Scottish Government
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Long leases consultation launched

Plans to convert long lease properties into ownership are being put out to consultation, Community Safety Minister Fergus Ewing announced today.

The proposed changes, which would be introduced through a Long Leases (Scotland) Bill, could affect 9,000 long leases in certain parts of the country. Long leases tended to be granted by large estates, often between 1770 to 1860, to encourage the industrialisation of Scotland.


Mr Ewing said:
"Property law has been updated in recent years and our proposals would mark the final stage of property law reform in Scotland.
"Long leases were a feature of a very different part of this country's history - the industrial revolution. We believe the time is right to seek views on converting very long leases into ownership, with appropriate compensation for landlords."

Subject to the response to the consultation and the availability of parliamentary time, the Scottish Government intends to introduce a Long Leases (Scotland) Bill in the current Parliament.

Very long leases tended to be granted by large estates, often between 1770 to 1860, to encourage the industrialisation of Scotland. They were often for 999 years and tend to be concentrated in particular parts of Scotland. The Scottish Government is aware of very long leases in Alva, Ardrossan, Blairgowrie, Saltcoats, Stevenson and Wishaw.

Leases would be eligible to convert to ownership so long as they were granted for more than 175 years; have more than 100 years to run and the tenant does not opt out. Compensation and additional payments would be payable to landlords. We estimate that there are around 9,000 long leases in Scotland which would be eligible to convert into ownership under the Bill.

The consultation is based on recommendations made by a Scottish Law Commission (SLC) Report of December 2006 on the conversion of long leases to ownership.

The SLC is established by statue to promote law reform. It recommends ways of simplifying, updating and improving the law of Scotland.

The SLC report on long leases completes a detailed review of the structure of land law in Scotland. Previous SLC reports resulted in:
  • The Abolition of Feudal Tenure etc. (Scotland) Act 2000
  • The Title Conditions (Scotland) Act 2003
  • The Tenements (Scotland) Act 2004
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