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Rent for crofting tenancies

Crofters only pay rent for the land. If you and your landlord can't agree on a suitable rent level, you can apply to the Land Court for a fair rent to be set. If you are on a low income, you may be eligible for housing benefit to help you pay the rent.

How much rent will I pay?

As a crofter, you only pay rent for the land. You don't pay rent for any house, buildings, fences, roads or other structures on the land because they belong to you. In addition, any improvements made to the land (such as drainage or forestry) shouldn't be taken into account when the rent is being calculated.

Can the rent be changed?

Yes, but only if you and your landlord agree to the new rent level in writing.

Do I have a right to a fair rent?

If you and your landlord can't agree on the rent, you can apply to the Land Court. for a fair rent to be set. You can download the application form from the Land Court website. Before setting a new rent level, the court will give both you and your landlord the chance to put forward your cases. They won't take into account any improvements you or previous tenants have made to the croft.

You'll start paying the new rent level from the next Whitsunday (28 May) or Martinmas (28 November) after the court has made its decision.

The new rent level will be fixed for seven years. During this time, the rent can only be changed if you and your landlord agree in writing to do so – the Land Court can't set a new rent level until the seven years are up. However, towards the end of the seven year period, you or your landlord can apply again for a new fair rent to be fixed for a further seven years.

Can I get housing benefit to help pay my rent?

If you are on a low income, you may be entitled to housing benefit to help pay the rent for your land, provided that you live on the croft. You can find out more about claiming housing benefit here.

What if I can't pay my rent?

If you're having problems paying your rent, speak to your landlord as soon as possible. They may be able to help you work out a plan to pay back any arrears. If you don't pay your rent for a year, your landlord has the right to evict you, so it's important to make as many payments as you can.

You can get further advice and help from a solicitor who specialises in crofting law, or an adviser at a money advice centre or your local Citizens Advice Bureau.

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