Community right to buy: guidance for applications made on or after 15 April 2016

Guidance for community bodies, landowners and creditors in a standard security with the right to buy the land and third parties with an interest in land to be registered under the community right to buy provisions.

Section 3: Guidance for Third Parties

3.1 Who is a third party?

1. A third party may be:

  • a member of the community defined by a Community Body ( CB) for the purposes
    of section 34(5) of the Act;
  • any person who has a known interest in the registered land and who would be
    willing to buy the land at a higher price than others may be expected to pay; or
  • a person who has a right of pre-emption, redemption, or reversion over the
    registered land.

3.2 Identifying your rights

2. Individuals with legal rights in or over land should be aware of their rights. You should consider the effects of a CB’s registered interest or its proceeding with its right to buy in relation to your rights. If details of your rights are contained on the Register of Sasines or the Land Register held by the Keeper of the Registers of Scotland ( RoS), they should appear on a CB’s application form to register an interest in the land. If the registration is approved, these details will then appear on the Register of Community Interests in Land ( RCIL). If these details are incorrect, you should inform the CB and the Community Land Team. Although there is no legislative requirement for you to do so, this may help to ensure you have your say in the community right to buy process.

3.3 Effect of the community right to buy on your rights

3. The effect the community right to buy on pre-emption, redemption, and reversion rights is set out in section 65 of the Act. Generally, any legal right you have in the registered land is likely to be suspended from the time an application to register interest in land is approved by Ministers and recorded in the Register of Community Interests in Land ( RCIL) until the transfer is completed or the registered interest is extinguished or removed. If the right to
buy does not proceed, any legal right you have in the registered land will be reinstated.

Member of the community

4. If you are a member of the community, defined by a CB (for the purposes of section 34(5) of the Act), you will be entitled to vote in ballot of the community, which is required to show support for exercising the right to buy. If you meet the criteria set out in section 34(5) of the Act, you should ensure that you have a right to vote in the CB’s ballot. If you discover that the ballot in which you had a right to vote has taken place without your knowledge, you should inform the Community Land Team.

Third party purchaser

5. The legislation also provides for third parties with certain other rights. For example,
if a CB is exercising its right to buy registered land and a valuer has been appointed, section 59(7)(a) of the Act requires the valuer to take account of the known existence of a person who may be willing to buy the land at a higher price than others might be expected to pay. You should therefore make yourself known to the valuer, whose details can be obtained from the Community Land Team, to ensure that your views are taken into account.

3.4 Appeals

6. As a third party, if you are a member of the defined community, you have a right to appeal against the Scottish Ministers’ (Ministers) decision to enter a community interest in the RCIL or to allow a CB to exercise its right to buy (under section 61(3) of the Act). Section 61(4) of the Act provides that appeals must be lodged within 28 days of the decision made by Ministers. Section 61(6) of the Act provides details of who must be informed of an appeal and by whom. The sheriff may instruct the RCIL to be altered and may impose conditions on those appealing. As the sheriff’s decision is final, it may over-rule any previous decision made by Ministers.

3.5 Providing information to Ministers

7. If you wish to provide information to Ministers which is pertinent to a CB’s application to register an interest in land or in relation to a CB exercising its right to buy, you should send this to the Community Land Team (contact details at Annex B). If the information is of a sensitive nature, for example, it concerns any alleged breach of the provisions of the Act, you can submit it in confidence. It will be treated as such by the Community Land Team, although you should be aware that it may still be made publicly available if requested under Freedom of Information legislation.

3.6 Compensation

8. If you or any person (other than a CB) have suffered loss or incurred expense arising from the operation of Part 2 of the Act, which is additional to costs normally incurred during a transaction of land and any moveable property, you may claim compensation. The circumstances in which compensation is payable are set out in section 63(1) of the Act.
The procedures for recovering costs are set out in the Community Right to Buy (Scotland) Regulations 2015 (see Annex B).

9. The payment of compensation, following the exercise of the CB’s right to buy, is restricted to the eight-month period allowed for the land to be transferred to a CB (section 63(3) of the Act). Any claim for compensation beyond that period does not fall within the scope of the Act.

10. Section 63(4) of the Act refers specifically to individual rights of pre-emption, redemption, and reversion. Any person who has incurred a loss or expense as regards these rights is entitled to compensation from Ministers.

11. A claimant is able to appeal to the Lands Tribunal for Scotland against the Ministers’ decision on compensation within 21 days of that decision being made (section 64 of the Act). The Lands Tribunal for Scotland may substitute its decision on the amount payable to that made by Ministers.

12. Annex B provides useful contacts to help you through the right to buy process. The Community Land Team cannot provide legal advice and must remain objective at all times:
its main role is to provide advice, on a case-by-case basis, to Ministers at various stages of the right to buy process. The Community Land Team can help you with any process-related questions you have.


Back to top