Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Crofting Commission census - absent owner-occupier  (Read 216 times)

Newcrofter

  • Joined Jan 2023
Crofting Commission census - absent owner-occupier
« on: January 23, 2023, 06:10:06 pm »
I'm hoping someone might be able to offer some advice about approaching the Crofting Commission. I recently inherited a de-crofted house and garden which has a small 4 acre field attached which has not been de-crofted. The field is currently used by a local farmer for silage and grazing.
The plan is to split our time between our current house and the crofthouse which are about 80 miles apart. We don't want to use the field and are happy for the farmer to carry on using it.
I recently received the Crofting Commission census which says as an owner occupier I need to live within 20 miles of the croft. I wondered what the Crofting Commission's view is likely to be on my situation - the field is being used but I'm not resident there full-time.
Does anyone have any experience of a similar situation. Thanks in advance

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Crofting Commission census - absent owner-occupier
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2023, 07:34:20 am »
Speak to the CC. They ARE clamping down on unused crofts because there are so many neglected ones. As the crofter, you are obliged to live within 20 miles of the croft, to use it for agriculture / horticulture / forestry or other meaningful use and to not neglect it. If you don't live there, you can still meet the second two requirements by subletting the croft - which is what you've done.

You aren't going to end up having your croft tenancy revoked or end up in the pokey. Just let them know the arrangements you have in place.


Newcrofter

  • Joined Jan 2023
Re: Crofting Commission census - absent owner-occupier
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2023, 11:02:32 am »
Thanks very much for the reply, that does sound like the sensible solution. However, at the moment we have a "grazing licence" agreement with the local farmer rather than a letting agreement, I wonder whether the Crofting Commission would insist that we formally let it to him or would the grazing licence be enough. My family have always been loathe to let it longer term as they worried about giving the farmer a right to buy, (the concern being about the field being sold and then houses being built on it) I suppose the best way would be to ask the Crofting Commission direct but I don't want to flag myself up as an easy target!

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Crofting Commission census - absent owner-occupier
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2023, 05:40:17 pm »
Only a crofting tenancy gives an absolute right to buy. A 1991 secure enancy gives a preemptive right to buy. You wouldn't be giving him either of those, but if he's happy with the seasonal let...
The only drawback I can see is that there's no incentive to the tenant to invest anything in the management of the land, because they could be off it next year. We had a seasonal let - was told verbally we could have it as long as we wanted. Invested in reseeding it and the let stopped immediately after that.


Newcrofter

  • Joined Jan 2023
Re: Crofting Commission census - absent owner-occupier
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2023, 11:27:25 am »
Sorry to hear about your bad experience, the farmer knows we don't want the field so he seems to be quite happy re-seeding etc. It's reassuring to know that we could let it to him if required without giving him a right to buy. Thanks very much for responding

 

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