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Author Topic: Croft Registration?  (Read 4015 times)

pigalicious

  • Joined Feb 2014
  • Caithness
Croft Registration?
« on: November 26, 2014, 09:33:56 pm »
Is it possible to register a smallholding as a croft?


P

Creagan

  • Joined Jun 2013
Re: Croft Registration?
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2014, 07:40:18 am »
Possibly. I think you have to be in the Crofting Counties.
People pay a lot of money to de-croft land, so I would think through all of the implications very carefully.

http://www.crofting.scotland.gov.uk/documents.asp?intent=details&did=44

oor wullie

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Strathnairn
Re: Croft Registration?
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2014, 07:52:06 am »
As I understand it it depends where you are. 
Anywhere in the traditional crofting areas then yes.
In 2007 the government expanded the areas that crofts could be created to include some new areas
http://www.crofting.scotland.gov.uk/documents.asp?intent=details&did=449

If you are in Caithness then it should be perfectly possible.

There are disadvantages (no bank will lend you money on croft land, you have additional obligations to live local to the land and use it for agriculture) and advantages (access to CCAGS grants, and it (should) ensure that future owners will be part of the community and not be absent landowners).

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Croft Registration?
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2014, 08:52:54 am »

no bank will lend you money on croft land,

Even if you own it?

oor wullie

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Strathnairn
Re: Croft Registration?
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2014, 02:05:12 pm »
Yup.  Bear with me here....

If I was to take a loan secured on my croft (as I am an owner) and defaulted the bank would want to reposess the land.  I could (just before they reposess it) let the croft to my wife (or anyone else that I choose).  The bank would then take possession of a croft with a sitting tenant.

One of the cornerstones of crofting law is that tenancies are secure.  As long as she pays the rent there is no way that they could then evict my wife.  Croft rent is pretty low (or should be) as it is based on the value of unimproved ground, all of the improvements that have been done over the generations by the crofter belong to the crofter not that landowner (not just buildings and fences but the fact that it is good green grass rather than the rocks and heather that it was before generations of crofters improved the ground cannot be reflected in the rent).  Rent might only be a few hundred pounds a year.

A crofter also has an absolute right to buy from their landowner at a fixed rate (I think about 10 times the rent).  Therefore in the above situation my wife can buy the croft back from the bank if she wants or she can stay a tenant, paying a very low rent with total security.  Either way the resale value of the croft for the bank has dropped to near zero.
A croft only has value as land if it is vacant.

Sounds complicated but there are good reasons for the laws - particularly if you know about the history.


The crofting commission recognises this and is willing to decroft house sites so you can get a mortgage.
I did this and it was pretty straightforward.  I did the forms myself and it didn't cost much (if anything, I can't remember).  No lawyers involved except to separate my title deeds so I had a separate deed to give to the bank for just the house site.
If you want to decroft anything other than the minimum area required for a house or for reasons other than a single house then you may find they take a dim view of it and you could be involved in a very long and difficult battle.

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Croft Registration?
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2014, 03:42:57 pm »
Thanks, oor wullie; brilliant explanation

pigalicious

  • Joined Feb 2014
  • Caithness
Re: Croft Registration?
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2014, 10:53:17 pm »
Tha.nks all, was just a thought, someone mentioned it in passing, and was just checking the basics

 

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