The time has come to think afresh about Scottish tenancies says Ian Austin, president of the Scottish Agricultural Arbiters and Valuers Association (SAAVA).

Two years ago the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016 paved the way for a rent review system largely based on productivity, finding a "fair rent". This was intended to provide a simpler, more transparent and faster approach. Much work has been done, including the study by Savills for the Scottish Government on how parts of the proposals could be implemented. According to Mr Austin, the discussion of its conclusions has, however, shown that this approach risks being more procedural and complex than the present system.

Mr Austin said: "We have now reached a point where it would be sensible to take stock of what we have learnt in the past two years and consider whether the proposed approach is actually practical before spending more time and effort on taking it forward.

"An open debate after the 231 page Savills report would be of more value to the sector than just continuing down this road if it is only going to get more complex and less satisfactory while that report points to changes in the 2016 Act. Such a debate would be good public policy and right for the let sector.

"If the conclusion is that we should explore other options then it is better and more productive to find this now than to spend more time on the present project just because it exists."

Mr Austin went on to call for two strategic reforms by the Scottish Government that could unlock a new future for farm businesses in Scotland. First, a new flexible framework for new lettings, leaving it to owners and farmers to agree the terms on which land is let and taken and second, a new approach to recognise the importance of owners becoming landlords

SAAVA also calls on the UK Government to follow the Irish Government with an Income Tax relief for arms' length private lettings of more than five years.