The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 four months on…

Published September 12, 2016

The latest provisions of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 have now been in force for over four months. The right for a community to buy land (having registered its interest in the Register of Community Interests in Land (RCIL)) has been extended across Scotland.

The extension of the right to all areas in Scotland means that the possibility of a community interest will now have to be considered in all property sales. A search in the RCIL has now become an essential component, to check whether the land is affected by an interest, as the sale could activate a Community Body’s right of first refusal.

It is not always the case that a landowner will be made aware of the registration of such an interest, and subsequently we are finding that more firms are requesting a search in the RCIL, as a matter of course, for most property transactions. With all land potentially now affected by the community right to buy, some of our customers have requested a change to the way they order a search on MBOnline, making the RCIL search automatic, rather than optional.

At Millar & Bryce, we are aware and ready to report on both the Community Body Interests and Agricultural Tenants’ Interests in the RCIL. If you would like this search supplied as a default along with each legal report please let us know by emailing

Further changes are anticipated in the autumn this year, including, the Agricultural Tenants’ right to buy becoming automatic without the need for registration.