If you are a crofter you will no doubt have completed the Crofting Commission’s crofting census earlier this year. And depending on the responses you gave, you may have recently received one of the many thousands of letters sent out by the Crofting Commission concerning possible breaches of crofter’s duties.

As you will be aware, crofters have a duty:

  • to be resident on, or within 32km of, their croft;
  • not to neglect their croft;
  • to cultivate and maintain their croft or to put it to some other purposeful use.

If your responses in the census suggested that you might be in breach of any of these duties then you probably received one of the Crofting Commission’s letters. That is regardless of whether or not you actually are in breach of any of the duties.

So, if you have received a letter, what should you do now? Most importantly, it is best not to simply ignore the situation. If you do nothing, it could lead the Crofting Commission to take further action which could include, in extreme cases, beginning proceedings to terminate a tenancy or to force an owner to put a tenant in place.

The best response is to be pro-active and to discuss your situation with the Crofting Commission. If it is all simply a misunderstanding, a call to the Commission might be enough to set matters straight. In other cases, you might need to take further action to correct any breach of duty.

If you feel that you would benefit from legal advice, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with me and I would be happy to discuss matters with you. I am able to provide a free, no obligation initial telephone consultation and it may be the case that this is enough to set you on the right track. However, if more detailed legal advice is required then at Macleod & MacCallum we have the experience and expertise to guide you.

September 16, 2015