Long Leases Bill published

21 January 2012

The Scottish Parliament has published a bill that aims to convert extra-long leases into ownership. The proposals had been put forward in a report by the Scottish Law Commission and would cover all leases granted for more that 175 years which have more than 100 years left to run.
The purpose of the bill is to modernise and simplify an area of property law. A lease that is granted for a long period of time (and they could often be granted for a 999-year term, particularly in industrialised areas) is said to be equivalent to ownership in reality.  It is estimated that there are around 9,000 ultra-long leases in Scotland, often granted by landed estates. They appear to be concentrated in specific parts of the country, such as Alva, Ardrossan, Saltcoats, Stevenston and Wishaw. The key aim is to convert these long leases into ownership, and make provision to compensate the landlord. Some rights may be allowed to be preserved such as sporting rights. Certain leasehold conditions would become real burdens in the title deeds. Servitudes would also be included.
However, if the rent is over £100 per year or is in relation to a harbour, or was granted for purposes of installing and maintenance of pipes and cables, or relates to minerals, then the lease would not be caught by the Act. Typically, the amount of rent payable is often no more than £5 annually.
Environment Minister Stewart Stevenson said: "This Bill will simplify Scotland's land tenure system. Ultra-long leases are so long that the tenant is, in effect, the owner in all but name. This legislation will simplify property law and convert virtual ownership into actual ownership."
If you require more information about how these changes could affect you, please get in touch with Brian Inkster or Louise King.

Bookmark and Share



blog comments powered by Disqus

Related Information