Register of Persons Holding A Controlled Interest in Land – A Summary

Established and maintained by Registers of Scotland this new public register will disclose who has significant influence or control over the owner or tenant (for more than 20 years) of land and property in Scotland, where this information may not be publicly transparent elsewhere.

Relevant legislation – Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016 (Register of Persons Holding a Controlled Interest in Land (Scotland) Regulations) 2021.

The Regulations place a responsibility on owners and tenants (for more than 20 years), to supply relevant information to the register from 1 April 2022 where there is someone with significant influence or control over the land or property and the information is not publicly available elsewhere. Information submitted will not be made publicly available until 30 days after submission. Therefore, importantly, the register will be unavailable for searching until 30 April 2022.

Schedule 2 of the Regulations details a list of exemptions from a duty to make such a submission where the information is already available elsewhere for example the Schedule has exemptions under headings of – Charitable incorporated associations, Companies and other bodies corporate, Public authorities, Partnerships other than general partnerships.

It is not envisaged that a search in this new register will be required for most conveyancing matters given the above, however it may be applicable for example in matters relating to Trusts, certain Partnerships, Unincorporated bodies and overseas legal entities.

Importantly the register is one of Persons not Land. Information will include details of the Owner or Tenant [the “Recorded Person”], details of the person who holds significant influence or control [the “Associate”] and the property details to which the entry relates. So far as we have seen the register is searchable in a number of ways.

In terms of ordering a report we envisage requiring Name of Owner or Tenant [whether an organisation or individual] and relevant Property Description [address, postcode, Title Number or Sasine description if known] to which the transaction relates or if other information is required this can be noted in Additional Information and be dealt with on a case by case basis.