Controlling interest

The main purpose of the Register of Persons Holding a Controlled Interest in Land (RCI) is to make public the persons that can influence decisions concerning the land or property. This means there can no longer be land in Scotland where, intentionally, or otherwise, details on who makes decisions is not available.

About controlling interest and associates

People with a controlling interest can influence the decisions made about the land in relation to the disposal, leasing or changing the use of land. The following is an example of influence over decision making.

  1. The owner of a property, in RCI referred to as the recorded person, wishes to change the use of the land or property or sell or lease the land.
  2. There may be others who can influence these high-level decisions and direct the activities of the owner even though they do not own the land.
  3. The owner would be required to take this into account. In RCI the person who has significant influence or control over decisions is known as an associate.

The purpose of separating the information about a piece of land between who owns it and who has a significant influence in what happens to it because the owner or tenant may not be the only one that makes the decisions. For example, it may be owned by an organisation like a church, sports club or community group. The organisation owns the land on behalf of their stakeholders or in the case of a church, people within the church structure.

How to tell if land or property has persons with controlling interest

Knowing who or what has a controlling interest can vary depending on how the property or land is owned or tenanted (on a registered or recorded lease of more than 20 years), for example through a trust or partnership.

Associates will be:

  • persons who have certain contractual or other arrangements with an individual who owns or tenants land
  • partnerships and persons who own or tenant land on their behalf
  • persons responsible for the general control and management of the administration of an unincorporated body of persons who own or tenant land on their behalf
  • trusts and persons who own or tenant land as trustees of a trust
  • overseas entities

What details are needed from the associate for RCI

An entry in RCI will contain information about the owner or tenant of the land or property, referred to as the recorded person. It also will include information about those who have significant influence or control over the recorded person.

Associate is the term used in the regulations for the person who holds a controlling interest in relation to a recorded person.

For associates with a controlling interest over a recorded person, RCI requires the associate’s:

  • first and last name
  • contact address, this does not have to be a home address but one the associate can be contacted through
  • date of birth
  • date month and year the association with the owner or tenant of the land, known as the recorded person, started or a statement if that date is not known
  • registered number, for example, company number, only where the associate is a non-natural person
  • unique reference number, known as the Associate Reference Number, which is allocated after an associates’ details are first entered in RCI
  • information on which paragraph of Schedule 2 of the regulations applies, where the associate is subject to a transparency regime

The date of birth will not be shown on the register but is required for identification when the associate is an individual.

Example of controlling interest

The following is an example of a controlling interest.

  1. Pasha and Neri are partners of The Circle Dental Practice and are named in the land legister as owners of land.
  2. Tai is a new partner of the dental practice but is not named in the land register
  3. Because Tai is a partner of Pasha and Neri but is not registered as owning the land, they fall into the category of having significant influence or control and can influence the decisions relating to the land owned by Pasha and Neri. therefore they must register with RCI. In this example, Pasha and Neri would both be recorded persons, each with Tai as their associate.

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