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Conversion of ultra-long leases into ownership

This advice applies to Scotland

In certain parts of Scotland, some property was held by tenants on ultra-long leases. On 28 November 2015, these ultra-long leases converted into ownership. This was part of the Scottish Government’s programme to simplify the land tenure system in Scotland.

The Scottish Government estimated that there were around 9000 ultra-long leases in Scotland that were affected by the Long Leases (Scotland) Act 2012. These included residential and non-residential leases. Leases qualified under the Act had to:

  • be registered in the Register of Sasines or the Land Register
  • have been originally granted for a term of more than 175 years
  • have had more than 175 years of the term to run (if it is a non-residential lease)
  • have had more than 100 years of the term to run (if it is a residential lease)
  • have had an annual rent of less than £100/year.

Implications for tenants

Tenants were able to opt out of the conversion process by serving appropriate legal notice before 28 September 2015. 

In some circumstances, a tenant may have to pay compensation to the landlord for loss of rent.

If you need further information or advice you should contact a solicitor.

Implications for landlords

If you are a landlord who had a qualifying lease that had a variable rent which exceeded £100/year at any time in the 5 years prior to 28 November 2015, you were able to register a notice to exempt that lease from the conversion process.

A tenant may have to pay a landlord compensation for loss of rent. The amount of compensation is calculated by a formula set out in the legislation. A landlord who wants to make a claim for compensation must do so before 28 November 2017. If you need further information or advice you should contact a solicitor.

Further advice

Landlords and tenants who need further information about the conversion process of an ultra-long lease into ownership should contact a solicitor.

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