The 2018 Crofting Census will be issued on Monday 7 January 2019.
The Crofters (Scotland) Act 1993 stipulates all crofting tenants and owner-occupier crofters have a legal obligation to complete and return their census form to the Crofting Commission.
Rod Mackenzie, Convener, said: “Last year saw a 14% decrease in the number of forms returned whereas in previous years the percentage was increasing.
“There may be various reasons why there was a dip in returns but even if folk don’t have any new information to put into the census form it must still be signed and returned to the Commission.”
Crofters have until 31 March 2019 to return their forms.
“If people don’t engage with us that could suggest they are not complying with their duties and the Commission may then start to take steps to investigate if there is a non-compliance which can result in either their tenancy being terminated, or for owner-occupier crofters, letting the tenancy of the croft.”
In the last year, the Commission has contacted around 300 crofters who have not been complying with their duties, many of whom have now resolved their situation in one of the several ways that can be agreed with the Commission
- 2016 census saw 17,471 census forms issued and 13,315 forms returned.
- 2017 census saw 19,211 forms issued to 18,040 crofts and 11,960 forms returned. The reason for the increase in the number of forms issued was in previous years one form was issued per croft, whereas 2017 saw one form being issued to each crofter (there can be more than one owner-occupier crofter when the whole croft is jointly owned)
- Duties leaflet and how non-compliance can be resolved can be found on our website. http://www.crofting.scotland.gov.uk/userfiles/file/regulatory_forms_and_guidance/crofters_duties/Duties-of-a-Crofter-Leaflet.pdf