The Lands Tribunal for Scotland (LTS) has statutory power to deal with various types of disputes involving land or property. This includes the authority to deal with certain appeals and referrals relating to the Register of Persons Holding a Controlled Interest in Land (RCI).
Appeals or referrals to LTS in RCI
In RCI, there are two areas where an appeal or referral can be made to the LTS.
Appeal against decisions about security declarations
An associate may appeal to the LTS against the keeper’s decision that it was not reasonable for a security declaration to have been made.
Accuracy of the register
A person may refer a question to the LTS relating to the accuracy of the register. This could be:
- the accuracy of any entry in the register
- the omission of information from an entry in the register
- the omission of an entry when there should be one
The RCI regulations include provisions which allow an associate to make a security declaration.
This means that an associate who is an individual may, at any time, make a declaration that their details be hidden from public view in RCI. This can be done when the inclusion of one or more of the associate’s required details would put the associate, or an individual connected to them, at risk of:
- violence, or abuse,
- threat of violence or abuse
Associates must give their security declaration to the keeper with the necessary evidence in accordance with regulation 16 of the RCI regulations. It is the keeper’s responsibility to consider the evidence and decide if it is reasonable to make the security declaration.
More information on security declarations including timelines can be found in the about security declarations article.
Appealing against the keeper’s decision not to accept a security declaration
The keeper has decided that a security declaration should not apply; regulation 16 provides that an applicant may appeal that decision to the LTS per the terms of regulation 18 of the RCI regulations.
Timeline for making an appeal
An associate may appeal to the LTS, on a question of fact or on a point of law, against a decision made by the keeper regarding whether it was reasonable for the security declaration to have been made. The following illustrates the timeline for making an appeal:
- The appeal must be lodged within 30 days of the keeper's notification that it was not reasonable to make the security declaration
- The associate must inform the keeper of the appeal and provide a copy within 7 days of it being made to the LTS
- The keeper must note on the register that the appeal has been made
- The appeal is heard in private by the LTS. There are no timescales for the LTS dealing with the appeal
- The keeper must give effect to the LTS’s determination of an appeal
How to make an appeal to the LTS
Information on appeals to the LTS will be made available on the LTS website.
When an appeal has been lodged with the LTS
The associate’s details will remain hidden from the public register until 30 days after the determination of the LTS.
Referral regarding the accuracy of the register
Regulation 5(2)(c) states that the keeper must make necessary amendments to entries in RCI when becoming aware of an inaccuracy.
There will be situations where, based on available evidence, the keeper is unable to conclude whether
- the register is accurate or
- an entry in the register should be created
In these instances, questions about the accuracy of the information in the register can be referred to the LTS by the keeper or a third party. The LTS has investigatory powers that enable them to consider complex cases and hold hearings.
Where it appears that the register is inaccurate due to the omission of an entry, then a referral to the LTS should be made.
There are no timescales or time limits for making a referral to the LTS under regulation 19 of the RCI regulations.
The process for referring a question to the LTS is set out in regulation 19 of the RCI regulations.
Duties when making a referral to LTS
There are duties on the person making the referral. In summary, they must notify:
- the recorded person or owner/tenant of the land
- each associate so far as known or any alleged associate
- the keeper
More detailed information on the duties of the person making the referral can be found in regulation 19 of the RCI regulations.
The LTS must, on determining the outcome of the question which is referred to them, give notice to:
- the person who made the referral
- the keeper
- any other person appearing to have an interest
Making referrals between 1 April 2022 and 1 April 2023
Regulation 26(3) states that during the transitional period, 1 April 2022 to 1 April 2023, a referral can only be made to the LTS on the accuracy of an entry that is in the register.
It is not possible to make a referral to the LTS that the RCI is inaccurate due to the omission of an entry in the register. This is because the transitional period allows one year for all persons who require to register to do so.
For example, where a person owns land and is, therefore, a would-be recorded person and has an associate registration is necessary. It isn’t possible to make a referral to the LTS on the basis that the registration hasn’t been done until 2 April 2023.
During the transitional period, a referral can only be made to the LTS on the accuracy of an entry that is in the register.
How to make a referral to the LTS
Information on referrals to the LTS will be made available on the LTS website.