Register of Persons Holding a Controlled Interest in Land – Does this apply to you?

Register of Persons Holding a Controlled Interest in Land

As part of its long commitment to improve transparency of land ownership, the Scottish Government has introduced a new Register of Persons Holding a Controlled Interest in Land (RCI). The RCI is aimed at improving transparency on who has significant control or influence over the owner or tenant (of a long lease of more than 20 years) relating to property in Scotland.

Are you in scope?

Not all owners and tenants of Scottish properties will need to make a submission to the RCI. Generally, if you are the owner or tenant of land in Scotland, you will also be the person who makes decisions about that land. In most of these cases, there will be no need to submit an entry to the RCI.

However, when there is someone behind the scenes, who is not named on the title deed or lease, who has significant influence or control over the owner/tenant (known as a controlled interest), then an entry is required. Examples of this include:

  • where an individual owns or leases property and another person has significant influence or control over decisions about what that person does with the land; or
  • a partnership owns or leases property and a general partner who is not noted on the registered title/lease but is entitled to make governance decisions or has the right to appoint or remove any partners of the partnership; or
  • where land is owned or leased on behalf of a trust, and a person who is not noted on the registered title/lease but is entitled to direct the distribution of assets or funds; appoint or remove trustees or can significantly influence or control the decision-making of the trust without holding a formal governance position; or
  • where land is owned or leased on behalf of an unincorporated association and a person who is not noted on the registered title/lease but who is responsible for the general control and management of the administration of the unincorporated association (e.g. an office bearer); or
  • an overseas entity, owns or leases property and an individual directly or indirectly holds more than 25% of the voting rights in the overseas entity or directly or indirectly holds the power to appoint or remove a majority of the board of directors in the overseas entity.

Are you exempt?

Those who are subject to other transparency regimes, are not subject to the RCI. This includes Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations (SCIOs), UK companies, Limited Liability Partnerships, cooperative or community benefit societies and public authorities.

What next?

If you fall within the scope and are not currently exempt then you must register by 1 April 2024.

After 1 April 2024, if an owner or a tenant of a long lease acquires a controlled interest, an entry must be made to the RCI within 60 days of acquiring the controlled interest. Similarly, if there are any changes to an entry, then this updated information must be submitted to the RCI within 60 days of the change taking place.

If you think you fall within the scope of requiring to register in the RCI, you can register yourself using Register of Scotland’s online services.  Alternatively, contact us for help on making a submission.

Tel: 01463 239393

Email: corra.irwin@macandmac.co.uk

This Briefing has been produced for information purposes only and is based on the law and other information available at the time of writing. We cannot be held responsible for any losses incurred through acting or failing to act on the basis of anything contained in this Briefing.

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