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Crofters (Scotland) Act 1993

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23 Vacant crofts.S

(1)Where—

(a)the landlord of a croft receives from the crofter a notice of renunciation of his tenancy or obtains from the Land Court an order for the removal of the crofter; or

(b)the landlord of the croft either gives to the executor of a deceased crofter, or receives from such an executor, notice terminating the tenancy of the croft in pursuance of section 16(3) of the 1964 Act; or

(c)for any other reason the croft has become vacant otherwise than by virtue of a declaration by the Commission in the exercise of any power conferred on them by this Act;

the landlord shall within one month from—

(i)the receipt of the notice of renunciation of the tenancy, or

(ii)the date on which the Land Court made the order, or

(iii)the date on which the landlord gave or received notice terminating the tenancy, or

(iv)the date on which the vacancy came to the landlord’s knowledge,

as the case may be, give notice thereof to the Commission.

(2)Any person who, being the landlord of a croft, fails to comply with the requirements of subsection (1) above shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine of an amount not exceeding level 1 on the standard scale.

(3)The landlord of a croft shall not, except with the consent in writing of the Commission, or, if the Commission withhold their consent, except with the consent of the Secretary of State, let the croft or any part thereof to any person; and any letting of the croft otherwise than with such consent shall be null and void.

(4)Where any person is in occupation of a croft under a letting which is null and void by virtue of subsection (3) above, the Commission may serve on him a notice in writing requiring him to give up his occupation of such croft on or before such day as may be specified in the notice, being a day not less than one month from the date of the service of the notice; and if he fails to give up his occupation of the croft on or before that day, subsection (3) of section 22 of this Act shall, subject to any necessary modifications, apply as it applies where a crofter fails to give up the occupation of a croft as mentioned in that subsection.

(5)Where a croft is vacant the Commission may, at any time after the expiry of one month from the occurrence of the vacancy, give notice to the landlord requiring him to submit to them his proposals for re-letting the croft, whether as a separate croft or as an enlargement of another croft, and if, within a period of 2 months from the giving of such notice, no such proposals are submitted or such proposals are submitted but the Commission refuse to approve them, the Commission may, if they think fit, themselves let the croft to such person or persons and on such terms and conditions (including conditions as to rent) as may be fixed by the Commission after consultation with the landlord; and such let shall have effect in all respects as if it had been granted by the landlord:

Provided that the Commission shall not themselves let the croft while the Secretary of State is considering an application made to him under subsection(3) above for consent to let, or the Commission are considering an application made to them under section 24(3) of this Act for a direction that the croft shall cease to be a croft.

(6)Where a croft has been let on terms and conditions fixed by the Commission, the landlord may within one month from the date of the letting apply to the Land Court for a variation of the terms and conditions so fixed, and any variation made in pursuance of such application shall have effect as from the date of the letting.

(7)Where the Commission have under subsection (5) above let a vacant croft as an enlargement of another croft, and any of the buildings on the vacant croft thereby cease to be required in connection with the occupation of the croft, the Commission shall give notice to that effect to the landlord, and thereupon—

(a)the buildings shall cease to form part of the croft; and

(b)the landlord may, at any time within 6 months after the giving of such notice, give notice to the Secretary of State requiring him to purchase the buildings.

(8)If the landlord, within one month after the Commission issue a direction under section 24(2) of this Act that a croft shall cease to be a croft, gives notice to the Secretary of State requiring him to purchase the buildings on the croft, the Secretary of State shall purchase such buildings.

(9)Where a notice has been duly given under subsection (7)(b) or (8) above, the Secretary of State shall be deemed to be authorised to purchase the buildings compulsorily and to have served notice to treat in respect thereof on the date on which the notice aforesaid was given:

Provided that the consideration payable by the Secretary of State in respect of the purchase of the buildings shall be such sum as may be agreed by the Secretary of State and the landlord, or, failing agreement, as may be determined by the Land Court to be equal to the amount which an out-going tenant who had erected or paid for the erection of the buildings would have been entitled to receive from the landlord by way of compensation for permanent improvements in respect of the buildings as at the date on which notice was given as aforesaid to the Secretary of State requiring him to purchase the buildings.

(10)For the purposes of this section and sections 24 and 25 of this Act, a croft shall be taken to be vacant notwithstanding that it is occupied, if it is occupied otherwise than by the tenant of the croft.

(11)The provisions of this section and sections 24 and 25 of this Act shall have effect in relation to a part of a croft as they have effect in relation to a croft.

(12)This section and section 24 of this Act shall have effect as if—

(a)a person who has become the owner-occupier of a croft were required under subsection (1) above within one month of the date on which he became such owner-occupier to give notice thereof to the Commission; and

(b)any reference in this section and section 24 of this Act, other than in subsection (1) above, to a landlord included a reference to an owner-occupier.

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