Section 88: Assessment of value of croft land etc.
353.Subsection (1) requires that Ministers, where they have consented to a crofting community right buy application, must appoint a valuer to assess the value of that land or an interest in land within 7 days of that consent except where the circumstances set out in subsection (2) arise, namely a reference to the Land Court under section 83(2) (leaseback to owner of sporting interests).
354.Subsection (2) specifies that where the Land Court has to settle the terms of a leaseback a valuer should be appointed within 7 days of the date on which the terms of the leaseback have been determined by the Court.
355.Subsection (4) makes clear that in arriving at his/her valuation the valuer is acting for neither the crofting community body nor the landowner and is to act as an expert and not as an arbiter.
356.Subsection (5) specifies that the value to be ascertained is the market value at the date Ministers consented to the application to exercise the right to buy.
357.Subsection (6) defines market value as the sum of the open market value if the sale were between a willing seller and willing buyer, compensation for any depreciation in value of other land and interests belonging to the seller as a result of the forced sale and compensation for any disturbance to the seller resulting from the forced sale.
358.Subsection (7) specifies that in arriving at the open market value for the purposes of subsection (6)(a) account should be taken of the possibility of a potential purchaser with a special interest in the property (other than the crofting community body). It also specifies that no account shall be taken in that assessment of the fact that no time was allowed for marketing the property or of depreciation of other land or disturbance (since compensation for these latter two items will be added to the open market value by virtue of subsection (6)(b)).
359.Subsection (8) states that Ministers shall pay for the valuation under this section.
360.Subsection (9) requires the valuer to ask both the owner and the crofting community body for their views in writing on the value of land or interests and to take these representations into account in arriving at his or her valuation.
361.Subsection (10) specifies that where the crofting community body and the owner have agreed the valuation they shall notify the valuer in writing of that valuation.
362.Subsection (11) provides for discounting the valuation on account of the value of a leaseback of the sporting interest to the owner.
363.Subsections (12) and (13) require the appointed valuer to notify Ministers, the landowner and the crofting community body of his or her valuation. This must be done within 6 weeks of being appointed or within a longer period set by Ministers.
364.Subsection (14) confirms that the validity of the transfer is not affected by a failure by the valuer to comply with the time limit.