Update on ‘alien’ owner-occupiers

Crofting Commission prepare to deal with the owner-occupier aliens

Crofting Commission prepare to deal with the owner-occupier ‘aliens’ on 6 August 2013

In my last post I promised an update on my earlier post about owners of croft land who are aliens to the Crofting Commission.

Well the ‘alien’ I made reference to in that post back on 22 May 2013 is not much further forward. The Crofting Commission have advised the ‘alien’ as follows:-

… the Crofting Commission agreed in December 2012 to adopt a policy that all decrofting and letting applications in respect of crofts with multiple owners must be submitted by all the owners in their capacity collectively as the “landlord” of the croft, even in these cases where the application related to a part of the croft held in title by only one of their number. The implementation of this policy gave rise to a number of queries, including whether a person in situation similar to your own may apply to the Commission for a decrofting Direction. The Crofting Commission has now received legal advice on this matter which, I understand, is to be considered at the Crofting Commission Board meeting to be held on 6 August 2013.  Once the Board has reached a view on this issue, we will then be in a position to update you on how your application may proceed.

Interesting that this policy was apparently adopted by the Crofting Commission in December 2012 as it was only made public by them on 18 February 2013. Before implementing this policy did it not occur to the crofting Commission that you could have a croft unit where part was held in tenancy and part was owner-occupied? Clearly not. Such issues have, it seems, only come to their attention since implementing the policy. Seven months later and they still don’t have a resolution to it. Eight months later and they just might depending upon what Commissioners decide on 6 August 2013.

I am also aware that the ‘alien’ in question is not alone. The crofting commission have ‘aliens’ to contend with. There is likely to be a good number of owner-occupiers who fall into this category. Indeed I highlighted in my last post that Donald and Elizabeth MacGillivray may well turn out to be ‘aliens’ too but their status is currently unknown.

I await the decision of the Crofting Commission on 6 August 2013 with interest but also with some trepidation.

Brian Inkster

[Picture Credit: Aliens – 20th Century Fox]

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