Eviction of crofting tenants

Crofting tenants can only be evicted by:

  • their landlord

  • 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.

Find a solicitor

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

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.

Get help from the council

Last updated: 6 October 2021

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England

Get homeless help from the council

The council must help if you are homeless or likely to become homeless in the next two months.

Get emergency help from the council