                                                                          For more information on our Rural Land Management services visit: bellingram.co.uk/land-management/rural-land-management/

                                                                                          Our people

                                                                                          Malcolm Taylor

                                                                                          Malcolm Taylor

                                                                                          Senior Partner, FRICS ACIArb
                                                                                          Rural Land Management
                                                                                          Tel: 01307 462 516

                                                                                          About: Malcolm is Bell Ingram's Senior Partner and heads up the company's Forfar office, where he specialises in farm and estate management, including the provision of agricultural rental advice and acting as an expert witness. He is the immediate past chairman of the RICS in Scotland and remains actively involved with the Institution. Malcolm is also head of Lettings within Bell Ingram. Interests: AMC Agent, Corporate Estate Management, Rural Land Management, SRDP Applications, FRICS Registered Valuer.

                                                                                          Get in touch

                                                                                          We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                                                                                            Article posted on 17/08/2022

                                                                                            May Property Market Insight from Carl Warden, Bell Ingram’s Head of Estate Agency

                                                                                            As the weather begins to improve and the rain starts to taper off, there’s a palpable sense of relief among the farming community. But interestingly, it’s not just farmers who are benefiting from this change – the property market is also experiencing a surge in activity.

                                                                                            According to Carl Warden, Bell Ingram’s Head of Estate Agency, there has been a noticeable uptick in interest in the property market recently. Competitive closing dates and premium prices are becoming more common, indicating a heightened level of competition among buyers. Properties that were listed in the final quarter of 2023 are now quickly going under offer, highlighting the importance of timing in satisfying the current demand.

                                                                                            Says Carl: “Sellers are becoming increasingly aware of the need to stay ahead of the curve in this fast-paced market. More property appraisals are being requested as sellers recognise the importance of being well-prepared before making an offer on a new property.”

                                                                                            However, Carl advises against complacency, emphasising the importance of realistic expectations, explaining: “Despite the buoyant market, it’s crucial for both buyers and sellers to approach transactions with a clear understanding of what is achievable. With the right guidance, though, I believe that everyone can reach their desired outcome.”

                                                                                            One area that Carl highlights as particularly crucial is conveyancing – the legal process of transferring property ownership. He stresses the importance of having a competent solicitor who can navigate the complexities of this process. Regular communication with your solicitor, including requesting progress reports, is essential to ensuring a smooth transaction.

                                                                                            But Carl wants to make it clear that the job of an estate agent doesn’t end once an offer is accepted. Agents play a vital role in facilitating communication between buyers, sellers, and solicitors, helping to resolve any issues that may arise during the transaction.

                                                                                            He concludes: “Looking ahead, I predicts that the Scottish property market will continue to flourish throughout the summer as demand remains high and availability remains limited. So, whether you’re buying or selling, now could be the perfect time to make your move in the market.”

                                                                                             

                                                                                            Our people

                                                                                            Carl Warden

                                                                                            Carl Warden

                                                                                            Partner
                                                                                            Estate Agency
                                                                                            Tel: 01738 621 121

                                                                                            About: Carl heads up the Residential Estate Agency division for the company and has a proven track record within the Scottish property sector. He has been marketing property in the Perth and Kinross area for over 35 years and has vast and detailed practical experience and knowledge of selling prime residential property: from period homes to contemporary developments. Carl is well known in the local area, having developed excellent relationships with buyers and sellers. His wider role involves looking after and supporting our Agency teams and colleagues in Oban, Beauly, Ayr and Forfar. Interests: Estate Agency, Market Valuation, Negotiation.

                                                                                            Get in touch

                                                                                            We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                                                                                              Bell Ingram latest sold properties…

                                                                                              Another busy month of sales concluding for our Estate Agents in Perth and Kinross, Highland and Argyll and Bute.  Have a look below at some of our latest sold properties.

                                                                                              Sold by our Perth and Kinross Estate Agents

                                                                                              Balarchibald Steading, Ballechin, Pitlochry

                                                                                              Perth Office

                                                                                              Mains of Craichie Farmhouse, Craichie, Forfar, Angus

                                                                                              Perth Office

                                                                                              Kirklands, High Street, Kinross

                                                                                              Perth Office

                                                                                               

                                                                                              Sold by our Argyll & Bute Estate Agents

                                                                                              Penmore House, Tobermory, Isle of Mull, Argyll and Bute

                                                                                              Oban Office

                                                                                              Hynish House, Isle of Tiree, Argyll and Bute

                                                                                              Oban Office

                                                                                              Balmacara, Dervaig, Isle of Mull, Argyll and Bute

                                                                                              Oban Office

                                                                                               

                                                                                              Are you looking for a market appraisal on your own property? Get in touch with our Estate Agents to book your market appraisal by clicking here.

                                                                                               

                                                                                               

                                                                                              Our people

                                                                                              Johanna Wiseman

                                                                                              Johanna Wiseman

                                                                                              Negotiator
                                                                                              Estate Agency
                                                                                              Tel: 01738 621 121

                                                                                              About: Johanna is a highly experienced Sales and Lettings Negotiator with extensive local knowledge who always strives to deliver the best customer service experience possible. Having worked within the estate agency sector for 15 years, she joined our Perth Estate Agency team in 2014 where she assists Carl Warden and Moira Webley in providing a bespoke service for those looking to buy, sell or rent. Johanna holds an ARLA Level 6 qualification in Residential Letting and Property Management. Interests: Estate Agency, Lettings.

                                                                                              Get in touch

                                                                                              We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                                                                                                Bell Ingram latest properties…

                                                                                                Despite the weather April has seen a bright start to the property market, have a look at our latest properties from our Agents in Perthshire, Highland and Oban.

                                                                                                 

                                                                                                For Sale

                                                                                                Old Auchnaguie, Tulliemet, Pitlochry, PH9 0PA

                                                                                                Perth Office

                                                                                                 

                                                                                                3 Grayburn Gardens, Dundee, Angus, DD2 5FF

                                                                                                Perth Office

                                                                                                 

                                                                                                Traigh Mhor, Kirkapol, Isle of Tiree, PA77 6TW

                                                                                                Oban Office

                                                                                                 

                                                                                                Burnside Cottage, Prison Brae, Tobermory, Isle of Mull, PA75 6PB

                                                                                                Oban Office

                                                                                                 

                                                                                                Druim Beag, 6 Drumindorsair, Broallan, Beauly, IV4 7AH

                                                                                                Highland Office

                                                                                                 

                                                                                                Atlantic Longhouse & SEApods, Aird, Uig, Isle of Lewis, HS2 9JA

                                                                                                Highland Office

                                                                                                Can’t find what you are looking for? Have a look at more of our properties here.

                                                                                                 

                                                                                                 

                                                                                                Our people

                                                                                                Johanna Wiseman

                                                                                                Johanna Wiseman

                                                                                                Negotiator
                                                                                                Estate Agency
                                                                                                Tel: 01738 621 121

                                                                                                About: Johanna is a highly experienced Sales and Lettings Negotiator with extensive local knowledge who always strives to deliver the best customer service experience possible. Having worked within the estate agency sector for 15 years, she joined our Perth Estate Agency team in 2014 where she assists Carl Warden and Moira Webley in providing a bespoke service for those looking to buy, sell or rent. Johanna holds an ARLA Level 6 qualification in Residential Letting and Property Management. Interests: Estate Agency, Lettings.

                                                                                                Get in touch

                                                                                                We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                                                                                                  April Property Market Insight from Carl Warden, Bell Ingram’s Head of Estate Agency

                                                                                                  Last month’s outlook in the property market showed a glimmer of positivity, but one significant issue continues to linger: prospective buyers are hesitating to list their properties. Despite signs of inflation aligning with the Bank of England’s forecasts and the potential stabilisation or even decrease of interest rates in the near future, caution remains the dominant sentiment among buyers.

                                                                                                  The primary concerns revolve around two key areas:

                                                                                                  Buyer Hesitation: Many potential buyers are delaying putting their properties on the market until they find the perfect fit. This reluctance contributes to a stagnant market, where properties remain unsold for extended periods.

                                                                                                  Seller Caution: Understandably, sellers are wary of negotiating or accepting offers from buyers who haven’t yet sold their own properties or begun marketing them. This cautious approach often leads to ‘chain-linked’ sales, where deals fall through and chains break down.

                                                                                                  The question arises: why accept an offer contingent on another sale? Sellers find themselves in a precarious position when they accept such offers, only to withdraw their property from the market and become vulnerable to circumstances beyond their control. The market’s stability hinges on the return of committed buyers and sellers, ensuring confidence and continuity.

                                                                                                  Contrary to popular belief, properties don’t always sell quickly in the current market. While it’s true for some, others may languish for months, necessitating price adjustments to maintain interest.

                                                                                                  Professional guidance remains crucial in navigating this complex market. Estate agents are well-equipped to offer support and expertise, assisting both buyers and sellers in negotiating the uncertainties of the market.

                                                                                                  Looking ahead, despite the challenges, optimism prevails for 2024. Confidence stems from firsthand experiences within the current market dynamics.

                                                                                                  In conclusion, while challenges persist in the property market, opportunities abound for those willing to adapt and seek professional guidance. Let’s strive for a market characterised by confidence and stability as we move forward.

                                                                                                  Our people

                                                                                                  Carl Warden

                                                                                                  Carl Warden

                                                                                                  Partner
                                                                                                  Estate Agency
                                                                                                  Tel: 01738 621 121

                                                                                                  About: Carl heads up the Residential Estate Agency division for the company and has a proven track record within the Scottish property sector. He has been marketing property in the Perth and Kinross area for over 35 years and has vast and detailed practical experience and knowledge of selling prime residential property: from period homes to contemporary developments. Carl is well known in the local area, having developed excellent relationships with buyers and sellers. His wider role involves looking after and supporting our Agency teams and colleagues in Oban, Beauly, Ayr and Forfar. Interests: Estate Agency, Market Valuation, Negotiation.

                                                                                                  Get in touch

                                                                                                  We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                                                                                                    Moving day checklist for buyers and sellers

                                                                                                    Moving to a new home can be both exciting and stressful. To ensure a smooth transition, it’s essential to stay organised and plan ahead. Here’s Bell Ingram’s comprehensive moving day checklist tailored for buyers and sellers:

                                                                                                    Before Moving Day:

                                                                                                    Confirm Moving Date: Co-ordinate with your solicitor, estate agent, and removal company to finalise the moving date.

                                                                                                    Notify Utilities: Inform gas, electricity, water, telephone, internet, and TV licensing providers of your move and arrange for disconnection or transfer of services.

                                                                                                    Change of Address: Notify banks, insurance companies, healthcare providers, DVLA, employer, and other relevant parties of your change of address.

                                                                                                    Arrange Removal Services: Book a reputable removal company well in advance. Obtain quotes, confirm the details of the move, and discuss any specific requirements.

                                                                                                    Pack Essentials: Start packing non-essential items early. Label boxes clearly and pack a separate box with essentials for immediate use upon arrival at your new home.

                                                                                                    Redirect Mail: Arrange for mail redirection with the Royal Mail to ensure you receive any post sent to your old address.

                                                                                                    Arrange Parking: If applicable, arrange for parking permits or suspensions to ensure adequate parking space for removal vehicles at both your current and new property.

                                                                                                    Finalise Cleaning: Schedule professional cleaning services for your old property if required. Ensure your new property is clean and ready for your arrival.

                                                                                                    On Moving Day:

                                                                                                    Confirm Removal Details: Double-check arrangements with the removal company, including the arrival time and any specific instructions.

                                                                                                    Pack Essentials Bag: Prepare a bag with essential items such as toiletries, medication, important documents, snacks, and a change of clothes for each family member.

                                                                                                    Utilities Readings: Take final meter readings for gas, electricity, and water at your old property. Record the readings and contact the utility providers to close your accounts.

                                                                                                    Check Property Condition: Conduct a final walkthrough of your old property to ensure everything is in order. Note any damage or issues and inform your solicitor.

                                                                                                    Hand Over Keys: Hand over keys to your old property to your solicitor or estate agent as per arrangements.

                                                                                                    Supervise Removal: Oversee the removal process, ensuring all items are loaded safely and securely onto the removal vehicle.

                                                                                                    Lock Up: Secure all windows and doors at your old property before leaving. Leave spare keys and relevant documents for the new occupants as agreed.

                                                                                                    After Moving Day:

                                                                                                    Unpack Essentials: Upon arrival at your new home, unpack your essentials bag and set up basic amenities such as bedding, toiletries, and kitchen essentials.

                                                                                                    Check Utilities: Verify that gas, electricity, water, and other utilities are connected and functioning correctly at your new property.

                                                                                                    Inspect Property: Conduct an initial inspection of your new home to ensure everything is as expected. Note any issues or concerns and address them promptly.

                                                                                                    Update Address: Update your address with relevant authorities, organisations, and service providers, including banks, insurers, healthcare providers, and the DVLA.

                                                                                                    Settle In: Take time to settle into your new surroundings and familiarise yourself with the local area. Explore nearby amenities, schools, and transportation links as needed.

                                                                                                    Dispose of Packing Materials: Dispose of packing materials responsibly or arrange for recycling or disposal services.

                                                                                                    Thank Your Removal Company: If satisfied with their service, consider leaving a positive review or providing feedback to your removal company.

                                                                                                    By following this comprehensive moving day checklist, you can ensure a smooth and stress-free transition to your new home. Happy moving!

                                                                                                    Our people

                                                                                                    Joanne Stennett

                                                                                                    Joanne Stennett

                                                                                                    Associate
                                                                                                    Estate Agency
                                                                                                    Tel: 01463 717 799

                                                                                                    About: Joanne heads up the Estate Agency team in our Beauly office and is focused on ensuring her clients have a positive experience when they list their property with Bell Ingram. From country houses to farms and estates, she has been marketing prime residential property in the Highlands and Islands for over 17 years. Joanne is well known in the local area, having developed excellent relationships with buyers and sellers. Interests: Residential Estate Agency, Rural Property Sales.

                                                                                                    Get in touch

                                                                                                    We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                                                                                                      Enhance your property’s value with a Spring makeover

                                                                                                      Many homeowners are seizing the opportunity to breathe new life into their properties this Spring, not only to celebrate the season but also to boost their home’s value ahead of listing it for sale. With longer days and a renewed sense of energy, springtime presents the perfect moment to embark on transformative home improvements. From refreshing interiors to enhancing curb appeal, here are some inspired ideas to elevate your property’s worth.

                                                                                                      Garden Revival:

                                                                                                      As nature awakens from its winter slumber, focus on rejuvenating your outdoor space to create a welcoming oasis for potential buyers. Consider investing in landscaping projects such as planting colourful flowers, trimming hedges, and revitalising lawns. Installing outdoor lighting or adding a cozy seating area can also enhance the appeal of your garden, making it an attractive feature for buyers seeking a tranquil retreat.

                                                                                                      Fresh Coat of Paint:

                                                                                                      Give your home a vibrant makeover with a fresh coat of paint, both indoors and outdoors. Opt for light, neutral tones to create an airy, spacious feel that appeals to a wide range of tastes. Painting doors, trims, and window frames can also add a polished finish, boosting your home’s curb appeal and leaving a lasting impression on potential buyers.

                                                                                                      Kitchen Refurbishment:

                                                                                                      The kitchen is often considered the heart of the home, so investing in its renovation can significantly increase your property’s value. Consider updating countertops, cabinets, and appliances to create a modern, functional space that will appeal to discerning buyers. Adding stylish fixtures, such as pendant lights or a sleek backsplash, can further enhance the aesthetic appeal of your kitchen, making it a standout feature of your home.

                                                                                                      Bathroom Upgrades:

                                                                                                      Upgrade your bathrooms with modern fixtures, such as rainfall showerheads, freestanding bathtubs, or vanity units with ample storage. Consider replacing outdated tiles or refreshing grout to give your bathrooms a fresh, clean look. Adding luxury touches, such as heated floors or spa-like features, can also elevate the overall ambiance and value of your home.

                                                                                                      Energy-Efficient Improvements:

                                                                                                      Incorporate energy-efficient upgrades into your home to not only reduce utility bills but also appeal to environmentally conscious buyers. Consider installing double-glazed windows, upgrading insulation, or investing in smart home technology, such as programmable thermostats or energy-efficient appliances. Highlighting these features can demonstrate your home’s sustainability credentials and enhance its marketability.

                                                                                                      Declutter and Depersonalise:

                                                                                                      Before showcasing your home to potential buyers, take the opportunity to declutter and depersonalise your living spaces. Clear out excess belongings, streamline furniture arrangements, and remove personal items to create a clean, clutter-free environment that allows buyers to envision themselves living in the space. Consider staging rooms with neutral decor and strategically placed accents to highlight your home’s potential and appeal to a broad audience.

                                                                                                      Outdoor Entertaining Spaces:

                                                                                                      With warmer weather on the horizon, capitalise on outdoor entertaining spaces to create additional living areas that extend the functionality of your home. Consider adding a deck, patio, or outdoor kitchen that provides a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor living. Investing in features such as fire pits, pergolas, or built-in seating can create a welcoming atmosphere for gatherings and enhance the overall appeal of your property.

                                                                                                      Our people

                                                                                                      Carl Warden

                                                                                                      Carl Warden

                                                                                                      Partner
                                                                                                      Estate Agency
                                                                                                      Tel: 01738 621 121

                                                                                                      About: Carl heads up the Residential Estate Agency division for the company and has a proven track record within the Scottish property sector. He has been marketing property in the Perth and Kinross area for over 35 years and has vast and detailed practical experience and knowledge of selling prime residential property: from period homes to contemporary developments. Carl is well known in the local area, having developed excellent relationships with buyers and sellers. His wider role involves looking after and supporting our Agency teams and colleagues in Oban, Beauly, Ayr and Forfar. Interests: Estate Agency, Market Valuation, Negotiation.

                                                                                                      Get in touch

                                                                                                      We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                                                                                                        Scottish Government introduces new land reform legislation with major implications for landowners

                                                                                                        On 13th March 2024, the Scottish Government introduced the Land Reform (Scotland) Bill. The aim of this Bill is to reform the law around large landholdings and certain types of leases of land. The controversial Bill includes measures for landholding over 1,000 hectares including potentially prohibiting the sale of the land until Ministers have been consulted and the impact on the local community assessed.

                                                                                                        Landholdings of over 1,000 hectares account for over 50% of Scotland’s land so this Bill could potentially have drastic effects on how land is managed. If a sale of a landholding over 1,000 hectares is deemed by the ministers to have a negative impact on local communities, the land could be divided into smaller portions. This would allow for communities to purchase smaller land areas and provide opportunities for other parties who would not be able to purchase land otherwise to have the chance of land ownership.

                                                                                                        To tackle climate change and reach net zero, many landowners throughout the country have started work on peatland restoration projects, woodland creation, riparian woodland and more regenerative and environmentally friendly farming practices. If large landholdings are broken down into smaller parcels, there is a risk that these current cohesive and large scale projects will be slowed due to minister intervention and the requirement for agreements to be made between multiple landowners. This will potentially slow down the progress that is already being made to reach net zero.

                                                                                                        The Bill also puts legal responsibilities on landowners to demonstrate how their land is being used to address public policy priorities, contributing to nature restoration and reducing the impact climate change. Many landowners are already managing their land in a way to address these issues already. There will be the requirement for landowners to engage with local communities about how they use the land.

                                                                                                        The Bill also sheds light on a proposed new tenancy model called a “Land Management Tenancy” which the Ministers will publish, this is to support tenancy to manage the land within their tenancies in ways that meet their needs as well as the nation’s. Measures are also included to reform tenant farming, increase sustainability and productivity and to compensate tenants at the end of their agreements for their investment of time and resources.

                                                                                                        The Bill can be read in full here.

                                                                                                        The Scottish Government has also published the report on the findings of a consultation held as part of a Strategic Environmental Assessment of agricultural tenancies, small landholdings and land management tenancy proposals. Within this report it is stated that many respondents noted that there needs to be a balance between tenants’ rights and landlords’ long term security. The respondents have also stated that further guidance and consultation is needed regarded a new tenancy model.

                                                                                                        The report and findings can be read here.

                                                                                                        Our people

                                                                                                        Hamish Hope

                                                                                                        Hamish Hope

                                                                                                        Surveyor, MRICS
                                                                                                        Land Management
                                                                                                        Tel: 01463 717 799

                                                                                                        About: Hamish is an experienced RICS Chartered Surveyor and Registered Valuer, working across the Highlands with a focus on rural estate management from traditional sporting estates to diversifications. He is a graduate of Edinburgh Napier University with MSc Real Estate Management and Investment. Interests: Estate Management, Sales & Lettings, Valuations, Domestic Energy Assessments.

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                                                                                                        We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                                                                                                          Important Update: Changes in Scotland’s Private Rented Sector

                                                                                                          Since September 2022, there have been regulations in place to control rent increases and safeguard against evictions for privately let residential properties, established under the Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Act 2022. However, effective April 1st, 2024, these restrictions, including the 3% rent increase cap, will be lifted.

                                                                                                          To mitigate the risk of significant rent hikes, pending parliamentary approval, the process for rent adjudication will be temporarily adjusted for one year, starting April 1st, 2024. This adjustment aims to provide a fair approach to resolving rent disputes during this transitional period.

                                                                                                          Here’s what landlords need to know about rent reviews in April:

                                                                                                          Private residential tenants can dispute a rent increase, with disputes reviewed by Rent Service Scotland or the First-tier Tribunal.

                                                                                                          Rent will be determined based on the lowest of three figures: the open market rate, the rent requested by the landlord, and a comparator based on the difference between the market rate and the current rate.

                                                                                                          Proposed regulations necessitate the use of a rent taper formula if a tenant applies for rent adjudication:

                                                                                                          *If the rent increase is 6% or less than the market rent, the landlord can increase the rent by the proposed amount.

                                                                                                          *If the gap between the market rent and the current rent exceeds 6%, the landlord can increase it by 6% plus 0.33% for each percent that the gap exceeds 6%. The total rent increase cannot exceed 12%.

                                                                                                          Read the Rent Adjudication (Temporary Modifications)(Scotland) Regulations 2024 here..

                                                                                                          As demand for rented property rises, many privately let properties with existing tenants now have below-market rent due to the 3% cap in place since 2022. This is likely to lead to widespread rent increases across the country, although the full impact on the market remains to be seen.

                                                                                                          Before these restrictions are lifted, further changes are set to take effect on March 1st, 2024, with new measures being added to the Repairing Standard, which applies to all privately let residential properties and Short Term Lets. These include:

                                                                                                          *Safe Kitchens

                                                                                                          *Fixed Heating System

                                                                                                          *Safe Access to Common Parts

                                                                                                          *Consent to Work on Common Parts

                                                                                                          *Safe and Secure Common Doors

                                                                                                          *Residual Current Devices

                                                                                                          *Properties must be free of lead pipes, or a water quality test must be carried out.

                                                                                                          *Other fuels, such as oil installations, must meet the same repair standards as gas and electricity installations.

                                                                                                          For full information regarding the changes to the Repairing Standard, click here. While many properties will already meet these additional requirements, there is a risk, primarily to older tenancies, that may not meet the new requirements, necessitating additional works.

                                                                                                          For further discussions on how these changes affect your property, please contact our professional letting agents at Bell Ingram.

                                                                                                          Our people

                                                                                                          Hamish Hope

                                                                                                          Hamish Hope

                                                                                                          Surveyor, MRICS
                                                                                                          Land Management
                                                                                                          Tel: 01463 717 799

                                                                                                          About: Hamish is an experienced RICS Chartered Surveyor and Registered Valuer, working across the Highlands with a focus on rural estate management from traditional sporting estates to diversifications. He is a graduate of Edinburgh Napier University with MSc Real Estate Management and Investment. Interests: Estate Management, Sales & Lettings, Valuations, Domestic Energy Assessments.

                                                                                                          Get in touch

                                                                                                          We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct

                                                                                                            Bell Ingram Announces Promotion of Rhona Booth

                                                                                                            Bell Ingram, leading land and property management specialist, is pleased to announce a significant milestone within the organisation with the promotion of Senior Associate Rhona Booth to the position of Forfar Office Manager, effective April 1, 2024.

                                                                                                            Rhona’s elevation to this pivotal role reflects her unwavering dedication, extensive expertise, and profound understanding of the Angus and Perthshire farming communities, positioning her as the ideal choice to lead the Forfar office into a new era of success.

                                                                                                            With 20 years of experience as a highly accomplished RICS Chartered Surveyor and Registered Valuer, Rhona has been an invaluable asset since joining Bell Ingram in 2020. Her exemplary skills in estate and farm management, coupled with her strategic acumen, have consistently driven business growth and forged enduring relationships with clients and partners alike.

                                                                                                            Rhona’s unparalleled knowledge and extensive network within the Angus farming community are standout qualities that will undoubtedly contribute to the continued expansion and prosperity of the Forfar office. Her deep understanding of the local landscape, combined with her established relationships, will be instrumental in solidifying Bell Ingram’s presence in the region and enhancing service delivery to clients.

                                                                                                            Bell Ingram’s Forfar office is situated in the heart of the Angus’ agricultural community and provides a full spectrum of advice to clients on farm valuation, land management, farm sales and opportunities surrounding renewables.

                                                                                                            While assuming the day-to-day responsibilities of managing the Forfar office, Rhona will collaborate closely with Senior Partner Malcolm Taylor, who will retain overall control. Malcolm’s strategic guidance will complement Rhona’s local expertise, ensuring an approach that maximises Bell Ingram’s impact in the region.

                                                                                                            Mark Mitchell, Managing Partner at Bell Ingram, said: “Rhona’s commitment to our company’s goals, coupled with her proven track record, makes her the ideal choice for this role. I have full confidence that under Rhona’s leadership, the Forfar office will achieve new heights of success.”

                                                                                                            Our people

                                                                                                            Rhona Booth

                                                                                                            Rhona Booth

                                                                                                            Senior Associate, MRICS
                                                                                                            Rural Land Management
                                                                                                            Tel: 01307 462516

                                                                                                            About: Rhona is a highly experienced RICS Chartered Surveyor and Registered Valuer working across Perthshire and Angus advising on all aspects of estate and farm management, including landlord and tenant negotiations, telecommunication mast agreements, utility projects and CPO compensation claims. In addition, Rhona can undertake a range of rural valuations for a variety of purposes as a Registered Valuer. Rhona joined Bell Ingram in 2020 and has over 20 years’ experience in the sector. Interests: Rural Land Management, Valuations, Utilities, Renewable Energy, Agricultural Tenancy Advisor, MRICS Registered Valuer.

                                                                                                            Get in touch

                                                                                                            We'd love to hear from you, use the form below to email me direct