Web money

More transparency on land ownership in Scotland

The Scottish Government is introducing a new register of people with a controlling interest (RCI) in land on 1 April 2022, which is part of its commitment to improving transparency and will be free to access.

This public registry provides key information on who ultimately makes decisions about land management or use, even if they are not necessarily registered as owners, including foreign entities and trusts.

The information will enable individuals and communities to identify and engage with those who make decisions about the lands that affect them.

The RCI is a register of persons who own or rent (under a emphyteutic lease of more than 20 years) land, including legal persons.

Registrations come from the registered person, who is required to disclose persons who have significant influence or control over decisions relating to the land, called partners. Sanctions for non-compliance will take effect at the end of a 12-month transition period in April 2023.

Fight against money laundering

The Scottish Government has fully supported measures to improve transparency of land ownership, including the Register of Foreign Entities (ROE) which is introduced by the UK Government’s Economic Crime Act 2022. The ROE will apply to any legal entity governed by the law of a country other than the UK, but which owns land in the UK. While the objective of the RCI focuses on transparency of land ownership, the ROE aims to combat illegal activities such as money laundering by increasing transparency on the beneficial owners of land.

March 15, 2022

Economic Crime Bill receives Royal Assent

The new Economic Crimes (Transparency and Enforcement) Act received Royal Assent today, March 15, following an accelerated passage through Parliament.

Environment and Agrarian Reform Minister Mairi McAllan MSP said there can no longer be categories of landowners or tenants where, intentionally or not, decision-making control is obscured, including in or through trusts or foreign entities. The new register will make Scotland a forerunner in Europe and offer greater transparency than any other part of the UK. It allows the public to look behind land ownership and identify those who ultimately make the decisions.

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