An update on the RCI: Scottish Government announces extension of transitional provisions

The Register of Controlled Interests in Land (RCI) opened in Scotland on 1 April 2022. As we reported last year, the main aim of the RCI Regulations[1] is to increase public transparency around individuals who have significant control over decision-making in relation to land or a registrable lease, but crucially who do not appear on the Land Register or Sasine Register. 

The idea is that the RCI – which is maintained by the Keeper of the Registers of Scotland and is free to search - will make it easier for individuals and communities to identify those ultimately responsible for land. This will, in turn, make it easier to engage those with control about land issues affecting the local communities.

The owner of the land or the registered tenant is known as the Recorded Person and it is their name that appears on the registered title. The person with significant influence or control is known as the Associate. Both parties have notification duties and failure to register is a criminal offence with fines of up to £5000 on current scales.

The RCI Regulations provide for a grace period during which fines for non-compliance do not apply and the Scottish Government has recently announced that it intends to extend this period from 1 April 2023 to 1 April 2024. For complex structures within scope, this will be a welcome move.

How does this sit with the UK Register of Overseas Entities?

The RCI applies in Scotland only. The new Register of Overseas Entities (ROE)[2], which is maintained by Companies House and opened on 1 August 2022, applies UK-wide.

An overseas entity landowner (or the landlord under a registrable lease) in Scotland which has associates (the equivalent of beneficial owners in the ROE) must register in both the RCI and ROE.

Registration in the ROE does not currently make the overseas entity exempt under the RCI regulations, although it is hoped that the Scottish Government will review this double reporting approach.

This article does not constitute legal advice and if you would like us to investigate and advise on how either the RCI regulations - or the requirement for overseas entities to be registered in the ROE - might affect you, please get in touch.




[1] The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016 (Register of Persons Holding a Controlled Interest in Land) Regulations 2021 (the RCI Regulations)

[2] Introduced by the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022


This information is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. Please contact us for specific advice on your circumstances. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024.



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