Scottish land owners must register interest or risk £5,000 fine

Scottish owners and long-term tenants of land or property may need to submit an entry to a new register or risk a £5,000 fine, the Scottish government has warned.

The register, launched on 1 April 2022, is designed to provide clarity over who controls land in Scotland.

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The Register of Persons Holding a Controlled Interest in Land (RCI) aims to improve transparency about who ultimately makes decisions about the management or use of land, even if they are not necessarily registered as the owner.

Individuals and organisations are being urged to check if they are legally required to submit to the register before the deadline of 1 April 2024, which marks the end of the transition period, after which point they could risk being fined.

Rural affairs secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “Who owns and controls Scotland’s land and property matters, which is why we launched the Register of Persons Holding a Controlled Interest in Land in April 2022.

“The register was designed to provide greater transparency over who has control over decision-making in relation to land and property, and the two-year transitional period to make an entry is now coming to an end.

“Non-compliance will become a criminal offence as of 1 April 2024, which means those in scope who should be on the register but have not met the deadline could risk a fine of up to £5,000.”

For landowners unsure of whether they need to submit an entry, the Registers of Scotland website offers guidance.