The Crofting Commission regulates
and promotes the interests of crofting in Scotland
to secure the future of crofting.

Succession – Passing on your croft


Why should I consider passing on my croft?

Crofting plays a vital role in the life of the Highlands and Islands and has the potential to address some of the significant challenges the region faces regarding population retention, economic diversification, land management, biodiversity and climate change, to mention just a few. Croft tenancies are in great demand and so crofts which are not being cultivated and maintained or put to a purposeful use, are a missed opportunity. The longer that a croft is not being worked, the more the land, fencing, buildings and drainage will inevitably deteriorate, making it more difficult for the next tenant to bring it back into use.  Failure to work the croft allows invasive plants to take over the croft and eradicating these can be expensive and time consuming. 

When the time comes that you no longer use your croft, choosing to pass it on during your lifetime has several benefits to you and your successor(s).
• Your wishes are clear and can be carried out during your lifetime
• The croft is passed on in the best possible condition for the new crofter so it can remain active
• It avoids the prospect of intestate succession
• You will have the opportunity to oversee the process
• You can share your knowledge and experience of crofting with your chosen new crofter
• It avoids potential disputes between possible successors
• It allows you to see the croft in new hands and the many benefits it can bring to the area

As a tenant Crofter you can apply to: 

Apply to Assign your Croft

Assignation is the permanent transfer of a tenancy to a person of your choice, which is subject to approval by the Crofting Commission. This can be a family member or you can transfer your tenancy to a proposed assignee. If you have a croft house, this can be decrofted (made separate from the Croft) in advance of the assignation, or you can include it in the transfer if you have or are moving into separate accommodation. 

You should always seek independent legal advice before assigning a croft tenancy, as the transfer is permanent and cannot be reversed, should you change your mind. 

Further details on Assignation, and the application forms and guidance, can be found by clicking on the hyperlink; Assignation | Crofting Commission (

As an Owner-Occupier crofter you can:

Transfer the land ownership using a solicitor. 

You should always seek independent legal advice before transferring a croft (tenancy or owner-occupied) as the transfer is permanent and cannot be reversed, should you change your mind. It is advisable that you instruct a solicitor, who has knowledge and experience of dealing with croft succession. The Law Society of Scotland can help you find you find a solicitor with crofting experience. Please visit their website at

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