SCOTTISH Land & Estates, which represents landowners across Scotland, said today recent increases in land values are not the reason for rises in agricultural rents.
Following publication of a report last week by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors which suggested significant increases in land values, representatives of the Scottish Tenant Farming Association claimed that land values could trigger farm rent rises later this year.
Andrew Howard, a director of Scottish Land & Estates and a representative on the Tenant Farming Forum, said: “The fundamental point is that farm rents are good value and this has been reflected by official statistics published by the Scottish Government this year.
“The main driver for any increases in rent is productivity of the farm, not the capital value of the land. More often than not when agriculture is not doing so well then rents remain fairly static. There have been rises in recent years because farming has been having a good period of productivity. The other important factor in rent reviews that it is only in recent years that reviews have been conducted on farms where the rent had been unchanged for a very long time. Land capital values generally do not influence rent calculations and if there are rent increases later this year this will not be the reason.
“Tenants and landlords do not have to agree to a rent they do not think is satisfactory and the fact that so few cases end in legal dispute suggests that the overwhelming number of rents are agreed through discussion. The Rent Review Working Group looked at this whole issue only last year and concluded that the current system is the best available.”