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Eviction if you’re a crofting tenant

If your landlord wants to evict you from your croft, they must get an order from the land court. You can ask the land court to help you resolve disputes with your landlord.

Eviction action can be started by:

  • your landlord

  • the Crofting Commission

  • Scottish Government ministers, if you borrowed a government loan for crofting

Eviction by your landlord

Your landlord can evict you if you’ve:

In most cases, your landlord must send you a written eviction notice. They must give you time to resolve any issues if you’ve broken the statutory conditions.

Your landlord does not need to give you written notice if you’ve neglected the land. They can apply to the land court for an eviction order. The court must tell you about any hearing.

Going to the land court

The land court deals with disputes in agricultural tenancies. In court, you’ll have a chance to make your case and explain why you should not be evicted.

If the court decides to grant an order of eviction, they will:

  • end your tenancy

  • declare the croft to be vacant

  • remove you from the croft

Eviction by resumption

This means taking the land back and using it for something other than crofting. Your landlord can only take back your croft with good reason.

Your landlord does not need to give you any written notice that they are resuming the croft.

They must apply to the land court and inform the Crofting Commission. The commission can support or oppose the landlord’s application.

If your croft is resumed, you could get compensation. This can be a payment or an offer of a different croft of the same value.

If only part of the land is being resumed, your rent can be reduced.

Eviction by the Crofting Commission

The Crofting Commission can evict you if you’re:

  • not living on the land

  • not working the land properly, for example, neglecting to cultivate it or put it to good use

It’s rare for the commission to evict crofting tenants. They should try to come to a voluntary agreement with you. This should give you time to address their concerns.

A voluntary agreement could be:

  • subletting the land to someone else while you’re not living there

  • you buying the croft and getting it decrofted

  • assigning the tenancy to someone else

If you cannot come to an agreement, the commission can make an order to end your tenancy. They must give you 6 months’ notice.

You can object and ask for a hearing if you want to keep the tenancy.

Eviction by Scottish Government ministers

Scottish ministers can apply to the land court for your eviction if you’ve:

  • abandoned your croft

  • broken the statutory conditions of crofting, not including paying rent

  • broken a condition of the repayment of your Scottish Government loan

Compensation if you’re evicted from a croft

You could get compensation if you’ve made permanent improvements to the land.

Improvements are buildings or fixtures that you have built, provided or made better. This could include building work, walls, fencing, roads or anything else that adds value to the croft for the purposes of crofting.

To get compensation all of the following must apply. You must have:

  • paid for the improvements

  • made improvements suitable for the croft

  • made improvements that you were not contractually obliged to make

  • made the improvements without receiving any payment or a rent reduction in return

Your landlord can also ask you for compensation if you leave the croft in a state of deterioration or disrepair.

If you and your landlord cannot agree on compensation, you can ask the land court to decide. The Crofting Commission or a solicitor can help you calculate the compensation.

Get legal help to stop or delay your eviction

Contact a solicitor if you receive a notice to attend a court hearing or a notice of eviction. They can help you negotiate to prevent an eviction, or represent you in court.

You can search for a solicitor near you on the Law Society of Scotland website.

You can also contact:

Finding somewhere else to live

Start looking for a new home as soon as you can if you’re being evicted.

You can try:

You can also contact the council and tell them you're being evicted. They have a duty to help if you're at risk of homelessness.

Check our advice on making a homeless application.

If you’re not a British or Irish citizen

Your rights to homeless help could be different. Check our advice on how your immigration status affects your housing options.

Last updated: 3 October 2023

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

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