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Crofters (Scotland) Act 1993 (c. 44)

(The document as of February, 2008)

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Crofters (Scotland) Act 1993 (c. 44)

1993 CHAPTER 44

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Content
  1. The Crofters Commission

    1. 1. Constitution and general functions of Crofters Commission.

    2. 2. Particular powers and duties of the Commission.

  2. Meaning of croft and crofter

    1. 3. Meaning of croft and crofter.

  3. Enlargement of crofts

    1. 4. Enlargement where owner and crofter are in agreement.

  4. The conditions of tenure

    1. 5. The statutory conditions.

    2. 6. Rent.

    3. 7. Renunciation of tenancy.

    4. 8. Assignation of croft.

    5. 9. Sub-division of croft.

  5. Succession to croft

    1. 10. Bequest of croft.

    2. 11. Intestacy.

  6. Rights of crofters and cottars to acquire their subjects

    1. 12. General provision.

    2. 13. Authorisation by Land Court of acquisition of croft land.

    3. 14. Consideration payable in respect of acquisition of croft land.

    4. 15. Determination by Land Court of terms and conditions for conveyance of the site of the dwelling-house.

    5. 16. Provisions relating to conveyance.

    6. 17. Provisions supplementary to sections 13 and 15.

    7. 18. Adjustment of rent for remainder of croft where part conveyed to crofter.

    8. 19. Provisions relating to existing loans and heritable securities.

  7. Provisions relating to termination of tenancy and de-crofting

    1. 20. Resumption of croft or part of croft by landlord.

    2. 21. Crofter's right to share in value of land resumed by landlord.

    3. 22. Absentee crofters.

    4. 23. Vacant crofts.

    5. 24. Decrofting in case of resumption or vacancy of croft.

    6. 25. Provisions supplementary to s.24(3).

    7. 26. Provisions as to removal of crofter.

  8. Subletting of crofts

    1. 27. Provisions as to right to sublet.

    2. 28. Special provisions regarding subletting of crofts not adequately used.

    3. 29. Miscellaneous provisions regarding subleases of crofts.

  9. Compensation for improvements and for deterioration or damage

    1. 38. Reorganisation schemes.

    2. 39. Putting into effect of reorganisation schemes.

  10. Commission to obtain information and compile register of crofts

    1. 40. Obtaining of information by Commission.

    2. 41. Register of Crofts.

  11. Financial assistance to crofters, cottars and certain owner- occupiers etc

    1. 42. Crofters.

    2. 43. Supplementary provisions as to loans under s.42.

    3. 44. Cottars

    4. 45. Former crofters and cottars who have acquired site of the dwelling-house.

    5. 46. Owner-occupiers of like economic status as crofters and other persons.

  12. Common Grazings

    1. 47. Appointment, etc., of grazings committee or grazings constable.

    2. 48. Powers and duties of grazings committees.

    3. 49. Common grazings regulations.

    4. 50. Use of common grazings for forestry purposes.

    5. 51. Enlargement of common grazings.

    6. 52. Miscellaneous provisions as to common grazings, as to lands held runrig, and as to use by crofters of peat bogs, etc.

  13. Provisions relating to Land Court

    1. 53. Jurisdictional provisions.

    2. 54. Crofters Holdings Book.

  14. Miscellaneous and General Provisions

    1. 55. Service of notices

    2. 56. Provisions as to entry and inspection.

    3. 57. Provisions as to compulsory purchase of land and as to management of land.

    4. 58. Provisions as to representations.

    5. 59. Financial provisions.

    6. 60. Regulations.

    7. 61. Interpretation.

    8. 62. Application of Act to Crown.

    9. 63. Transitional provisions, savings and repeals.

    10. 64. Short title, commencement and extent.

    1. Schedule 1

      Provisions as to the Crofters Commission.

    2. Schedule 2

      The statutory conditions.

    3. Schedule 3

      Permanent improvements.

    4. Schedule 4

      Confirmation and validity of reorganisation schemes.

      1. Part I

        Procedure for confirming reorganisation schemes.

      2. Part II

        Validity of reorganisation schemes.

    5. Schedule 5

      Provisions as to security, etc., of loans.

    6. Schedule 6

      Transitional provisions and savings.

    7. Schedule 7

      Repeals.

      1. Part I

        Enactments repealed so far as they apply in the crofting counties.

      2. Part II

        Other enactments repealed.

An Act to consolidate certain enactments relating to crofting, with amendments to give effect to recommendations of the Scottish Law Commission.

[5th November 1993]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:--



The Crofters Commission

1 Constitution and general functions of Crofters Commission

(1) The Crofters Commission ("the Commission") established by section 1 of the 1955 Act shall continue in being.

(2) The Commission shall have the functions of reorganising, developing and regulating crofting in the crofting counties of Scotland, of promoting the interests of crofters there and of keeping under review matters relating to crofting, and such other functions as are conferred on them by or under this Act.

(3) The Commission shall carry out their functions in accordance with such directions of a general character as may be given by the Secretary of State and in carrying out their functions shall have regard to local circumstances and conditions.

(4) The Commission shall consist of not more than 9 members appointed by the Secretary of State, and of the members one shall be appointed by the Secretary of State to be chairman of the Commission.

(5) The Commission shall include members with knowledge of crofting conditions and at least one member who can speak the Gaelic language.

(6) The provisions contained in Schedule 1 to this Act shall have effect in relation to the Commission.

2 Particular powers and duties of the Commission

(1) In the exercise of their general functions of reorganising, developing and regulating crofting, it shall be the duty of the Commission--

(a) to keep under general review all matters relating to crofts and crofting conditions, including, without prejudice to the foregoing generality, land settlement, the improvement of land and livestock, the planting of trees, the supply of agricultural equipment and requisites, the marketing of agricultural produce, experimental work on crofting methods, the provision of demonstration crofts, the needs of the crofting communities for public services of all kinds, the provision of social amenities and the need for industries to provide supplementary occupations for crofters or work for their families; and to make such recommendations as they may think fit on any of the matters aforesaid;

(b) to collaborate so far as their powers and duties permit with any body or person in the carrying out of any measures for the economic development and social improvement of the crofting counties;

(c) to advise the Secretary of State on any matter relating to crofts and crofting conditions which he may refer to them, or on which they may think fit to submit advice to him;

(d) to exercise the powers conferred on them by this Act in such manner as may seem to them in each case desirable.

(2) For the purpose of assisting them in the local execution of their functions under this Act, the Commission shall have power to appoint a panel of suitable persons resident in the crofting counties to act as assessors, when required by the Commission so to act, and may make to such assessors in respect of any loss of earnings they would otherwise have made or any additional expenses (including travelling and subsistence expenses) to which they would not otherwise have been subject, being loss or expenses necessarily suffered or incurred by them for the purpose of enabling them to perform duties as such assessors, such payments as the Secretary of State may, with the approval of the Treasury, determine.

(3) The Commission shall send to the principal clerk of the Land Court to be recorded in the Crofters Holdings Book every order, determination, consent, authorisation or other proceeding of theirs which they may think proper to be recorded therein.

(4) The Commission shall make an annual report to the Secretary of State on the exercise and performance by them of their functions under this Act and the Secretary of State shall lay a copy of the report before each House of Parliament, together with such comments as he may think fit to make.



Meaning of croft and crofter

3 Meaning of croft and crofter

(1) Subject to subsection (2) below, in this Act "croft" means--

(a) as from 1st October 1955, every holding (whether occupied by a landholder or not) situated in the crofting counties to which any of the provisions of the Small Landholders (Scotland) Acts 1886 to 1931 relating to landholders applied;

(b) as from 1st October 1955, every holding situated as aforesaid to which section 32 of the [1911 c. 49.] Small Landholders (Scotland) Act 1911 applied (statutory small tenants);

(c) as from the date of registration, every holding situated as aforesaid which was constituted a croft by the registration of the tenant thereof as a crofter in the Crofters Holdings Book under section 4 of the 1955 Act;

(d) as from the date of the direction, every holding situated as aforesaid which was constituted a croft by a direction of the Secretary of State under section 2(1) of the 1961 Act;

(e) as from the date of entry, every holding entered in the register of crofts by the Commission in accordance with their decision under section 15(4) of the 1955 Act where--

(i) the decision was notified to the landlord and the tenant of the holding; and

(ii) neither the landlord nor the tenant successfully challenged the decision on an application for a declarator as to the status of the tenant made to the Land Court within 2 months of the giving of such notification.

(2) Subsection (1) above is without prejudice to the effect of--

(a) section 24(1) of this Act and the corresponding provision of the 1955 Act which is repealed by this Act (that is to say section 12(4));

(b) a direction under section 24(2) or (3) of this Act and the corresponding provisions of the 1955 Act which are repealed by this Act (that is to say section 16(7) or (9)).

(3) In this Act "crofter" means the tenant of a croft.

(4) For the purposes of this Act--

(a) any right in pasture or grazing land held or to be held by the tenant of a croft, whether alone or in common with others, and

(b) any land comprising any part of a common grazing which has been apportioned for the exclusive use of a crofter under section 52(4) of this Act, and,

(c) any land held runrig which has been apportioned under section 52(8) of this Act,

shall be deemed to form part of the croft.

(5) For the purposes of this Act, where--

(a) a crofter has acquired his entire croft other than any such right or land as is referred to in subsection (4) above; or

(b) any person, not being a crofter, has obtained an apportionment of any land under section 52 of this Act,

then the person referred to in paragraph (a) or (b) above shall be deemed to hold the right or land referred to therein in tenancy until held otherwise and that right or land shall be deemed to be a croft.



Enlargement of crofts

4 Enlargement where owner and crofter are in agreement

(1) Where the owner of any land which is not itself a croft and which does not form part of a croft agrees to grant a tenancy of such land to any crofter, then--

(a) except in such a case as is mentioned in paragraph (b) below, if the owner of the said land and the crofter agree that such land will form part of any croft of which the crofter is tenant, the land shall, as from the date of entry under the said tenancy, form part of such croft and this Act shall apply accordingly to the croft as so enlarged;

(b) in a case where the area of the croft (exclusive of any common pasture or grazing land held therewith) together with the area of the land exceeds 30 hectares and the rent of the croft together with the rent under the said tenancy exceeds £100, the Commission may, on an application being made to them jointly by the owner of the land and the crofter, direct that the land shall form part of the croft and, if they make such direction, then as from the date of the direction or the date of entry under the said tenancy, whichever is the later, the land shall form part of the croft, and this Act so far as relating to crofting shall apply accordingly to the croft as so enlarged.

(2) The Commission shall make a direction under subsection (1)(b) above only if they are satisfied that such a direction--

(a) would be of benefit to the croft; and

(b) would not result in the croft as enlarged by the land referred to in that subsection being substantially larger than 30 hectares or capable of being let as a croft at an annual rent substantially in excess of £100.

(3) Where any such land as is mentioned in section 38(3)(a) of this Act is included in a reorganisation scheme made under that section and confirmed by the Secretary of State, then as from the date on which the scheme is put into effect this Act shall apply to such land.

(4) The owner of any land which becomes part of a croft by virtue of subsection (1)(a) above shall give notice to the Commission of the enlargement of such croft.



The conditions of tenure

5 The statutory conditions

(1) Every tenancy of a croft shall be subject to the conditions set out in Schedule 2 to this Act (in this Act referred to as "the statutory conditions").

(2) A crofter shall not be subject to be removed from the croft of which he is tenant except--

(a) where one year's rent of the croft is unpaid;

(b) in consequence of the breach of one or more of the statutory conditions, other than the condition as to payment of rent; or

(c) in pursuance of any enactment, including any enactment contained in this Act.

(3) Any contract or agreement made by a crofter by virtue of which he is deprived of any right conferred on him by any provision of this Act (other than sections 12 to 19, 21 and 37) shall to that extent be void unless the contract or agreement is approved by the Land Court.

6 Rent

(1) The rent payable by a crofter as one of the statutory conditions shall be the yearly rent, including money and any prestations other than money, payable for the year current at the commencement of this Act or, in the case of a croft let after the commencement of this Act, fixed at the date of the letting, unless and until that rent is altered in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

(2) The rent may be altered by agreement in writing between the landlord and the crofter to such amount and for such period as may be so agreed; and thereupon the rent so agreed shall be the rent payable by the crofter so long as the agreement subsists and thereafter so long as--

(a) no new agreement between the landlord and the crofter shall have been made; or

(b) no different rent shall have been fixed by the Land Court under this Act.

(3) The Land Court may, on the application of the crofter or the landlord, determine what is a fair rent to be paid by the crofter to the landlord for the croft, and may pronounce an order accordingly; and the rent so fixed by the Land Court shall be the rent payable by the crofter as from the first term of Whitsunday or Martinmas next succeeding the decision of the Land Court:

Provided that--

(a) where the rent payable for the croft has been fixed by the Land Court it shall not be altered, except by mutual agreement between the crofter and the landlord, for a period of 7 years from the term at which it first became payable; and

(b) where a croft is let after the commencement of this Act, the rent shall not be altered by the Land Court for a period of 7 years from the term at which it first became payable or for such longer period as may have been agreed upon between the crofter and the landlord.

(4) Before determining what is a fair rent for a croft, the Land Court shall hear the parties and shall take into consideration all the circumstances of the case, of the croft and of the district, and in particular shall take into consideration any permanent or unexhausted improvements on the croft and suitable thereto which have been executed or paid for by the crofter or his predecessors in the tenancy.

7 Renunciation of tenancy

(1) A crofter shall be entitled, on one year's notice in writing to the landlord, to renounce his tenancy as at any term of Whitsunday or Martinmas.

(2) If a crofter renounces his tenancy the landlord shall be entitled to set off all rent due or to become due against any sum found to be due by the landlord to the crofter or to the Secretary of State by way of compensation for permanent improvements made on the croft.

8 Assignation of croft

(1) A crofter shall not assign his croft--

(a) to a member of his family unless he obtains the consent in writing of his landlord or, failing such consent, the consent in writing of the Commission on an application made to them;

(b) to a person other than a member of his family unless he obtains the consent in writing of the Commission on an application made to them.

(2) A landlord who has given his consent in pursuance of subsection (1)(a) above shall notify the Commission of the assignation and the name of the assignee.

(3) The Commission shall give notice to the landlord of any application made to them for their consent to the assignation of the tenancy of a croft and before deciding whether to give or to withhold their consent shall afford to the crofter and to the landlord an opportunity of making representations to them.

(4) In considering any application made as aforesaid the Commission shall take into account the family and other circumstances of the crofter and of the proposed assignee of the croft and the general interests of the township in which the croft is situated.

(5) Where a crofter assigns his croft otherwise than with the consent in writing of the Commission in a case where he is required to obtain such consent in pursuance of subsection (1) above, such assignation and any deed purporting so to assign the tenancy shall be null and void and the Commission may declare the croft to be vacant.

(6) An assignation to which the Commission have given their consent under this section shall take effect at the term of Whitsunday or Martinmas first occurring not less than two months after the date on which such consent was intimated to the crofter, unless before the said term of Whitsunday or Martinmas, as the case may be, the crofter or his executor or legatee and the assignee jointly give to the Commission notice in writing that they do not intend to proceed with the assignation.

(7) Any reference in this section to a croft shall include a reference to a part of a croft, being a part consisting of any right in pasture or grazing land deemed by virtue of section 3(4) of this Act to form part of a croft.

9 Sub-division of croft

A crofter shall not, except with the consent in writing of the landlord and of the Commission, sub-divide his croft, and any sub-division of a croft otherwise than with such consent shall be null and void.



Succession to croft

10 Bequest of croft

(1) A crofter may, by will or other testamentary writing, bequeath the tenancy of his croft to any one person; but where the power conferred by this subsection is exercised in favour of a person not being a member of the crofter's family, the bequest shall be null and void unless the Commission, on application made to them by the legatee, otherwise determine.

(2) A person to whom the tenancy of a croft is bequeathed as aforesaid (in this section referred to as "the legatee") shall, if he accepts the bequest, give notice of the bequest to the landlord within 2 months after the death of the crofter, unless he is prevented by some unavoidable cause from giving such notice within that time, and in that event he shall give such notice within a further period of 4 months. If no such notice is given in accordance with the provisions of this subsection the bequest shall become null and void.

The giving of such notice shall import acceptance of the bequest and, unless the landlord intimates objection to the Commission under subsection (3) below, the legatee shall come into the place of the deceased crofter in the croft as from the date of death of the deceased crofter, and the landlord shall notify the Commission accordingly.

(3) Where notice has been given as aforesaid to the landlord he may within one month after the giving of the notice intimate to the legatee and to the Commission that he objects to receiving the legatee as tenant of the croft and shall state the grounds of his objection.

(4) If, after affording to the legatee and to the landlord an opportunity of making representations to them, the Commission are--

(a) satisfied that the objection is reasonable, they shall declare the bequest to be null and void, and shall notify the landlord and the legatee accordingly;

(b) not so satisfied, they shall notify the landlord and the legatee to that effect, and the legatee shall thereupon come into the place of the deceased crofter in the croft as from the date of the death of the deceased crofter.

(5) If the bequest becomes null and void under this section, the right to the croft shall be treated as intestate estate of the deceased crofter in accordance with Part I of the 1964 Act.

(6) Subject to the foregoing provisions of this section, any question arising with respect to the validity or effect of the bequest shall be determined by any court having jurisdiction to determine the validity and effect of the whole testamentary writings of the deceased crofter.

11 Intestacy

(1) Where, owing to the failure of a crofter to bequeath the tenancy of his croft or of such a bequest to receive effect, the right to the tenancy of the croft falls to be treated as intestate estate of the deceased crofter in accordance with Part I of the 1964 Act, and the tenancy is transferred in pursuance of section 16(2) of that Act, the executor of the deceased crofter shall as soon as may be furnish particulars of the transferee to the landlord, who shall accept the transferee as tenant; and the landlord shall notify the Commission accordingly.

(2) If at the expiry of a period of 3 months commencing with the relevant date the executor has not furnished to the landlord particulars of any transferee in accordance with subsection (1) above, the landlord shall forthwith notify the Commission to that effect.

(3) In this section "the relevant date" means--

(a) where the deceased crofter has exercised his power to bequeath the tenancy of the croft in favour of a person not being a member of the deceased crofter's family and the Commission, on application made to them by the legatee, have refused to determine that the bequest shall not be null and void, the date of the Commission's refusal;

(b) where the deceased crofter has otherwise failed to bequeath the tenancy, the date of death of the deceased crofter;

(c) where the deceased crofter has bequeathed the tenancy and the bequest has become null and void under section 10(2) of this Act, the date on which the bequest became null and void as aforesaid;

(d) where the deceased crofter has bequeathed the tenancy and the Commission have declared the bequest to be null and void under section 10(4) of this Act, the date on which the Commission notified the landlord and the legatee to that effect.

(4) If at the expiry of the said period of 3 months it appears to the Commission, whether from a notification under subsection (2) above or otherwise, that the executor has not furnished to the landlord particulars of any transferee in accordance with subsection (1) above, the Commission may give notice in such manner as they may think proper, whether by advertisement or otherwise, to persons who may claim to be entitled--

(a) to succeed to the intestate estate of the deceased crofter, or

(b) to claim legal rights or the prior rights of a surviving spouse out of that estate,

requiring them if they desire to have the tenancy of the croft transferred to them in or towards satisfaction of their entitlement or claim to give intimation accordingly to the Commission before such date as may be specified in the notice, being a date not earlier than 6 months after the relevant date; and the Commission may, subject to subsection (5) below, nominate as successor to the tenancy any one of the persons who have so given intimation.

(5) The Commission shall, before nominating any person as successor to the tenancy of the croft in pursuance of subsection (4) above, consult with the executor (if any) of the deceased crofter, and the Commission shall not nominate any person as successor unless it appears to them--

(a) that that person is a person entitled to succeed to the intestate estate of the deceased crofter, or to claim legal rights or the prior rights of a surviving spouse out of that estate, and

(b) that adequate provision is being, or will be, made for the settlement of the entitlement or claim in the said intestate estate of any other person who is known to them to be entitled to succeed to, or to claim any such rights out of, that estate.

(6) The Commission shall give notice to the landlord of any person nominated by them in pursuance of subsection (4) above, and the landlord shall accept that person as successor to the tenancy of the croft.

(7) The nomination by the Commission, in pursuance of subsection (4) above, of any person as successor to the tenancy of the croft shall transfer the interest of the tenant under that tenancy to that person, and such transfer shall be in or towards satisfaction of that person's entitlement or claim in the intestate estate of the deceased crofter.

(8) If at the expiry of one month after the end of the period referred to in section 16(3)(b) of the 1964 Act the executor has not furnished to the landlord particulars of any transferee in accordance with subsection (1) above and the Commission have not nominated any person as successor under subsection (4) above, the Commission may declare the croft to be vacant and, if they do so, shall notify the landlord accordingly.

(9) Where the Commission have under the foregoing provisions of this section nominated a person as successor to the tenancy or, as the case may be, have declared the croft to be vacant, any right of any person (other than the person so nominated) in, or in relation to, the tenancy shall be extinguished.

(10) Where a croft has been declared under subsection (8) above to be vacant, the landlord shall be liable--

(a) if the deceased crofter was at the date of his death under any liability to the Secretary of State in respect of any loan, to pay to the Secretary of State the whole or so much of the value of the improvements on the croft as will discharge the liability of the deceased crofter, and to pay to the executor of the deceased crofter, if a claim is made in that behalf not later than 12 months after the date on which the croft was declared to be vacant, any balance of the value aforesaid;

(b) if at the date of his death the deceased crofter was not under any such liability to the Secretary of State and a claim is made in that behalf as aforesaid, to pay to the executor of the deceased crofter the value of the improvements on the croft.

In this subsection the expression "the value of the improvements on the croft" means such sum as may be agreed, or as, failing agreement, may be determined by the Land Court, to be the sum which would have been due by the landlord by way of compensation for permanent improvements if the deceased crofter had immediately before his death renounced his tenancy.

(11) Where--

(a) a croft has been declared under subsection (8) above to be vacant consequent on the death after 27th August 1961 of a crofter who immediately before his death was qualified as mentioned in subsection (12) below; and

(b) the value of the improvements on the croft is determined by the Land Court under subsection (10) above,

the executor of the crofter may request the Land Court to determine what would have been the value of the improvements on the croft if the [1961 c. 58.] Crofters (Scotland) Act 1961 had not been passed; and if the value last mentioned is greater than the value determined by the Land Court under subsection (10) above, the difference between the two said values shall be payable to the executor by the Secretary of State:

Provided that the Secretary of State shall be entitled to set off any amount due to him by the crofter at the date of his death in respect of a loan made under section 42(4) or (5) of this Act, section 22(2) or (3) of the 1955 Act or section 7(7) or 9 of the [1911 c. 49.] Small Landholders (Scotland) Act 1911 against any sum payable to the executor by the Secretary of State under this subsection.

(12) The reference in subsection (11) above to a crofter who immediately before his death was qualified is a reference to a crofter--

(a) whose tenancy of the croft in question began before 27th August 1961, or

(b) who held the tenancy of such croft as statutory successor to his immediate predecessor in the tenancy and each of whose predecessors (being in each case a person whose tenancy of the croft began after 27th August 1961) held such tenancy as statutory successor to his immediate predecessor.



Rights of crofters and cottars to acquire their subjects

12 General provision

(1) A crofter may, failing agreement with the landlord as to the acquisition by the crofter of croft land tenanted by him, apply to the Land Court for an order authorising him to make such acquisition.

(2) A crofter shall be entitled to a conveyance of the site of the dwelling-house on or pertaining to the croft tenanted by him, and a cottar shall be entitled to a conveyance of the site of the dwelling-house on or pertaining to his subject, and the crofter or cottar may, failing agreement with the landlord, apply to the Land Court for an order requiring the landlord to grant such a conveyance.

(3) In this Act "croft land" includes any land being part of a croft, other than--

(a) the site of the dwelling-house on or pertaining to the croft;

(b) any land, comprising any part of a common grazing, unless the land has been apportioned under section 52(4) of this Act and--

(i) is adjacent or contiguous to any other part of the croft; or

(ii) comprises the whole croft, other than any right in pasture or grazing land which has not been so apportioned; or

(iii) consists of arable machair;

(c) any right to mines, metals or minerals or salmon fishings (not being salmon fishings in Orkney or Shetland) pertaining to the croft.

(4) In this Act, "the site of the dwelling-house" includes any building thereon and such extent of garden ground as, failing agreement with the landlord, may be determined by the Land Court by order under 15(1) of this Act to be appropriate for the reasonable enjoyment of the dwelling-house as a residence but does not include--

(a) any right to mines, metals or minerals pertaining thereto; or

(b) where there is more than one dwelling-house on or pertaining to a croft or, as the case may be, the subject of a cottar, the site of more than one dwelling-house; or

(c) where the site of the dwelling-house on or pertaining to a croft has been acquired by the crofter after 10th June 1976, the site of any dwelling-house erected after such acquisition on or pertaining to the remainder of the croft.

(5) In this Act "cottar" means the occupier of a dwelling-house situated in the crofting counties with or without land who pays no rent, or the tenant from year to year of a dwelling-house situated as aforesaid who resides therein and who pays therefor an annual rent not exceeding £6, whether with or without garden ground but without arable or pasture land.

13 Authorisation by Land Court of acquisition of croft land

(1) The Land Court, on an application made to it under section 12(1) of this Act, may make an order--

(a) authorising the crofter to acquire such croft land as may be specified in the order, subject to such terms and conditions as, failing agreement with the landlord, may be so specified, and requiring the landlord to convey the land to the crofter or his nominee in accordance with such terms and conditions; or

(b) refusing the application.

(2) The Land Court shall not make an order in accordance with subsection (1)(a) above where it is satisfied by the landlord as to either or both of the following matters--

(a) that, in all the circumstances pertaining to the landlord and having regard to the extent of land owned by him to which this Act applies, the making of such an order would cause a substantial degree of hardship to the landlord;

(b) that the making of such an order would be substantially detrimental to the interests of sound management of the estate of the landlord of which the croft land to which the application relates forms part.

(3) The Land Court, in making an order in accordance with subsection (1)(a) above, may provide that the authorisation to acquire is conditional on the crofter granting a lease to the landlord of the shooting rights over or the fishing rights pertaining to the croft land and shall so provide where it is satisfied that if such a lease were not granted the interests of the landlord in the shooting or fishing rights of which the rights being acquired by the crofter form part would be materially affected; and any such lease shall be at such nominal annual rent, for such period of not less than 20 years and subject to such other terms and conditions as the Land Court may specify.

(4) The Land Court, in making an order in accordance with subsection (1)(a) above, may include the condition that the crofter shall grant a standard security in favour of the landlord to secure any sum which may become payable to him or his personal representative under section 14(3) of this Act in the event of disposal of the croft land or any part thereof.

(5) Where the Land Court proposes to make an order authorising the crofter to acquire--

(a) land comprising any part of a common grazing which had been apportioned under subsection (4) of section 52 of this Act; or

(b) land held runrig which has been apportioned under subsection (8) of that section,

and it is satisfied that the apportionment has been made subject to conditions imposed by the Commission under subsection (6) or, as the case may be, subsection (8) of that section, it shall have regard to the conditions so imposed.

14 Consideration payable in respect of acquisition of croft land

(1) Where the Land Court makes an order in accordance with section 13(1)(a) of this Act and the crofter and the landlord have failed to reach agreement about the consideration payable in respect of the acquisition, the consideration shall, subject to subsection (3) below, be the crofting value of the croft land specified in the order as determined by the Land Court under subsection (2) below.

(2) The crofting value of the croft land, as determined by the Land Court for the purposes of subsection (1) above, shall be such amount as the Land Court may determine to be the proportion attributable to the croft land of the current rent payable for the croft of which the croft land forms part, such amount being multiplied by the factor of 15:

Provided that the Land Court, on an application made to it by the landlord at any time before it makes a final order under section 13(1) of this Act, may determine a fair rent for the croft which shall be deemed to be the current rent for the purposes of this subsection; and section 6(4) of this Act shall apply for the purposes of this proviso as if for the word "parties" there were substituted the words "landlord and the crofter".

(3) If the person who has acquired croft land by virtue of section 13(1) of this Act ("the former crofter") or a member of the former crofter's family who has obtained the title to that land either--

(i) as the nominee of the former crofter, or

(ii) from the former crofter or his nominee,

disposes of that land or any part of it ("the relevant land") to anyone who is not a member of the former crofter's family, by any means other than by a lease for crofting or agricultural purposes, forthwith or at any time within five years of the date of its acquisition by the former crofter then, subject to subsection (6) below, the person disposing of the relevant land shall pay to the landlord referred to in the said section 13(1) or to his personal representative a sum equal to one half of the difference between--

(a) the market value of the relevant land (on the date of such disposal) which, failing agreement between the parties concerned, shall be as determined by the Land Court under subsection (4) below on the application of such landlord or personal representative; and

(b) the consideration which was paid under subsection (1) above in respect of the relevant land.

(4) The market value of the relevant land as determined by the Land Court shall be the amount which the land, if sold in the open market by a willing seller, might be expected to realise assuming that on the date of the disposal--

(a) there were no improvements on the land which, if the land were let to a crofter, would be permanent improvements in respect of which the crofter would be entitled to compensation under section 30 of this Act on renunciation of the tenancy of the croft of which the land formed part;

(b) no other development had been carried out on the land (not being development carried out on the land, when it was subject to the tenancy of the former crofter or any of his predecessors in the tenancy, by a person other than that crofter or any of such predecessors); and

(c) no development of the land which consisted of the making of such an improvement as is referred to in paragraph (a) above were or would be permitted in pursuance of the 1972 Act.

(5) If the relevant land comprises only part of the land which was acquired under section 13(1) of this Act, the Land Court may, failing agreement between the parties concerned, on an application made to it by the person disposing of the relevant land or the landlord referred to in the said section 13(1) or his personal representative, determine for the purposes of subsection (3)(b) above the proportion of the amount of the consideration which was paid under subsection (1) above in respect of the relevant land.

(6) No payment shall be made under subsection (3) above in respect of the disposal of the relevant land in a case where payment is made in respect of such disposal in accordance with an agreement entered into between the landlord and the person disposing of that land.

15 Determination by Land Court of terms and conditions for conveyance of the site of the dwelling-house

(1) The Land Court, on an application made to it under section 12(2) of this Act, may make an order requiring the landlord to convey the site of the dwelling-house to the crofter or cottar or his nominee with such boundaries and subject to such terms and conditions as, failing agreement, may be specified in the order.

(2) Where the parties have failed to reach agreement about the consideration payable in respect of the conveyance the consideration shall be--

(a) the amount as determined by the Land Court which the site, if sold in the open market by a willing seller, might be expected to realise assuming that--

(i) there were or would be no buildings on the site;

(ii) the site were available with vacant possession;

(iii) the site were not land to which this Act applies; and

(iv) no development of the site were or would be permitted in pursuance of the 1972 Act;

and in addition, in a case where the landlord has provided fixed equipment on the site--

(b) an amount equal to one half of the proportion attributable to that fixed equipment, as determined by the Land Court, of the value of the site, such value being the amount as so determined which the site, if sold as aforesaid, might be expected to realise making the assumptions referred to in sub-paragraphs (ii), (iii) and (iv) of paragraph (a) above.

(3) The Land Court in making an order under subsection (1) above may determine that any of the expenses of the conveyance of the site and other expenses necessarily incurred by the landlord in relation thereto shall be borne by the crofter or cottar:

Provided that where the order relates to the conveyance of the site of the dwelling-house on or pertaining to a croft, any such determination shall be subject to the condition that the conveyance is not included in a deed which also provides for the conveyance of croft land.

(4) Failing agreement between the parties as to the amount of such expenses, the auditor of the Land Court may, on the application of either party, determine such amount; and may determine that the expenses of taxing such expenses shall be borne by the parties in such proportion as he thinks fit.

16 Provisions relating to conveyance

(1) A landlord shall have power to execute a valid conveyance in pursuance of sections 12 to 15 of this Act, notwithstanding that he may be under any such disability as is mentioned in section 7 of the [1845 c. 19.] Lands Clauses Consolidation (Scotland) Act 1845.

(2) Where the Land Court is satisfied, on the application of the crofter or cottar or his nominee that the landlord has failed to execute a conveyance of land in favour of such person in compliance with an order under section 13(1) or 15(1) of this Act within such time as the Land Court considers reasonable, it shall make an order authorising its principal clerk to execute the conveyance and such other deeds as adjusted at his sight as may be necessary to give effect to the order; and a conveyance executed by the principal clerk under this subsection shall have the like force and effect in all respects as if it had been executed by the landlord.

(3) Where the principal clerk of the Land Court has executed a conveyance in pursuance of subsection (2) above, the Land Court may make such order as it thinks fit with regard to the payment of the consideration in respect of the conveyance and in particular providing for the distribution of the sum comprised in the consideration according to the respective estates or interests of persons making claim to such sum.

(4) Notwithstanding that the Land Court has made an order under section 13(1) or 15(1) of this Act determining the terms and conditions on which land is to be conveyed, the crofter or, as the case may be, the cottar and the landlord may arrange for the conveyance of the land on any other terms and conditions that they may agree.

(5) Where a person other than the landlord is infeft in the subjects to be conveyed, the second references in sections 12(2) and 13(1) of this Act and the reference in the said section 15(1) and in the foregoing provisions of this section to the landlord shall be construed as references to the landlord and such other person for their respective rights.

(6) The Land Court in specifying in an order under the said section 13(1) or 15(1) the terms and conditions on which land is to be conveyed shall have regard to any existing land obligations as defined in section 1(2) of the [1970 c. 35.] Conveyancing and Feudal Reform (Scotland) Act 1970 relating to such land.

(7) Where the landlords are the National Trust for Scotland, they shall not be required to convey land by an order of the Land Court under the said section 13(1) or 15(1) otherwise than by a grant in feu; but section 4(2) of the Order confirmed by the [1947 c. xxxviii.] National Trust for Scotland Order Confirmation Act 1947 (which requires the consent of the Lord Advocate to grants in feu by the Trust exceeding 8 hectares) shall not apply to such a grant.

(8) Where the Land Court is satisfied, on the application of the landlord, that the crofter or his nominee has failed to execute a standard security in favour of the landlord in compliance with a condition imposed by the Land Court under section 13(4) of this Act within such time as the Land Court considers reasonable, it shall make an order authorising its principal clerk to execute the standard security; and a standard security executed by the principal clerk under this subsection shall have the like force and effect in all respects as if it had been executed by the crofter or his nominee.

17 Provisions supplementary to sections 13 and 15

(1) An order of the Land Court under section 13(1)(a) or 15(1) of this Act shall have effect for a period of 2 years from the date of intimation of the order or for such other period as may at any time be agreed to in writing by the crofter or, as the case may be, the cottar and the landlord or as may be determined by the Land Court on the application of either party.

(2) Where an order has been made by the Land Court under the said section 13(1)(a) or 15(1) in relation to croft land or the site of the dwelling-house on or pertaining to a croft or under the said section 15(1) in relation to the site of the dwelling-house on or pertaining to the subject of a cottar, then, so long as the order has effect--

(a) the crofter shall not be entitled under section 30(1) of this Act to compensation for any permanent improvement made on the croft land or site; and

(b) the landlord of the croft shall not be entitled under section 30(6) of this Act to recover from the crofter compensation for any deterioration of, or damage to, any fixed equipment provided by the landlord in respect of the croft land or site; or

(c) the cottar shall not be entitled under section 36(1) of this Act to compensation for any permanent improvement made on the site,

being compensation to which the crofter and the landlord or, as the case may be, the cottar would be entitled but for this subsection.

(3) Any condition or provision to the effect that--

(a) the superior of any feu shall be entitled to a right of pre-emption in the event of a sale thereof or any part thereof by the proprietor of the feu, or

(b) any other person with an interest in land shall be entitled to a right of pre-emption in the event of a sale thereof or of any part thereof by the proprietor for the time being,

shall not be capable of being enforced where the sale is by a landlord to a crofter or his nominee of croft land or to a crofter or a cottar or his nominee of the site of the dwelling-house on the croft or on or pertaining to the subject of the cottar in pursuance of an order under the said section 13(1) or, as the case may be, 15(1).

(4) Where the landlords are the National Trust for Scotland, the Land Court, in making an order under the said section 13(1) or 15(1), shall have regard to the purposes of the Trust.

(5) A compulsory purchase order which authorises the compulsory purchase of land, being land which was held inalienably by the National Trust for Scotland on the date of the passing of this Act and was acquired from the Trust by a crofter in pursuance of an order under section 13(1) or 15(1) of this Act, shall in so far as it so authorises be subject to special parliamentary procedure in any case where an objection has been duly made by the Trust under the [1947 c. 42.] Acquisition of Land (Authorisation Procedure)(Scotland) Act 1947 and has not been withdrawn; and in this subsection "held inalienably" has the same meaning as in section 7(1) of the said Act of 1947.

(6) Where the site of the dwelling-house on or pertaining to a croft has been acquired after the passing of this Act by a person, who immediately before the acquisition was the tenant of the croft, that person and the wife or husband of that person may, so long as either of them continues to occupy the subjects conveyed, enjoy any right to cut and take peats for the use of those subjects which that person enjoyed immediately before the acquisition:

Provided that this subsection is without prejudice to any right to cut and take peats effeiring to the tenancy of the remainder of the croft.

(7) Any person acquiring croft land shall, unless and until the land ceases to be a croft by a direction of the Commission under section 24(3) of this Act, be required to give notice to the Commission of the change of ownership of the land.

18 Adjustment of rent for remainder of croft where part conveyed to crofter

Where a crofter acquires the site of the dwelling-house on or pertaining to his croft or any croft land forming part of his croft, then, notwithstanding that it is less than 7 years since the term at which the existing rent for the croft first became payable, the Land Court may, on the application of the crofter or his landlord, determine a fair rent for the part of the croft which remains subject to the tenancy of the crofter, and accordingly subsections (3) and (4) of section 6 of this Act shall apply for the purposes of such a determination as if the provisos to subsection (3) were omitted; but thereafter the said provisos shall apply to a rent so determined.

19 Provisions relating to existing loans and heritable securities

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(1) Where--

(a) a crofter who acquires the site of the dwelling-house on or pertaining to his croft is on the date of the acquisition under any liability to the Secretary of State or Highlands and Islands Enterprise ("HIE"), or

(b) a cottar who acquires the site of the dwelling-house on or pertaining to his subject is on the date of the acquisition under any liability to the Secretary of State,

in respect of any loan, the amount outstanding in respect of such liability shall be deemed, as from the last day on which the crofter or cottar was liable to pay rent in respect of that site or on which the cottar was entitled to occupy the site as a cottar, to be a loan by the Secretary of State to the crofter or cottar or, as the case may be, by HIE to the crofter, and the provisions of Schedule 5 to this Act shall apply in relation to any such loan by the Secretary of State and, subject to any necessary modifications, to any such loan by HIE.

(2) Any question arising under subsection (1) above as to the day from which the outstanding amount is deemed to be a loan shall be determined by the Land Court.

(3) Any rights of HIE created under subsection (1) above shall be postponed to any rights, whensoever constituted, of the Secretary of State under that subsection; and such rights of the Secretary of State and HIE shall have priority over any other loan in respect of which the crofter or the cottar or his nominee as owner of the site of the dwelling-house is under any liability and shall be postponed only to such items as are referred to in heads (i), (ii) and (iii) of paragraph 4(b) of Schedule 9 to the [1987 c. 26.] Housing (Scotland) Act 1987.

(4) Any heritable security which immediately before the execution of a conveyance in pursuance of sections 12 to 18 of this Act burdened the subjects conveyed shall, as from the date of recording of the conveyance in the Register of Sasines or of registration of the interest conveyed in the Land Register of Scotland (as the case may be)--

(a) in the case of a conveyance in feu, cease to burden the dominium utile of the subjects conveyed and burden only the superiority thereof;

(b) in the case of a conveyance otherwise than in feu where the heritable security burdened only the subjects conveyed, cease to burden those subjects;

Pages: P.1 | P.2 | P.3 | P.4

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