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Resumption of crofting land

Your landlord may be able to apply to the Land Court to resume (or repossess) your croft. However, they will need to have a good reason, and will have to offer you compensation. Resumption of your croft can be temporary or permanent.

What is resumption?

Your landlord can repossess the croft, or part of the croft land, if they need to use it for some other purpose. This is known as resumption. Once land is resumed, it no longer has to be used as croft land. To do this, your landlord must apply for an order from the Land Court and give notice to the Crofters Commission. The Commission can oppose or support the application, depending on how beneficial the landlord's scheme will be.

Reasons for your landlord resuming (repossessing) croft land?

The Land Court must be satisfied that your landlord has a good reason to want you to give up the croft, and that their proposed use for the land will benefit the croft, the estate or the public interest. Examples of good reasons to resume croft land include:

  • to build
    • homes
    • a harbour, pier or boat shelter
    • a church or place of religious worship
    • a school
    • a hall or community centre
    • roads for traffic between the croft or township and the public road or seashore
  • to create small allotments
  • for planting trees
  • for generating energy
  • to protect an ancient monument or other historical or archaeological feature
  • anything which is likely to provide employment for crofters and other local people.

If the Land Court grants your landlord permission to resume the land, they can set conditions. For example, they may order them to fence off the resumed area and maintain the fence in the future.

Will I get compensation if my croft is resumed?

Your landlord must compensate you for losing the land. They can do this by:

  • offering you a new croft of the same value in a neighbouring area
  • paying you compensation
  • reducing your rent, if they're only resuming part of the land.

You'll also be entitled to compensation for any improvements to the croft land, and to a share in the value of the land, unless your tenancy agreement says otherwise. This share will be equal to half of the difference between the market value of the land and the crofting value (the current rent multiplied by 15). The Land Court may allow your landlord to pay this money to you in instalments.

Does the resumption of the croft have to be permanent?

If your landlord only needs the land back for a limited amount of time, they can apply for a temporary resumption. However, they can then apply for an extension or a permanent resumption if necessary, in which case you may be entitled to further compensation.

Can the land be turned back into a croft later on?

If your land is resumed, you or your former landlord can apply for an order from the Land Court to turn the land back into a croft. The order should be granted provided that:

  • no debts are secured on the land, and
  • not less than five or more than twenty years have gone by since the resumption was authorised, and
  • the land is still owned by the person who resumed it (that is, your landlord), and
  • they haven't used the land as they said they would, and
  • they've not got planning permission for the changes, and
  • the land is still suitable to be used as a croft.

The Land Court may make certain conditions, for example, you may need to pay some of your compensation for giving up the croft land back.

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The important points

  • Resumption is where your landlord applies to the Land Court to resume (or repossess) some or all of your croft.
  • The Land Court must be convinced that the alternative use for the land that your landlord gives for resuming the croft will benefit the croft, estate or public interest.
  • Your landlord must compensate you for the resumption of your tenancy.
  • The resumption does not need to be permanent. It can start as temporary and can be reversed under certain conditions.

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