Crofts in multiple ownership – Case law clarified

Case law clarified on crofts in multiple ownership – “The Crofting Commission is changing its policy in connection with decrofting applications.  Since 2012 it has been their policy that an application to decroft part of a croft is not competent unless it is submitted by all of the owners of the croft.

It is usually the case that it is the owner of the part to be decrofted that is making the application, but the Commission’s policy has meant that the landlord or owner of any other part of a croft had to join in the application.  This could cause difficulties where, for example, the owners of other parts were not in favour of a development on the part to which the decrofting application related.

The Commission’s policy was challenged last year in the Scottish Land Court, who found in favour of a crofter who had applied for a decrofting direction without the consent of other owners.  The Commission had initially indicated that they would contest the Land Court ruling, but they have now decided to accept it, and to bring their own policy into line with the Land Court’s decision.

So the owner of part of a croft can now once again apply to decroft a part of the croft which they own, without requiring permission from the landlords or owners of any other part of the croft.”

For further advice on this matter crofts in multiple ownership, or in connection with any other crofting law issue, contact Gary Webster or Ruth McLaughlan in our Rural Land Department.”

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