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Legal insights & industry updates

| 2 minutes read

My top three tips for completing your application in the Register of Persons Holding a Controlled Interest in Land

The 1 April 2024 deadline for recording entries on the Register of Persons Holding a Controlled Interest in Land (RCI) is fast approaching. Therefore, it’s important from a legal practice perspective that your application goes smoothly. Failure to comply could lead to a £5000 financial penalty.

The RCI is governed by the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016 (Register of Persons Holding a Controlled Interest in Land) Regulations 2021 and has been introduced to provide transparency regarding who owns and makes significant decisions relating to land in Scotland. The RCI went live on 1 April 2022. However, due to the grace period implemented as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the register comes into effect as of 1 April 2024 for existing landowners and long lease-holding tenants (leases of more than 20 years). The acquisition of properties after this date will trigger registration in the RCI. Applications must be completed within 60 days.

I have successfully submitted my first application to the RCI recently, so here are my top tips to ensure your application is submitted successfully: 

1. Check if you need to register

Determining whether you need to register with the RCI can be tricky, especially in cases where trusts and overseas entities are involved. The Registers of Scotland has a useful RCI Support Tool to assist users in self-determining whether they have duties under the RCI Regulations to register their interest or not. The tool asks a series of questions and provides straightforward answers. 

2. Prepare a checklist of information required 

Preparing a checklist of all the information required prior to starting the application form will ensure that you have all the information in one place resulting in a smooth submission process. You can follow the checklist outline below: 

Details of the Recorded Person (the owner of property) required: 

  • Name and address 
  • Land details 
  • Registered number (companies only) 
  • Details of the capacity in which they hold the property

Details of Associates (individuals holding a controlling interest in the property) required: 

  • Name and address
  • Date their association started with the Recorded Person 
  • Date of birth (individuals only) or registered number (companies only)

3. Send your pre-submission Associate Verification Notice ASAP

Recorded Persons are required to send a pre-submission Associate Verification Notice to each Associate to verify their details. This notice itself does not need to be submitted with the application, but the details contained within need to be accurate and an application cannot be made to the RCI without all the required notices being completed and returned by the Associates. This can be the main reason for delay in registering within the RCI. Therefore, delays can be prevented by sending this notice out to the Associates as soon as possible, giving yourself ample time to submit the application. 

If you think you require assistance in determining whether you are required to register in the RCI as a Recorded Person or an Associate, please contact our commercial property team and we can assist you with this and any subsequent application. 


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