Ten points on the Community Right to Buy
1. The Community Right to Buy in Part 2 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 relates to all land in Scotland (including certain salmon fishing and mineral rights), unless it is excluded land, that is, certain separate "tenements" which are owned separately from the land, such as the right to gather mussels and oysters.
2. The Community Right to Buy may only be exercised by a properly constituted community body, that is a company limited by guarantee ( CLBG), a Scottish charitable incorporated organisation ( SCIO) or a community benefit society (BenCom). The community body must have a minimum of 10 members, three-quarters being from the defined community body's "community". A community body must demonstrate that its main purpose, within its articles of association, constitution, or registered rules as appropriate, is consistent with furthering the achievement of sustainable development.
3. CBs should send their articles of association, constitution, or registered rules (depending upon the type of body formed) to Ministers to check that they comply with the legislative requirements, before an application to register a community interest in land is submitted to Ministers. Ministers must confirm in writing that they are satisfied that the main purpose of the CB is consistent with furthering the achievement of sustainable development.
4. It is a decision of Ministers whether to register a community interest in land.
5. A community body's registration of a community interest in land is made publicly available on the Register of Community Interests in Land ( RCIL).
6. An approved registration of a community interest in land lasts for 5 years from the date of ministerial approval. Ministers will notify the community body 12 months before the registered interest is due to expire. Community bodies have an opportunity to apply to re-register that interest for a further 5 years. This option can roll on indefinitely.
7. The Community Right to Buy is a pre-emptive right to buy and requires a willing seller. The right to buy is activated when the owner or creditor wishes to sell or transfer the registered land or any part of it.
8. The value of the land will be assessed by an independent valuer, paid for by Ministers. The price to be paid shall be: (i) by agreement between the community body and landowner, (ii) the price stated by the independent valuer, or (iii) the price stated by the Lands Tribunal after the Ministers' valuation has been appealed.
9. The community body has 8 months to complete the purchase from the date it confirms it intends to exercise its right to buy. An extension to this date must be agreed between the owner and the community body.
10. There are appeal provisions which allow for the community body, owner and interested parties to raise objections to Ministers' decisions. Those wishing to appeal these decisions have to submit their appeal within 28 days of the Ministers' decision to a local Sheriff. If the appeal relates to a valuation, an appeal should be submitted within 21 days of its notification to the Lands Tribunal for Scotland.