Publication - Advice and guidance

Community right to buy abandoned, neglected or detrimental land: information leaflet for community bodies

Published: 31 Oct 2018

An overview of the community right to buy abandoned, neglected or detrimental land process for community bodies, landowners and other interested parties regarding applications.

Community right to buy abandoned, neglected or detrimental land: information leaflet for community bodies
Useful tips for landowners

Useful tips for landowners

1. The Community Right to Buy in Part 3A of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 relates to all land in Scotland. Some land, such as land on which there is an individual’s home, is ineligible. More details of ineligible land can be found in the full guidance.

2. An application under Part 3A does not stop a landowner from developing their land in any way, although if the right to buy is consented to, the owner will still have to sell to the community body.

3. If you are a member of the community body’s “community” as defined in their constitutional documents, you will have an opportunity to vote in a ballot that must be held no earlier than 6 months before the submission of the application.

4. Once received, this application results in a prohibition being put in place which prevents a landowner from taking steps to dispose of the land in the application to another party other than the community body which has submitted the application. This prohibition lasts for a period of time that is detailed in the Community Right to Buy Regulations (2018/201). However, there are a number of exempt transfers which can be made. It is worth noting that a registered community interest may provide a landowner with a willing buyer.

5. A community does not need to tell a landowner that it is setting up a community body, or that it is planning on submitting an application to register a community interest in land. However, the legislation requires that a community body must have tried and failed to buy the land before submitting an application, so they will be in touch at some point. Do not ignore this. Of course, there is nothing to stop a landowner from making contact with a community body to inquire on its activities.

6. Landowners are invited to comment on an application as part of the process set out in the Act. It is up to a landowner to decide if they wish to provide comments to Scottish Ministers.

7. There are appeal provisions which allow for the owner, community body, creditors in a standard security with a right to sell the land and members of the community to appeal the Scottish Ministers’ decision to consent or not consent to the community body’s application to exercise the right to buy.

8. If the application for the right to buy is consented to, then Scottish Ministers appoint an independent valuer to value the land. The valuation is at “market value” as set out in the Act, and both the owner and the CB have an opportunity to submit representations to the valuer as part of this process. The landowner and community body may also negotiate an alternative figure to be paid by the community body. They must inform the valuer of that fact, and, although the valuation process must proceed, it will be taken into account by the valuer. If the independent valuation is appealed, the price to be paid will be that determined by appeal to the Lands Tribunal for Scotland.

9. A community body has 6 months to purchase the registered land from date of Scottish Ministers consent to proceed with the purchase. Any extension to the “completion of purchase date” must be agreed between the landowner and the community body.

10. If a community body withdraws from a purchase or does not purchase within the agreed timeline, then the prohibition from selling the land is lifted and the landowner is free to dispose of the land as they see fit.

11. A community body’s application under the community right to buy ANDL, including Ministers’ decision notices, is made publicly available on the Register of Applications by Community Bodies to Buy Land at:

12. Guidance on the community right to buy ANDL is available at: /policies/land-reform/community-right-to-buy/

The Scottish Government’s Community Land Team will be happy to discuss the ANDL process with landowners and answer any questions that they may have. Contact details for the team are provided on the back cover of this booklet.


Email: Community Land Team