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Compensation for leaving a crofting tenancy

If you leave your croft, whether you give up your tenancy, are evicted or your landlord resumes the land, you may be entitled to compensation for any improvements you've made to the land. If you've allowed the land to deteriorate, you may have to pay your landlord compensation when your tenancy ends.

Who is entitled to compensation?

You may be entitled to compensation if you're a crofting tenant who has made permanent improvements to the land and:

  • you give up your tenancy, or
  • you're evicted from your croft, or
  • your landlord resumes the land (this means taking the land back to use for non-agricultural purposes).

In order to receive compensation:

  • the improvements must be suitable for the croft, and
  • you must have paid for them (or paid the outgoing tenant compensation for them when you took over the tenancy), and
  • you can't have been contractually obliged to make the improvements, or received a rent reduction or other payment in return.

What are improvements?

Improvements are buildings or other equipment that are fixed to the land, which you have built, provided or made better, including:

  • the croft house
  • other farm buildings or offices
  • drainage
  • walls and fences
  • deep trenching
  • ground clearance
  • tree planting
  • piers or landing stages
  • roads suitable for vehicles leading from the croft to the public road or the seashore
  • anything else which adds value to the croft (this can be decided by the Land Court).

The following don't count as improvements:

  • any work you've done to the land to make it suitable for a non-agricultural purpose (such as forestry or tourism), unless your landlord agreed that the work should count as an improvement
  • using part of the common grazing land for another purpose.

How much compensation will I get?

The amount of compensation you get will be equal to the value added to the land by the improvement, minus any financial input from your landlord (such as a contribution to the cost or a rent reduction).

If you and your landlord can't agree on the amount of compensation, you can ask the Land Court to fix it for you.

Will I have to pay my landlord compensation?

Your landlord can ask you for compensation if your tenancy ends and you've allowed the croft to deteriorate or you've damaged any fixed equipment your landlord has provided (such as farm buildings, fences, hedges or roads).

The amount you pay should cover putting right the deterioration or repairing the damage. If you and your landlord can't agree on the amount, you can ask the Land Court to set a rate for you.

What if my croft is bought through a compulsory purchase order?

If your croft or part of your croft is bought by the Scottish Government, the council or another public authority using a compulsory purchase order, you may be entitled to:

  • home loss payment
  • farm loss payment, and
  • additional compensation, equal to half the difference between the market value of the land (assessed as if it weren't croft land and no development work had been carried out) and the crofting value (the current rent multiplied by 15).

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The important points

  • If you've made permanent improvements to your croft and then are evicted, your landlord may have to pay you compensation.
  • Improvements include building, providing or making better things like the croft house, trenching or roads.
  • You might have to pay your landlord compensation if you have allowed the land to deteriorate or you've damaged any fixed equipment.
  • If your croft is bought through a compulsory purchase order you may be entitled to compensation.

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