Publication - Advice and guidance

Crofting community right to buy: eligible assets

Published: 6 Jul 2009

List of all the assets eligible to be acquired under the crofting community right to buy rules.

Published:
6 Jul 2009
Crofting community right to buy: eligible assets

The following can be acquired under the crofting community right to buy:

Eligible croft land

The Land Reform Act provides that a crofting community may acquire eligible croft land. This is all land which is subject to crofting tenure and regulation including arable machair and scattalds and any land in which a tenant of a croft has a right to pasture or grazing. In addition, any land which comprises any part of common grazing held by a tenant of a croft, or held run rig by a tenant of a croft, which has not been apportioned for the exclusive use of a tenant of a croft. It also includes salmon fishings in inland waters within or contiguous to the eligible croft land, and mineral rights within or contiguous to eligible croft land.

Eligible additional land

The Land Reform Act makes provision that a crofting community may acquire eligible additional land. This is land which is contiguous to the eligible croft land included in a crofting community's application to acquire eligible croft land, and which is also owned by the same person. The eligible additional land does not include salmon fishings and mineral rights associated with it.

Sporting rights

The Land Reform Act provides that any sporting lease over the land may also be acquired but the crofting community will not be bound to buy sporting interests. It further provides that the sporting interests can be purchased when the land is acquired or within the next 5 years. The time limit is intended to provide an element of certainty as otherwise owners of these interests in land acquired by a crofting community would not be prepared to invest in management of sport.

Sporting rights cannot normally be separated from the land so in purchasing the land the crofting community body will be bound to acquire the sport. However, in many crofting areas the main value of the landlord's interest will lie in the sport. This may affect affordability so the Act provides a mechanism whereby the crofting community body can lease the sport to the landlord at a nominal rent. The effect of this will be to reduce the price payable by an amount equivalent to the value to the landlord of that sporting lease.

Mineral rights

The Act provides that the rights to the minerals under the croft land, may also be acquired but the crofting community will not be bound to buy them. It further provides that the mineral rights can be purchased when the land is acquired or within the next 5 years. The time limit is intended to provide an element of certainty as otherwise owners of these interests in land acquired by a crofting community would not be prepared to invest in development of minerals.

Salmon fishing rights

The Land Reform Act provides that the rights to the salmon fishings on or contiguous to croft land that is being or has been acquired under the provisions of the Act may be acquired but the crofting community will not be bound to buy these rights.

It further provides that the salmon fishings can be bought when the land is acquired or within the next year. The time limit is intended to provide an element of certainty as otherwise owners of these interests in land acquired by a crofting community would not be prepared to invest in development of or management of fishings.

Interposed leases (the interest of the tenant in tenanted land)

The Act recognises that some eligible croft land may have a lease or leases over it (so called 'interposed leases'), and provides that a crofting community may apply to purchase the interest of the tenant in the lease. This interest does not include the interest of the tenant in a croft tenancy or in the tenancy of a dwelling house. The lease must be contained within the eligible croft land that the crofting community body wishes to acquire. The Act makes provision where a crofting community does not wish to acquire the interest of the tenant in a lease in its entirety.

The Act provides that a crofting community may apply for consent to purchase the interest of the tenant at the same time it applies to purchase the eligible croft land, where Ministers have still to make a decision on such an application, or within 5 years after the crofting community has bought and retained the croft land etc.

** The following further guidance is also available: