Publication - Advice and guidance

Community right to buy abandoned, neglected or detrimental land: full guidance

Published: 9 Nov 2018

Guidance in relation to Part 3A of Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 intended to support communities through the right to buy process from initial identification of land to the completion of a purchase.

Community right to buy abandoned, neglected or detrimental land: full guidance
1.11. Mediation

1.11. Mediation

Interested parties may request Ministers to take such steps as they consider appropriate for the purpose of arranging, or facilitating, the arrangement of mediation in relation to the proposed exercise of the Part 3A right to buy (i.e. once an application has been submitted).

1.11.1. The interested parties that may make the request to Ministers are: the owner of the land; any creditor in a standard security with the right to sell the land in the land or any part of the land and the Part 3A CB (section 97Z1(3) of the Act refers). These parties may request Ministers to appoint a mediator; make payments to mediators in respect of services provided; and reimburse reasonable expenses of mediators.

1.11.2. You should contact the Community Land Team in the Scottish Government if you have any questions relating to mediation.

What happens after Ministerial consent is given?

Valuation

1.11.3. Where Ministers' grant consent to an application, they have 7 days in which to appoint an independent valuer (section 97S of the Act). Any delay to appoint the valuer within the specified time will not affect the validity of the valuation (section 97S(2) of the Act).

1.11.4. The Act specifies that the valuer must be a person who appears to Ministers to be suitably qualified, independent and to have knowledge and experience of valuing land of a kind which is similar to the land that the Part 3A CB is seeking to purchase (section 97S(1) of the Act). The cost of this valuation is met by Ministers (section 97S(7) of the Act).

1.11.5. The aim of the independent valuation is to ensure that the landowner receives a fair price, the "market value" for the land. The definition of "market value" is set out at section 97S(5) of the Act. The valuation will consist of a sum of the value of:

  • the open market value if the sale were between a willing seller and a willing buyer;
  • any depreciation in the value of other land, tenants' interests and other interests belonging to the seller as a result of the transfer of the land; and
  • the amount attributable to any disturbance to the seller resulting from the transfer of the land.

1.11.6. In arriving at the open market value, the valuation may take into account the known existence of a potential purchaser who would be willing to pay a higher price for the property because of a characteristic of the land that relates peculiarly to that purchaser's interest in the property (other than the Part 3A CB) (section 97S(6) of the Act). No account shall be taken in that assessment of the fact that no time was allowed for marketing the property or of depreciation of other land or disturbance to the seller.

1.11.7. The appointed valuer does not act for the parties involved in the purchase. They will act as an expert and not as an arbiter. The valuer will invite both the Part 3A CB and the landowner to make written representations about the value of the land (section 97S(8)(a) of the Act). If the valuer receives any such representation, counter-representations will then be invited from the other party. The valuer will consider all written views when considering the value of the land (section 97S(10) of the Act).

1.11.8. If the Part 3A CB and the landowner have come to an agreement on the valuation of the land, they must notify the valuer in writing of that agreed valuation.

1.11.9. The valuer has 8 weeks from the date of their appointment (or longer if agreed by Ministers, section 97S(13) of the Act), to notify Ministers, the landowner and the Part 3A CB of their assessment of the value of the land. The validity of the transfer of the land is not affected by the failure of the valuer to comply with this time limit (section 97S(14) of the Act). The price to be paid for the land is the valuation price provided by the valuer or if the valuation figure is appealed, the price determined by the Lands Tribunal (section 97W of the Act).

Appeals against the valuation

1.11.10. Should the landowner or the Part 3A CB disgree with the valuation, an appeals process is available (section 97W of the Act). Appeals against the valuation are made to the Lands Tribunal for Scotland. An appeal may be made within 21 days of the intimation of the valuation (section 97W(2) of the Act). The party that lodges the appeal must, within 7 days of making the appeal, inform Ministers in writing of the date of the making of the appeal and the date of the making of the appeal (section 97W(8) of the Act).

1.11.11. The Lands Tribunal may reassess the value of the land (section 97W(3) of the Act). The valuer may be called as a witness in the appeal proceedings (section 97W(4) of the Act). The Lands Tribunal must give reasons for its decision on the appeal and must issue a written statement of these reasons within 8 weeks of the hearing of the appeal (section 97W(5) of the Act), or, if the Lands Tribunal considers that 8 weeks is not reasonable, at a later date which the parties of the appeal are informed of in advance (section 97W(6) of the Act). The validity of the Lands Tribunal's decision is not affected by its failure to comply with the time limits set out in the Act (section 97W(7) of the Act).

1.11.12. The valuation determined by the Lands Tribunal is the price that the Part 3A CB will have to pay to purchase the land. It should be noted that Ministers are not a competent party to any appeal on the valuation as they only appoint the valuer (section 97W(11) of the Act).


Contact

Email: Community Land Team