What is a croft?


A croft is a small plot of agricultural land that is leased by a tenant (crofter) from the croft owner landlord. The average size of a croft is five hectares, and the crofter lives on the land in addition to using it to rear livestock or grow crops.

Crofts are located in specific crofting counties in Scotland. These crofting counties include:

  • Argyll
  • Inverness
  • Ross and Cromarty
  • Arran
  • Bute
  • Caithness
  • Sutherland
  • Shetland
  • Orkney
  • Moray
  • Greater and Little Cumbrae

Traditionally, a crofter is the tenant who leases the croft from the landlord. However, it is possible for croft owners to live on the croft and become owner-occupiers. It is important for legal purposes to distinguish between being a croft tenant and an owner-occupier.

If a croft owner does not live on or near the croft, they may be required to lease it to a tenant under crofting law.

How can a crofting solicitor help you?

Crofting law is a complex subject and it is advisable to consult a solicitor when considering purchasing or leasing a croft. In addition, many crofting solicitors act as an estate agent to help you find an available croft as they are in high demand and scarce supply.

A crofting solicitor can advise you on a number of croft-related legal issues, including:

  • Distinguishing between buying the croft as a crofter or buying a vacant croft
  • Determining if the sale includes the house, fencing and other buildings on the land
  • The application of crofting law after the purchase
  • Disputes with landlord or crofter
  • Assignment or transference of the croft
  • Dealing with the Crofters Commission
  • Croft tenant rights

If you would like to obtain legal advice about crofting law, Contact Law can put you in touch with a local specialist crofting solicitor free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local crofting solicitors, please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above.

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