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Community Right to Buy (Scotland) Act 2018 1

MODEL
SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT

Community Right to Buy (Scotland) Bill


SP Bill 62

(as introduced)

An Act of the Scottish Parliament to amend the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 in relation to the
community right to buy; to provide for a right of community bodies to buy land for the purpose of
furthering sustainable development; and for connected purposes.

PART 1
OVERVIEW OF THIS ACT

1 Overview of this Act


In this Act—
Part 2 provides for bodies representing communities to have a right to purchase land
with which those communities have a connection, if the purchase is in the interests
of sustainable development;
Part 3 makes related amendments to the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 to provide
for the extension of the existing community right to buy, and makes other general
provision.

PART 2
COMMUNITY RIGHT TO BUY

Core provisions

2 The community right to buy


(1) A reference in this Part to the community right to buy is a reference to the right under this
Part of a community body to buy land.
(2) The community right to buy arises on the day an application by the community body is
entered into the Register of Applications by Community Bodies to Buy Land.
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3 Community bodies
(1) In this Part, “community body” means—
(a) a community body, as defined in section 34 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003,
(b) a body of another description specified in regulations made by the Scottish Ministers.
(2) Regulations under this section are subject to the affirmative procedure.

4 Register of Applications by Community Bodies to Buy Land


(1) The Keeper must set up and keep a register, to be known as the Register of Applications by
Community Bodies to Buy Land (“the Register”).
(2) The Register is to be set up and kept so as to contain the following information and
documents in relation to each application by a community body to exercise the community
right to buy under this Part registered in it—
(a) the name of the body which applied,
(b) the address of the registered or principal office of the body which applied,
(c) a copy of the application to exercise the community right to buy,
(d) a copy of the Keeper’s notice under section 10(1),
(e) a copy of each of the notices under section 13(1)(b),
(f) the documents sent to the Keeper under section 13(2),
(g) if given, a copy of each notice given under section 14, and
(h) such other information as the Scottish Ministers consider appropriate.
(3) Where a community body changes its name or its registered or principal address, it must
notify the Keeper of that change as soon as reasonably practicable after the change is made.
(4) The Keeper must ensure—
(a) the Register is kept in a form convenient for public inspection,
(b) that, at all reasonable times, the Register is available for public inspection free of
charge,
(c) that members of the public are given facilities for, on the payment of such charges as
the Scottish Ministers may by regulations specify, obtaining copies and, if a person so
requests, certified copies of entries in the Register.
(5) A copy so certified is sufficient evidence of the original.
(6) In this Part, “the Keeper” means—
(a) the Keeper of the Registers of Scotland,
(b) such other person as the Scottish Ministers may appoint to carry out the Keeper’s
functions under this Part.
(7) Different persons may be appointed for different purposes.

5 Land
(1) In this Part, “land”—
(a) includes—
(i) bridges and other structures built on or over land,
(ii) inland waters,
(iii) canals,
(iv) the foreshore, being the land between the high and low water marks of
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ordinary spring tides, and


(v) salmon fishings in inland waters or mineral rights which are owned
separately from the land in respect of which they are exigible,
(b) does not include land consisting of any other separate tenement which is owned
separately from the land in respect of which it is exigible.
(2) In paragraph (a)(v) of subsection (1), “mineral rights” does not include rights to oil, coal,
gas, gold, or silver.
(3) In this Part, “inland waters” has the meaning given by section 69(1) of the Salmon and
Freshwater Fisheries (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 2003.

6 Eligible land
(1) The community right to buy can arise only in respect of eligible land.
(2) Eligible land is any land other than excluded land.
(3) In subsection (2), “excluded land” means—
(a) land on which there is a building or other structure which is an individual’s home,
unless the building or structure is occupied by an individual under a tenancy,
(b) croft land, within the meaning of section 68(2) of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act
2003,
(c) land which is owned or occupied by the Crown by virtue of its having vested as
bona vacantia in the Crown, or its having fallen to the Crown under ultima haeres,
(e) land of such other descriptions or classes as the Scottish Ministers may by
regulations specify.
(4) Regulations under subsection (3)(e) may provide for land pertaining to land mentioned in
subsection (3) to be excluded land.
(5) Regulations under this section are subject to the affirmative procedure.

Applications to exercise and consent

7 Application to exercise the right to buy


(1) The community right to buy is exercised by a community body applying to the Keeper in
writing for the Keeper to create an entry in the Register in respect of the application.
(2) Such an application—
(a) must be made in such form as the Scottish Ministers may require,
(b) must specify—
(i) the owner of the land,
(ii) where the application is to buy a tenant’s interest, the tenant, and
(iii) any creditor in a standard security over the land or any part of it, and
(c) must be accompanied by such information about the matters mentioned in
subsection (3) as the Scottish Ministers may by regulations specify.
(3) The matters are—
(a) the reasons the community body considers that its proposals for the land satisfy the
sustainable development conditions in section 8,
(b) the locations and boundaries of the land the body seeks to buy in exercise of the right,
(c) all rights and interests in the land known to the community body,
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(d) the proposed use, development, and management of the land.


(4) A community body must, at the same time as it applies, send a copy of its application and
the accompanying information to—
(a) the owner of the land,
(b) where the application is to buy a tenant’s interest, the tenant, and
(c) where there is a standard security in relation to the land, the creditor.
(5) On receiving an application, the Keeper must notify the Scottish Ministers and send a copy
of the application and the accompanying information to them.
(6) The Keeper must not enter the application into the Register unless the Scottish Ministers
consent to the application under this Part.

8 Exercise of the right to buy: sustainable development conditions


(1) The Scottish Ministers must not consent to an application to exercise the right to buy unless
they are satisfied that the sustainable development conditions are met.
(2) The sustainable development conditions are met if—
(a) the transfer of the land is likely to further the achievement of sustainable
development in relation to the land,
(b) the transfer of the land is in the public interest,
(c) the transfer of the land—
(i) is likely to result in significant benefit to the community to which the body
making the application relates, and
(ii) is the only practicable, or the most practicable, way of achieving that
significant benefit, and
(d) not granting consent to the application is likely to result in harm to that community.
(3) In considering whether the transfer of the land is likely to result in significant benefit or, as
the case may be, significant harm, the Scottish Ministers are to have regard, in particular, to
the effect of the transfer on the persons comprising the community to which the community
body relates with reference to the following considerations—
(a) economic development,
(b) regeneration,
(c) public health,
(d) social wellbeing, and
(e) environmental wellbeing.

9 Exercise of the right to buy: procedural requirements


(1) The Scottish Ministers must not consent to an application to exercise the right to buy unless
they are satisfied that the procedural requirements have been complied with.
(2) The procedural requirements have been complied with if—
(a) the community body has, before the period of 6 months ending with the day on
which the application was made, submitted a written request to the owner of the
land to transfer the land to the community body and the owner has not responded or
has not agreed to the request,
(b) the land to which the application relates is eligible land,
(c) the owner is accurately identified in the application,
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(d) any creditor in standard security over the land (or any part of the land) is accurately
identified in the application, and
(e) the community the community body relates to has a relevant connection with the land.
(3) For the purposes of subsection (2)(e), a community has a relevant connection with the land
if either—
(a) a significant number of the members of the community have a connection,
(b) the land is sufficiently near to land with which those members of the community
have a connection, or
(c) the land is in or sufficiently near to the area comprising that community.

Registration of application

10 Registration of application
(1) If the Keeper enters an application to exercise the community right to buy into the Register,
the Keeper must notify—
(a) the community body whose application was registered, and
(b) each of the persons mentioned in section 7(4).
(2) In this Part, the “transfer period” means the period of 6 months beginning with the day the
Keeper provides notice to the community body under this section.
(3) If, at the expiry of the transfer period, the body’s exercise of the community right to buy
is not completed, that right of the body in relation to the land to which the application
relates is extinguished.
(4) For the purposes of subsection (3), the community body’s exercise of the right to buy is
completed when the land to which the application relates is transferred under this Part.

11 Prohibition of transfer
(1) No person may during the transfer period, except in accordance with section 13 or 14,
transfer or cause to be transferred any land in relation to which the Keeper has registered
an application to exercise the right to buy.
(2) Any contract or instrument purporting to do so is void.

Completion of exercise of right to buy

12 Preparation of documents
It is the duty of the community body to expeditiously prepare any such documents and
deeds necessary to—
(a) effect the transfer of the land to it,
(b) impose any conditions the Scottish Ministers may require to be imposed on the title
to the land.

13 Completion with the co-operation of the land owner


(1) A community body’s exercise of the community right to buy is completed if—
(a) the body and the owner of the land execute the documents mentioned in section 11
as necessary to effect the transfer of the land, and
(b) the body and the owner notify the Scottish Ministers and the Keeper within 7 days
of those documents being executed.
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(2) A community body must send a copy of the documents so executed to the Keeper for the
Keeper to enter into the Register.

14 Completion without the co-operation of the land owner


(1) This section applies where a community body in good faith contacts, or attempts to contact,
the owner of the land with the intention of completing the body’s exercise of the right to buy
under section 12, but—
(a) the owner cannot be located,
(b) the owner does not respond or refuses to so complete the exercise of the right to buy,
(c) the owner otherwise fails to so complete the exercise of the right to buy within 6
weeks of the body’s contact with or attempt to contact the owner being made.
(2) The Scottish Ministers must, within 7 days of this section applying in relation to an
application, appoint a person to be a valuer who appears to them to—
(a) be suitably qualified to be so appointed,
(b) be independent, and
(c) have knowledge and experience of the valuing of the type of land or interests to
which the application relates.
(3) The valuer is not to act on behalf of the owner of the land or the community body.
(4) The valuer is not to act as an arbiter.
(5) The valuer must determine the market value of the land, that is to say the price the land
might reasonably be expected to achieve in a sale on the open market between two parties
who are, as respects the transaction, willing.
(6) The valuer must notify the Scottish Ministers, the community body, and the owner of the
land of the market value the valuer has determined.
(7) The owner of the land may appeal against the valuation by summary application to the
sheriff before the expiry of the period of 14 days beginning with the day the valuer notifies
the owner.
(8) On the expiry of the period mentioned in subsection (7), the community body must—
(a) consign into the Lands Tribunal a sum of money equal to the value of the land (as
that value stands following any appeal), or
(b) notify the Scottish Ministers that the body does not intend to complete its exercise
of the community right to buy.
(9) The Lands Tribunal may, if it is satisfied as to the sum of money consigned into it and on
the application of the community body, authorise its clerk to adjust, execute, and deliver
such deeds or other documents as will complete the transfer of the land to the same force
and effect as if done by the owner of the land.
(10) If it so authorises its clerk, the Lands Tribunal must, on the execution of the deeds and
other documents, release to the owner of the land the sum of money consigned into it by
the community body.
(11) If the community body notifies the Scottish Ministers under subsection (8)(b), they must—
(a) direct that the community body’s right to buy the land is extinguished, and
(b) notify the owner of the land and the Lands Tribunal.
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Financial assistance for community purchase

15 Power to give financial assistance for community purchase


(1) The Scottish Ministers may pay to a community body such money as they consider will
enable the body to complete a purchase of land in exercise of the body’s community right
to buy.
(2) That money may be paid—
(a) subject to such conditions as the Scottish Ministers consider appropriate, and
(b) in the form of a grant or a loan.

PART 3
GENERAL

Extension of the community rights to buy

16 The 2003 Act


In this Part, “the 2003 Act” means the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003.

17 Community bodies: charitable incorporations and community benefit societies


(1) In the 2003 Act, section 34 (community bodies) is amended as follows.
(2) In subsection (1), for the words from “a company” to “include” substitute—
“a body of a type mentioned in subsection (2A) which has a written constitution which
includes”
(3) In subsection (1), in all places where it occurs, for “the company” substitute “the body”.
(4) After subsection (2), insert—
“(2A) The types of body mentioned in this subsection are—
(a) a company limited by guarantee;
(b) a Scottish charitable incorporated organisation (an “SCIO”);
(c) a community benefit society.
(2B) In relation to those types of bodies, a reference to a “written constitution” is to be
read as a reference to—
(a) for a company limited by guarantee, the company’s articles of association;
(b) for an SCIO, the SCIO’s constitution;
(c) for a community benefit society, the society’s registered rules.”
(5) For subsection (3), substitute—
“(3) In subsections (2A) and (2B)—
“community benefit society” means a registered society (within the meaning of
section 1 of the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014)
registered as a community benefit society under section 2 of that Act;
“company limited by guarantee” has the meaning given by section 3(3) of the
Companies Act 2006;
“registered rules” has the meaning given in section 149 of the Co-operative and
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Community Benefit Societies Act 2014 (as that meaning applies in relation to
community benefit societies);
“Scottish charitable incorporated organisation” has the meaning given by section
49 of the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005.”
(6) In subsection (7), for the words “articles of a company which is a community body”
substitute “written constitution of a body which is a community body”.

18 Criteria for registration of community interest in land


In section 38 of the 2003 Act (criteria for registration), for subsection (1)(b) substitute—
“(b) that the acquisition of the land by the community body to which the application
relates is compatible with furthering the achievement of sustainable development,
and that—
(i) a significant number of the members of the community have a connection
with the land;
(ii) the land is sufficiently near land with which those members of the community
have a connection;
(iii) the land is in or sufficiently near to the area of the community by reference to
which the community is defined in section 34(5)(a); or
(iv) the land is in or sufficiently near the area of the community to which the body
relates,”

Interpretation

19 “Lands Tribunal”
In this Act, “Lands Tribunal” means the Lands Tribunal for Scotland.

Short title and commencement

20 Commencement
This Act comes into force on the day after Royal Assent.

21 Short title
The short title of this Act is the Community Right to Buy (Scotland) Act 2018.