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Changes to Scottish property law

13th January 2012

The introduction of a new piece of legislation, the Long Leases (Scotland) Bill, should end the practice of virtually endless leases on properties in Scotland.

The Scottish Law Commission has announced its intention to convert homes which are currently subject to an ‘ultra-long’ lease into ownership. With the properties affected by the change leased for over 175 years and still having more than 100 years remaining, it is hoped the legislation will ensure Scotland’s overcomplicated land occupancy system is made more straightforward.

Landlords who own the ultra-long lease buildings will be compensated for any losses they incur, but have been warned this will only be relative to the amount of money they stand to lose. Due to the low rents usually associated with long leases, it is therefore expected that most will not receive any more than £200.

There had been concern surrounding the fact that, due to the archaic nature of existing property law and the relatively small number of homes falling under the definition of a long lease, those new to solicitor jobs in Scotland would be insufficiently versed in how to handle any land disputes which may arise.