Publication - Advice and guidance

Right to Buy Land to Further Sustainable Development: easy read version for community groups

Published: 31 Aug 2020

A short guide for community groups giving details of the steps required to be undertaken when submitting an application under Part 5 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016.

Right to Buy Land to Further Sustainable Development: easy read version for community groups
Step 1 – Compliance

Step 1 – Compliance

This step can be done well in advance of any application, and is worth doing as soon as possible, even before you have tried to buy the land or the tenant's interest or carried out your ballot.

First of all you must ensure that your community body itself is compliant with the Act. You can send your articles of association, constitution or registered rules to the Community Land Team and we will work with you to ensure that they are compliant with the Act.

There are four types of valid structures that your group can take:

  • Company Limited by Guarantee (CLBG) – Regulated by Companies House.
  • Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) – Regulated by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR).
  • Community Benefit Company (BenCom) – Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
  • A Body Corporate (only if you plan to nominate a third party purchaser).

To comply with the Act, there are some requirements that the constitutional documents for the community body must provide for, and there are model templates on the Scottish Government website to help you ensure compliance. You will need to register with the relevant regulatory body and receive confirmation from that body that the community body has been set up correctly.

Once your community body has been set up, if Ministers are satisfied that the main purpose of your body is consistent with furthering the achievement of sustainable development, they will confirm this in writing. You cannot submit an application without this letter, nor can you take the steps prior to an application meaning you cannot submit any requests to a landowner or tenant to transfer their land or interest and you cannot carry out a ballot for the purposes of right to buy.