Eviction if you’re a crofting tenant
Crofting tenants can only be evicted by:
the Crofting Commission
Scottish Government ministers
In all cases, tenants may be entitled to compensation for any improvements they have made to the croft.
Eviction by your landlord
Your landlord can evict you for the following reasons:
you have not paid your rent for a year
you have broken the statutory conditions - this includes going bankrupt
you have misused or neglected the land
In most cases, your landlord must send you a written notice that they want to evict you from the land. The notice must give you time to put this right when:
you have broken the statutory conditions or
you have misused the land
Your landlord does not need to give you written notice when you have neglected the land. They can apply to the Land Court for an eviction order. The court must let you know about any hearing.
Contact a solicitor if you receive a notice to attend a court hearing or a notice of eviction. They can help you negotiate with your landlord to prevent an eviction, or represent you in court.
Going to the Land Court
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 the tenancy
declare the croft to be vacant
remove you from the croft
You may be entitled to compensation for any improvements that you made to 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 be entitled to compensation. This can be:
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 could also receive financial compensation for any improvements that you made to the croft.
Eviction by the Crofting Commission
The Crofting Commission can bring your tenancy to an end if:
you are not living on the land
you are not working the land properly
It is rare for the commission to end a tenancy. 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 six months’ notice. You can then 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 when you have:
abandoned your croft
broken a condition of the repayment of your loan
broken the statutory conditions - this excludes not paying rent
They can only do this if you have:
taken a loan out from the Scottish Government and
used the compensation you are entitled to as security for the loan
Compensation when you are evicted from a croft
You could be entitled to compensation if you have made permanent improvements to the land. You can be entitled to this if:
you gave up your tenancy
you are evicted from your croft
your landlord resumes the land
To receive compensation all of the following must apply. You must have:
made improvements suitable for the croft
made improvements that you were not contractually obliged to make
paid for the improvements
made the improvements without receiving any payment or a rent reduction in return
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.
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 can't agree on compensation you can ask the Land Court to decide. The Crofting Commission or a solicitor can help you calculate the compensation.
Resources for crofters
The Crofting Commission has advice for crofters on their website. They can be contacted directly for advice and support
The Scottish Crofting Federation provides information about crofting. They have a legal helpline for members
RSABI gives farmers and crofters emotional, practical and financial support. They have a helpline if you need to talk to someone
Finding somewhere else to live
It is rare to be evicted from a crofting tenancy. If you are facing eviction, you can get information on finding a place to live.
Get help if you have nowhere to stay
Day or night, contact the council if you have nowhere safe to stay.
You should be given accommodation on the day you need it.
The council must help if you are homeless or likely to become homeless in the next two months.
Last updated: 6 October 2021