More Property Law Reform as Long Leases (Scotland) Bill Introduced

11 November 2010

The Scottish Government has embarked on yet more property law reform today with the introduction of a Bill which, if enacted, will convert long leases which fall into certain categories into ownership. Historically, certain types of transactions sometimes lead to a long lease over land being granted rather than the full right of ownership. These long leases tended to be granted by large estates between 1750 and 1930 and were intended to encourage industrialisation. As many of the leases were for 999 years, many of them are still in existence today.
The Scottish Government’s rationale behind the Bill is that the grant of a very long lease is effectively a grant of ownership.
If the Bill is passed in its current firm, tenants who hold their properties on long leases which are for more than 175 years and on which there is more than 100 years to run will find that they automatically become owner of the property on a certain day. This day will fall just over 2 years after the Bill is enacted. To qualify, the lease would have to be registered in the Land Register of Scotland. As the Bill stands, tenants will be able to opt out of the conversion of their lease and, in certain circumstances, compensation will be payable to landlords.
Inksters’ Brian Inkster can advise on all areas of landlord and tenant law. He can be contacted on 0141 229 0880 or why not send Brian an e-mail.

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