Legal restrictions

1. Acquisition of immovable property by foreign persons/companies.

Are there any legal restrictions that affect a foreign citizen wishing to purchase an immoveable property? Does nationality play a role at all?

Are any permits required by a foreign citizen wishing to purchase a real estate property? Are these matters covered by the Land Registry Procedure?

If so, please describe the procedure and name the relevant authority that must grant approval.

There are no such restrictions in Scotland. All the Land Register requires is sufficient information to uniquely identify an individual, but no distinction is made between Scottish people and others, whether from other parts of the UK, Europe or beyond.

2. Acquisition of agricultural land: restrictions and limitations.

Are there any legal restrictions that affect a foreign citizen wishing to purchase an agricultural property? Is there any kind of limitation?

Are any permits required by a foreign citizen wishing to purchase an agricultural property? Are these matters covered by the Land Registry Procedure?

If so, please describe the procedure and name the relevant authority that must grant approval.

Are any permits required by a domestic citizen wishing to purchase an agricultural property? If so, please name the relevant authority that must grant approval.

There are no such restrictions in Scotland.

3. Acquisition of flat property: legal restrictions.

With regard to the purchase of flat property, are there any legal restrictions, such as approval by other apartment owners or by the management company responsible for the relevant property (stipulated in the statutes for example)? Are these matters covered by the Land Registry Procedure?

If so, please describe the procedure and name the relevant authority that must grant approval.

There are no such restrictions in Scotland.

4. Acquisition of immovable property in special areas (such as on the coast or near military-related sites or in national parks, in the mountains, etc.)

Is a permit required for the acquisition of real estate property in special areas (such as on the coast or near military-related sites or in national parks, mountains, etc.)? Is this part of the Land Registry Procedure?

If so, please describe the procedure and name the relevant authority that must grant approval.

No such permits are required in Scotland.

5. Acquisition of immovable property and listed monuments and memorials.

Is a special permit required for the acquisition of monuments or listed buildings?

If yes, please name the relevant authority that must grant approval.

Is this part of the Land Registry Procedure?

No such permits are required in Scotland. However, there are restrictions with regard to the use and maintenance of monuments and listed buildings. There are administered by separate government bodies but in some cases deeds are recorded in the General Register of Sasines or registered in the Land Register.

6. Planning Code and legal restrictions (pre-emption right; approval by the municipality or other authorities; splitting a land parcel).

Do your municipalities or the government have a special pre-emption right to property (i.e. a right of first option for the sale of a real estate property)? Does land division require a special permit?

If yes, please name the relevant authority that must grant approval.

Are these matters covered by the Land Registry Procedure?

Compulsory acquisition or purchase is the process whereby public bodies such as local authorities and government departments can acquire title to heritable property from private owners, without the owners’ consent, but only with the payment of appropriate compensation.

7. Land given by the municipality to domestic inhabitants: legal restrictions?.

Does your national law have a so-called «local residents model», i.e. the allocation of land by the municipality under the condition that the buyer is obliged to keep the land and not to move away for a specific number of years?

If yes, are there any legal restrictions for the purchaser?

In certain cases, houses owned by local authorities may be sold to the people renting them. In these cases, a discount may be offered on the purchase price on condition that the buyer must keep the property for a period of time (either 3 or 5 years depending on when the transaction occurred). If the buyer chooses to sell the property within that period, then a proportion of the discount must be repaid to the local authority.

8. Acquisition of immovable property and tax affairs.

Must the transfer tax be paid before or after the registration in the land register? Can the Land Registry carry out the real estate property registration without a certification from the tax office?

Land and buildings transaction tax (LBTT) is the tax applied to residential and commercial land and buildings transactions (including purchases and commercial leases) where a chargeable interest is acquired. LBTT is administered by Revenue Scotland with support from RoS. A registrable deed evidencing a land transaction which must be notified to Revenue Scotland must not be registered in any register maintained by RoS unless a) a land transaction return has been made in relation to the transaction, and b) any tax payable in respect of the transaction has been paid.

9. Destination of the land parcel and legal restrictions.

Does your national law have special legal restrictions that are already apparent from the description of the land parcel?

No.

10. Any other legal, very specific restrictions.

Does your national law have other, very specific legal restrictions that the Land Registry must observe?

If so, please describe the legal restrictions and their impact on the Land Registry procedure.

No.