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Small landholdings legislation: guide to the law in Scotland

There are only a few Small Landholdings left in Scotland and these are governed by complex, historic legislation. This guide summarises key legal elements for those with an interest.


Footnotes

1 Small Landholders (Scotland) Act 1911, Section 31(5)

2 1931 Act Section 26(1)

3 1911 Act Section 2(ii) & (iii)

4 For a more detailed consideration of what did and did not become Small Landholdings or SSTs, see Sir Crispin Agnew of Lochnaw Bt, QC, Crofting Law T & T Clark 2000, Chapter 3.

5 See Greg's Exrs v Macdonald 1991 SLCR 121 where possible protected tenant took new lease as "river watcher"; Kennedy v Marquess of Breadalbane's Trs 1933 SLCR 3 where a statutory small tenant entered into new lease for 10 years with landlord of the holding and other land jointly with his wife and son and Court held identity of holding had been lost; McColl v Beresford's Trs 1921 SLCR 3 at 16 where court said "abandonment of potential statutory rights may also be affected by the actings of the parties as well as by voluntary agreement".

6 Highland Primary Care NHS Trust v Thomson 1999 SLCR 32.

7 Cumming v Marquis of Bute 1930 SLCR 67 at p. 71.

8 1931 Act Section 25.

9 1886 Act Section 5.

10 1886 Act Section 6(1).

11 Lentran Estates Ltd v MacMillan 1957 SLCR App 94.

12 1931 Act Section 23.

13 1931 Act Section 26(1).

14 The former counties of Argyll, Caithness, Inverness, Orkney, Ross and Cromarty, Sutherland and Zetland – s. 61(1) of the Crofters (Scotland) Act 1993

15 Recent developments in Crofting Law, Iain F. Maclean, Advocate, Terra Firma Chambers, p3

16 1911 Act Section 2(iii) proviso (a) and (b).

17 1911 Act Section 2(ii) & (iii)

18 1911 Act Section 27

19 For a more detailed consideration of what did and did not become Small Landholdings or SSTs, see Sir Crispin Agnew of Lochnaw Bt, QC, Crofting Law T & T Clark 2000, Chapter 3.

20 Hansard, HC Deb. 15 August 1919, vol. 119, the Secretary of State for Scotland at cc 1806.

21 Highland Primary Care NHS Trust v Thomson 1999 SLCR 32.

22 Report of the Commission of Enquiry into Crofting Conditions, April 1954, Cmd. 9091, HMSO, Edinburgh

23 1931 Act Section 9 – "predecessors in the same family" means in relation to a landholder or a cottar the wife or husband of such landholder or cottar and any person to whom such landholder or cottar, or the wife or husband of such landholder or cottar might, failing nearer heirs, have succeeded in case of intestacy.

24 As amended by Section 12 of the 1919 Act.

25 Troup v Breadalbane's Trs 1934 SLCR 10 at 12.

26 Seafield Trs v Sutherland 1935 SLCR 53; Murray v Anstruther's Trs 1940 SLCR 59 at 61.

27 Board of Agriculture v Countess Dowager of Seafield's Trs 1916 SLCR 63, where held that Boards failure to object to new tenant outwith the Acts in six months, meant their application too late.

28 Greg's Exrs v Macdonald 1991 SLCR 135; Troup v Breadalbane's Trs 1934 SLCR 10; Trs of Caroline, Countess-Dowager of Seafield v Sutherland 1935 SLCR 53 at 57 and Board of Agriculture v Countess-Dowager of Seafield's Trs 1916 SLCR 63 at 65.

29 Manson v Keith 1929 SLCR 19; McGavin v Sir Claud Alexander's Trs 1939 SLCR 3.

30 See Greg's Exrs v Macdonald 1991 SLCR 121 where possible protected tenant took new lease as "river watcher"; Kennedy v Marquess of Breadalbane's Trs 1933 SLCR 3 where a statutory small tenant entered into new lease for 10 years with landlord of the holding and other land jointly with his wife and son and Court held identity of holding had been lost; McColl v Beresford's Trs 1921 SLCR 3 at 16 where court said "abandonment of potential statutory rights may also be affected by the actings of the parties as well as by voluntary agreement".

31 Highland Primary Care NHS Trust v Thomson 1999 SLCR 32.

32 Cumming v Marquis of Bute 1930 SLCR 67 at p. 71.

33 1911 Act Section 26.

34 1931 Act Section 25.

35 Sinclair v Anstruther's Trs 1941 SLCR 3.

36 1886 Act Section 5.

37 1886 Act Section 6(2).

38 1886 Act Section 6(1).

39 McNeill v Duke of Hamilton's Trs 1918 SC 221; Ward v Shetland Island Council 1990 SLCR 119.

40 Macdonald v Macdougall (1896) 23 R 941.

41 Ward v Shetland Island Council 1990 SLCR 119; Secretary of State for Scotland v Ramage 1952 SLCR 29.

42 Strathconan v MacConnell 1977 SLCR App 156.

43 Ward v Shetland Island Council 1990 SLCR 119.

44 Hitchcocks Trs v McCuish 1982 SLCR 101.

45 Harrold v Secretary of State for Scotland 1953 SLCR 37. In Lawson v Lord Strathcona 1992 SLCR 67 at p. 70.

46 Luxmoore v Wilson 1989 SLCR 56 at 64.

47 Burnett v Department of Agriculture 1937 SC 367.

48 MacRae v Department of Agriculture 1936 SLCR 34 (cf Assessor for Zetland v Duncan 1948 SLT 363, where croft and house entered separately but both de-rated; Assessor for Highland Region and Western Isles v Campbell 1995 SLT 1290, crofter not working croft assessed separately for council tax).

49 Maclaren v Maclaren 1984 SLCR 43 at 51; Little v McEwan 1965 SLT (Land Ct) 3.

50 Georgeson v Anderson's Trs 1945 SLCR 44.

51 Department of Agriculture v Robertson 1941 SLCR 32.

52 Park v Mackintosh 1968 SLCR App 103.

53 1931 Act Section 3

54 Little v McEwan 1965 SLT (Land Ct) 3.

55 Matheson v Master of Lovat 1984 SLCR 82.

56 Park v Mackintosh 1968 SLCR App 103.

57 Burton Property Trust v MacRae 1989 SLCR 34; Cheyne v Hunter 1989 SLCR 38.

58 Holman v Henderson 1965 SLT (Land Ct) 13; Secretary of State for Scotland v Petrie 1966 SLCR App 62; Park v Mackintosh 1968 SLCR App 103.

59 Dudgeon v McIlroy 1933 SLCR 7 at 11.

60 McGregor v Garrow 1973 SLT (Land Ct) 3 at 4.

61 Secretary of State for Scotland v Petrie 1966 SLCR App 62.

62 Ross v Douglas 1977 SLT (Land Ct) 2.

63 Burton Property Trust v MacRae 1989 SLCR 34; Cheyne v Hunter 1989 SLCR 38.

64 Johnston, Small Landholders Act 1886-1911, 2nd Ed p. 79 and Bowman v Guthrie 1998 SLT (Land Ct) 7.

65 Stewart's Trs v Meil (1891) Sh Ct Rep 217.

66 1911 Act Section 10(2) – "… nothing in the said subsection shall be construed as debarring a landholder from subletting his dwelling-house to holiday visitors".

67 1911 Act Section 10(2)

68 MacLeod v MacLean 1938 SLCR 82 at 85.

69 Secretary of State for Scotland v Robertson 1991 SLCR 74; Culfargie Estates Ltd v Leslie 1957 SLCR 38, but see comments in Thrumster Estate Ltd v Mindt (2016) RN SLC/166/13 where suggested that bankruptcy might be remediable

70 Mackenzie v Mackenzie (1905) 7 F 505

71 McAllister v Duke of Hamilton's Trs 1919 SLCR 88 at 91

72 Irvine v Fordyce 1926 SLCR 57

73 Mackintosh v Lumsden 1913 1 SLCR 92

74 Highland Primary Care NHS Trust v Thomson 1999 SLCR 32.

75 Kennedy v Marquess of Breadalbane's Trs 1933 SLCR 3; Greg's Exrs v Macdonald 1991 SLCR 121.

76 Fea Mortification v Cursiter 1966 SLCR App 53; Troup v Breadalbane's Trs 1934 SLCR 10.

77 1931 Act Section 3(1).

78 Secretary of State for Scotland v Robertson 1991 SLCR 74; Culfargie Estates Ltd v Leslie 1957 SLCR 38, but see comments in Thrumster Estate Ltd v Mindt (2016) RN SLC/166/13 where suggested that bankruptcy might be remediable.

79 Gibsone's Trsa v Telfer SLC/86/17 (decision awaited at time of publication).

80 Walker v MacEwan 1946 SLCR 14; Lewis Islands Crofters Ltd v Mackay 1940 SLCR 69

81 1886 Act Section 2 and 1911 Act Section 19.

82 1931 Act Section 8.

83 See Crofting Law by Agnew s. 20 fn 14 for examples of what are and are not reasonably purposes, bearing in mind that the right to resume is narrower under the Landholders Acts.

84 Lands Improvement Holdings Landmatch S.a.r.l. v Cole 2014 SLCR 85.

85 Foljambe v Crofters of Melness 1979 SLT (Land Court) 9; British Airports Authority v Secretary of State for Scotland 1979 SC 220, LP at 210.

86 1886 Act Section 2

87 Macdonald v Macdonald 1950 SLCR 14; Killermont and Gascadden Estate Ltd v Colquhoun 1945 SLCR 7; Andreae v Macdonald 1961 SLCR 15; Secretary of State for Scotland v Ramage 1961 SLCR 35; MacRae v Secretary of State for Scotland 1981 SLT (Land Ct) 18, where expert's fees allowed.

88 Mackay v Keith 1928 SLCR 76.

89 Humbert v MacIver 1961 SLCR 29

90 Secretary of State v Greig 1972 SLT (land Ct) 3.

91 Smith v Cameron 1947 SLCR 42; Thomson v Stewart 1972 SLCR App 105.

92 Strachan's Trs v Harding 1990 SLT (Land Court) 6.

93 1911 Act Section 23.

94 see Crofters Sharing in the Keil Common Grazings v MacColl 1986 SLCR 142 for a comment on this change.

95 1986 SLCR 142.

96 MacLennan v Secretary of State for Scotland 1947 SLCR 40.

97 Hitchcock v Tenants of Northton 1942 SLCR 15.

98 Strathern v MacColl 1992 SC 339 and MacAskill v Basil Baird & Sons Ltd 1987 SLT (Land Ct) 34.

99 Strathern v MacColl 1992 SC 339.

100 Cameron of Locheil v MacLaren 1949 SLCR 32 at 35; Trs of the 10th Duke of Argyll v MacCormick 1991 SLT 900 (2nd Div).

101 Gilmour v Master of Lovat 1979 SLT (Land Court) 2; Fraser v Carnegie 1927 SLCR 46.

102 MacAskill v Basil Baird & Sons Ltd 1987 SLT (Land Ct) 34; Leverhulme v Board of Agriculture 1919 SLCR 78, and Smith v Bruce 1927 SLCR 83 at 85.

103 For a full discussion of the right see – MacDonald v West Minch Salmon Ltd 2003 SLCR 43; Nicholson v Sinclair 1968 SLCR App 121.

104 Cameron v MacKinnon 1996 SLT (Land Ct) 4.

105 Bridger v Macrae 1963 SLCR App 53.

106 Lentran Estates Ltd v MacMillan 1957 SLCR App 94.

107 MacDonald v West Minch Salmon Ltd 2003 SLCR 43 and 25 June 2004 Court of Session unreported.

108 Landholders of South Scorrybreck v Secretary of State for Scotland 1953 SLCR 39 at p. 44.

109 1911 Act Section 10(1).

110 Irving v Church of Scotland General Trs 1960 SLCR 16 where intimation given in telephone call; Budge v Gunn 1925 SLCR 74 where conversation at funeral held to be intimation.

111 McKinnon v Martin 1958 SLCR 19.

112 Wight v Marquis of Lothian's Trs 1952 SLCR 25.

113 Nelson v McGrath 2011 SLT 107.

114 Gifford v Buchanan 1983 SLT 613.

115 1911 Act Section 21. The limitation to "son-in-law" alone may not be compatible with equality and human rights legislation.

116 Crofting (Designation of Areas) (Scotland) Order 2010.

117 1931 Act Section 23.

118 1911 Act Section 32(15).

119 1931 Act Section 14.

120 http://www.scottish-land-court.org.uk/

Contact

Emma.Glen@gov.scot

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