Frequently asked questions

Background to the Crofting Register

Who is responsible for maintaining the Crofting Register?

The Crofting Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 states that the Keeper of the Registers of Scotland must establish and maintain a public register of crofts, common grazings and land held runrig. It also states that the register should be known as the Crofting Register.

Did any consultation take place?

Yes. Prior to the Crofting Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 receiving Royal Assent an extensive consultation exercise was conducted by the Scottish Ministers. Consultation also took place on the format and details of the application forms and guidance that accompanies the application forms. All of the feedback was useful and has helped to improve the content and structure of the application forms and guidance.

What is a trigger event?

A 'trigger' event is an informal term used in the explanatory notes to the Crofting Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 to describe circumstances which require an application for registration in the Crofting Register.

When did the Crofting Register commence for crofts?

The Crofting Register commenced on 30 November 2012. Between that date and 29 November 2013, the Crofting Register was open for the registration of voluntary applications only. Once a croft is registered if any of the 'trigger' events highlighted in the Crofting Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 occur, then updating the registration schedule will require registration. On 30 November 2013 registration in the Crofting Register became mandatory for new crofts, transfers of ownership of owner-occupied crofts and the 'trigger' events, affecting unregistered as well as registered crofts, highlighted in the Crofting Reform (Scotland) Act 2010. (When to Register a Croft)

When did the Crofting Register commence for common grazings?

The Crofting Commission are responsible for submitting First Registration applications for existing common grazings. The Crofting Register has been open for the First Registration of existing common grazings from 30 November 2012. Once a common grazing has been subject to First Registration then it becomes compulsory for the 'trigger events' highlighted in the Crofting Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 to be registered by the appropriate party. (When to Register a Croft)

What has Registers of Scotland been doing to promote the commencement of the Crofting Register?

Registers of Scotland worked with colleagues in the Scottish Government, the Crofting Commission and the Scottish Land Court to ensure that the appropriate procedures were in place for the commencement of the Crofting Register. RoS and other key stakeholders also ran a series of workshops on the Crofting Register throughout the Highlands and Islands during the run up to the extension of the legislation to require registration in certain circumstances (generally linked to where a regulatory application has to be made) from 30 November 2013.

Extensive guidance on all aspects of the Crofting Register has been developed jointly by RoS and Crofting Commission.

Is the Crofting Register separate from the other public registers that the Keeper of the Registers of Scotland maintains?

Yes. The purpose of the Crofting Register is to reflect land held in crofting tenure.  Although the register will include details of landlords, owner-occupier crofters and owners of crofts and common grazings in addition to details of crofting tenants, the extent of a person's land that is subject to crofting tenure may be only part of the land that they own or lease.  The Land Register and the Register of Sasines contain information about rights of ownership of land, and registered long leases, securities and title conditions affecting land.

My croft is registered in both the Land Register and the Crofting Register. A challenge is being made to the boundary of my registered croft. How will this affect my Land Register title?

Should someone challenge the position of a boundary in the Crofting Register there are two possible outcomes. Either the challenge is successful or it is not. Assuming the challenge is successful the Land Court will advise the keeper and RoS will update the entry in the Crofting Register. However, such an amendment has no impact on the entry in the Land Register. If the parties concerned wish to alter the registration in the Land Register they would have to agree some form of remedial conveyancing – but that is a matter for the parties to agree.

Preparing a Crofting Register application and guidance

What guidance is available for help in preparing an application for the Crofting Register?

Extensive guidance is available on the Registers of Scotland website and via the site guidance notes on the home page of the online Crofting Register. Guidance is provided for the completion of application forms and also on the criteria for producing and submitting a plan for the Crofting Register. Before submitting an application to the Crofting Register applicants should read the guidance which will ensure applications are completed correctly.

Is the guidance for the Crofting Register available in Gaelic?

Yes, guidance on the Crofting Register is on the RoS website in both Gaelic and English. Registers of Scotland has listened to feedback from the crofting community which indicated that this would be a desirable option.

What events require to be registered in the Crofting Register?

The Crofting Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 provides details of all events that require registration within the Crofting Register. These events can be found in sections 4 and 5 of the said Act for crofts, sections 24 and 25 for common grazings and section 32 for lands held runrig. Examples of the types of events that require registration in the Crofting Register include:

  • assignation of a croft;
  • bequest of a croft;
  • the division of a croft;
  • the enlargement of a croft.

A list of the 'trigger' events that induce registration can be found on the Crofting Register guidance page. (When to Register a Croft)

Who submits an application for Registration in the Crofting Register?

Who is responsible for making an application for registration will depend on the reason for registration. The events that require registration, and the person responsible for making applications for registration, are set out in schedule 2 to the Crofting Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 and include the crofter, the landlord, the owner-occupier crofter, the Crofting Commission and others.

Can a crofter apply for registration in the Crofting Register without the need to employ a solicitor?

Yes, the application forms and guidance for the preparation of plans have all been developed to enable any applicant to prepare and submit an application to the Crofting Register without the need for specialist help. There may however be circumstances when the applicant may feel the need to take professional advice and the application forms take account of this and provide space for details of any agents acting on behalf of the applicant to be inserted.

What application forms need to be completed?

The Crofting Register (Scotland) Rules 2012 set out the required application form to be completed. Depending on what event has taken place, one of the seven forms highlighted within those Rules must be completed. The applications must be made on the official application forms and the details are included below:

Form

Purpose

Relevant Provision of the Crofting Reform (Scotland) Ac 2010

A

Application for first registration of a croft

Section 4

B

Application for registration of a subsequent event affecting a registered croft

Section 5

C

Application for first registration of common grazing or land held runrig

Sections 24(1) and 32(1)

D

Application for first registration of new common grazing

Section 26(1)(a)

E

Application for registration of a subsequent event affecting registered common grazing or land held runrig

Section 26(1)(b) and 32(5)

F

Application for rectification

Section 16

G

Notification to the Keeper by the Crofting Commission following approval of a regulatory decision

Section 4(4)(a) to (o) or (q)

Please note that Forms C and G are only for completion by the Crofting Commission.

How can I access the required Crofting Register application form?

Application forms for the Crofting Register are available on the Registers of Scotland website and via the site guidance notes link on the home page of the online Crofting Register. The forms can be completed online but must be printed off and signed before submitting an application for registration. Alternatively a paper form can be obtained from Registers of Scotland by contacting the Crofting Register team at Registers of Scotland, Hanover House, 24 Douglas Street, Glasgow G2 7NQ or telephone 0141 306 1510.

The application for registration will, in the first instance, be made to the Crofting Commission who, if satisfied that basic information required for registration has been met, will forward the application to RoS.  The person responsible for submitting a registration application is set out in Schedule 2 to the 2010 Act.

Where there is more than one applicant, is it necessary for all of the applicants to sign the application form?

Yes. If there is more than one applicant - for example, two owner-occupier crofters - all persons responsible for making the application must sign the application form.

The application Form A asks me to provide information on existing de-crofting directions, apportionments and resumptions that are relevant to my croft. Where can I obtain this information?

You can contact the Crofting Commission who will provide the relevant information in relation to decrofting directions and apportionments from their records. info@crofting.scotland.gov.uk   While the Commission do hold details of resumption Orders, copies of the resumption orders can be obtained direct from the Scottish Land Court.

If a plan is required for a Crofting Register application are there any criteria that need to be satisfied?

Yes. The key requirements that must be met for a plan to be acceptable for registration are set out in an information leaflet: 'Summary of essential criteria for the preparation of plans'. In addition, detailed instructions and examples are included in the 'Guide for preparation of a plan for applications to the Crofting Register'. Both of these documents can be found on the Registers of Scotland website and via the site guidance notes link on the home page of the online Crofting Register. This includes detailed description of essential criteria required in the preparation of plans i.e. scale and orientation.

Why does Registers of Scotland set out criteria for submitting plans for the Crofting Register?

Registers of Scotland sets out criteria for the submission of plans for the Crofting Register to ensure that it is possible to accurately identify and plot the subjects of the applications on to the Ordnance Map. This is key to ensuring the accuracy of the Crofting Register.

I have an existing plan that meets the criteria that has been set out by Registers of Scotland so do I need to produce a new plan?

If an existing plan meets the required criteria then there is no need to draw up a new plan.

My croft is registered in the Land Register of Scotland. Can I use the title plan when applying for registration of the croft in the Crofting Register?

Use of title plans is subject to Ordnance Survey Copyright. However, if the extent of the croft is the same as the extent registered in the Land Register then you can make reference to the Land Register Title Number on your application form. For example, 'the extent of my croft is as edged red on [insert Title Number for your croft]'.

Will Registers of Scotland be able to supply a paper extract of the Ordnance Survey map to enable an applicant to trace their boundaries?

Yes. Registers of Scotland is able to provide paper extracts of the Ordnance Survey map at a cost of £16.00 per extract. Applicants can plot their boundaries and enter any other required detail before submitting their application to the Crofting Commission. To request a copy of the required area of the Ordnance Map please contact the Crofting Register team at Registers of Scotland, Meadowbank House, 153 London Road, Edinburgh EH8 7AU, telephone 0131 659 4513 or e-mail croftenquiries@ros.gov.uk. Please include enough detail for the team to identify the required area and the extract of the relevant area will be posted out to the applicant along with an invoice.

Do I have to supply any information regarding my croft when applying for a paper extract of the Ordnance Survey Map?

Yes. The minimum information required is the full postal address of the croft to be registered. In addition the following information can be useful in helping Registers of Scotland to provide the appropriate extract for your croft:

  • An Ordnance Survey Grid reference
  • The parish the croft is in
  • The township the croft is in
  • Details of any apportionments

To aid identification the applicant can provide copies of existing maps showing the croft boundaries and apportionments e.g. IACS maps

If I have more than one croft can I use the same extract for all my Crofts?

Yes, but a separate application form and fee is required for each croft. Each croft will have to be clearly referenced on the plan and cross referenced on the relevant application form. For example you could outline in red giving each croft a separate number on the plan or alternatively apply a different colour fill to identify each croft.

Can I use my IACS map as the plan to my application?

Yes. An IACS map will be accepted, provided it is based on topographic detail rather than aerial imagery. This means that the extent is displayed against an Ordnance Survey map background as opposed to a photographic image. You must be sure that the map reflects the true boundaries of the croft. If this is not the case you should supply additional information to show the full extent of the croft.

If I have a feature such as a wall near my actual boundary should I map my title to the wall or should I include my full extent?

The full extent of the land subject to crofting tenure should be included within the application for registration. During consultation on the Crofting Register, crofting groups expressed concerns that not all applicants would submit their full extents in the scenario highlighted in the question. The Crofting Commission and Registers of Scotland are fully supportive of attempts to ensure that all crofting land is included within the Crofting Register.

My croft is bounded by a natural water feature e.g. a river. The course of this feature is shown differently on various versions of the Ordnance Survey Map - which version should I use?

It does not matter so long as you clearly state on the application form that the relevant boundary of the croft is bounded by the edge/centre line of the river. For example 'bounded on the northeast by the centre line of the river.'

My croft is bounded by a road however I have erected a stockproof fence at the top of the verge. What is the boundary of my croft?

There is no prescribed rule for boundaries abutting a road. It is the responsibility of the applicant to determine where their boundary lies.

Submitting a Crofting Register application

To whom do I submit my Crofting Register application?

Completed application forms along with the required fee and evidence should be submitted to the Crofting Commission at Great Glen House, Leachkin Road, Inverness IV3 8NW. The Crofting Commission will check the submitted application and fee and if they are content they will scan the application and forward it to Registers of Scotland by email. However, if the Crofting Commission believes that there is a fault with the application or fee then they will return the application to the applicant to amend.

What fee is payable for a single application to First Register a croft or common grazing or to register a subsequent event highlighted in the Crofting Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 and to whom should the fee be made payable?

The appropriate fees for the Crofting Register are set out in The Registers of Scotland (Fees) Order 2014. The fee for a first registration is £90. The fee for registration of a subsequent event affecting a registered croft is also £90. In both cases, the fee should be payable to the Crofting Commission. The fees have been set at a level of cost recovery.

What is a 'community application'?

A community application is an informal term that involves communities working together to map crofts as the basis for collectively applying to register the crofts in the new Crofting Register. There are many benefits of community applications, including:

  • bringing communities together around a common purpose
  • ensures all croft land is captured and protected. Once it is in the register it will remain croft land – unless it is formally decrofted
  • provides an organised forum for agreeing boundaries up front – thus minimising the risk of a challenge during the 9 month challenge period
  • cost savings and economies of scale, e.g. only having to pay for one plan rather than potentially £16 plus VAT for a plan for each croft
  • being able to do a block advert rather than lots of separate ones as part of the notification procedures

Can a Community get help with preparing their community application?

Anyone interested in obtaining assistance can contact the community mapping liaison officer at Registers of Scotland, Kay Dallas, who can provide support in putting together a community application and taking it through the process of registration. Support will be provided by technical workshops and stakeholder meetings in the crofting communities and continued by telephone or by e-mail. You can email Kay at croftenquiries@ros.gov.uk or telephone 0131 306 1731.

If a community is submitting an application for First Registration of all or a number of the crofts in the township are separate applications required for each croft?

Yes, a separate application form is required to be completed by each applicant to ensure that all of the required information is captured for each croft. A single plan can be agreed by the group showing the extent of the individual crofts and each applicant can refer to the same agreed plan.

I want to voluntarily register my croft before dividing it to give one half to a family member? Can I do both of these at the same time or should I apply for one before the other?

This is a matter for the applicant to decide.  If you choose to voluntarily register your croft before applying to the Crofting Commission to have it divided, you will be required to pay a registration fee of £90 and a further fee of £90 when you apply to divide your croft at a later date if the Crofting Commission approve the division. However, if you apply to the Crofting Commission to divide your croft this will make registration mandatory at a cost of £90 with the registration being amended, if approved by the Commission, at no additional charge on approval of the division by the Commission.

Processing Crofting Register applications

What is the expected turnaround time for Crofting Register applications received by Registers of Scotland?

It is the intention of Registers of Scotland that applications will be processed within three working days of receipt by Registers of Scotland. If there are delays due to unforeseen circumstances then this information will be available on the Registers of Scotland website.

Can there be a map overlap in the new Crofting Register?

No, legislation dictates that there can be no overlaps in the Crofting Register. This includes both crofts and common grazings/land held runrig. For example if, following the registration of Application AApplication B is presented for registration and is found to include part of the land registered under Application A then Application B will be registered but its extent will be restricted to about the registered extent of Application A. The applicant who submitted Application B will be notified of this when they receive their Crofting Register Registration Schedule and it may then be open to them to challenge the registered extent of Application A through the Scottish Land Court (depending on the 9 month challenge period and/or any other cause they are able to show)

What happens during registration if Registers of Scotland find a gap between the croft being registered and another croft already registered in the Crofting Register?

That is acceptable as the role of Registers of Scotland is to replicate the information received within each application. There may be a genuine reason for the crofts not adjoining and applicants would not be informed of a gap between two registrations but could see it when viewing the Register on-line.

Completed applications

What will the Crofting Register show for completed applications?

Section 11 of the Crofting Reform (Scotland) Act sets out the details that a registration schedule for a croft must contain. There needs to be a description of the land based on the ordnance map and the name and designation of any tenant, owner-occupier crofter, landlord and owner of the croft. Schedule 3 of the Act sets out the details for the registration schedule for a common grazing.

How will apportionments be shown in the Crofting Register?

Exclusive apportionments are part of the croft and will be shown in the registration schedule for a croft rather than in the registration schedule for a common grazing.

What will Registers of Scotland issue once an application for the Crofting Register has been completed?

On completion of registration Registers of Scotland will issue a certificate to the applicant and to the Crofting Commission showing the extent of the croft or common grazing and the interested parties required to be shown such as tenant, owner, owner-occupier crofter and landlord. The applicant can receive their certificate by email or post and the Crofting Commission will be sent their certificate by email. The completed registration will also be available to see online the day after registration has been completed.

The Crofting Register online

Is a special internet browser required to view the Crofting Register online?

No, most standard browsers can be used to view the Crofting Register online.

What is the fee for accessing the Crofting Register online and is any type of licence or registration required?

 There is no fee to access or view the Crofting Register online. No licence or registration is required and viewing of the Crofting Register will be anonymous.

Is there any guidance to help navigate around the online Crofting Register and what details will be shown.

The online Crofting Register is designed to be easy to operate and includes help tools. Detailed guidance on how to navigate around the online Crofting Register and what can be expected to be seen can be found in the site guidance notes on the Registers of Scotland website at  and via the site guidance notes on the home page of the online Crofting Register.

How will I know if the croft or common grazing that I am interested in is registered?

This information can be found by searching the online Crofting Register. If registered, the extent of the common grazing in which you are interested will be tinted pink on the Crofting Register map and Crofts will be edged red.

Will the Crofting Register depict items such as wind farms?

No, the Crofting Register's fundamental purpose is to show the spatial extent of a croft or common grazings/land held runrig and the relevant textual elements as specified in the Crofting Reform (Scotland) Act 2010. However, the Ordnance Survey will capture wind farm sites which will therefore be visible on the Crofting Register map.

Whom do I contact if I believe there is a problem with the online Crofting Register?

If users believe that there is a problem with the online Crofting Register then they should contact the Registers of Scotland online services support team who can be contacted on 0800 028 9296.

Can I request information from the Crofting Register and what fee is required?

The Crofting Register is free to search online. However if you require Registers of Scotland to do a search or supply information from the Crofting Register then a fee will be charged. Requests for information should be sent to the Crofting Register team at Registers of Scotland, Hanover House, 24 Douglas Street, Glasgow G2 7NQ or email Croftenquiries@ros.gov.uk. The required information will be sent along with an invoice for the appropriate fee. The fees are set out in The Registers of Scotland (Fees) Order 2014 and are included for reference below:

Requests for searches, reports, copies of documents or information

Electronic access to the Crofting Register

Nil

Search request submitted by email or letter

£8 plus VAT

Search request made in person at a Registers of Scotland Customer Service Centre

£12 plus VAT

Copy registration schedule of a croft, common grazing or land held runrig

£16 plus VAT

Office Copy of a registration schedule of a croft, common grazing or land held runrig

£30 plus VAT

How can the Crofting Register be accessed online?

The Crofting Register can be viewed via links on the Registers of Scotland and Crofting Commission websites and can also be accessed directly at http://www.crofts.ros.gov.uk/register/search. The Crofting Register is updated daily overnight.

After registration

Can Crofting Register entries be challenged?

Yes. Interested parties then have a 9 month period from the date that the Crofting Commission issue such notification in which to raise a challenge by applying to the Land Court.

Can an applicant apply for rectification of the Crofting Register?

Section 16 of the Crofting Reform (Scotland) Act sets out the instances in which rectification can be requested. Applications for rectification should be submitted RoS using the appropriate application form. No fee is required.

What happens if the Court orders the Registers of Scotland to rectify the Crofting Register?

If a successful challenge is made to the Court an order will be given to Registers of Scotland to rectify the Crofting Register. This will be done without the need for the original applicant to submit a further application and at no cost.

Is there a duty on the Registers of Scotland to indemnify someone who suffers a loss as a result of an inaccurate entry in the Crofting Register?

Section 18 of the Crofting Reform (Scotland) Act sets out the instances when the Keeper will indemnify someone who has suffered a loss.

Will Registers of Scotland handle disputes over crofting land?

No, challenges will be heard in the Scottish Land Court. It is in the interests of all parties that the scope for challenge is minimised to avoid unnecessary cost and inconvenience as challenges will involve all parties, including the person who submitted the application for registration. It is therefore recommended that crofters consult with their neighbours when preparing a plan for registration. Registers of Scotland will simply reflect the application that has been submitted via the Crofting Commission.