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How to Purchase Land from an Unknown Owner

How to Purchase Land from an Unknown Owner

Ever wondered what happens if you want to purchase land from an unknown owner?
When a land title is in the name of a dissolved company (or where no owner can be identified) ownership will transfer to the Crown.

What happens if I want to buy the land?
Potential purchasers will have to contact the Queen's & Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer (the QLTR) to obtain the title.

When initially contacting the QLTR, evidence that the company in question has been dissolved should be provided, along with copies of the relevant title deeds.

Once the QLTR confirm that they are happy that ownership has fallen to the Crown the procedure below will be followed:-

The QLTR will firstly instruct the subjects to be valued by the District Valuer (DV). This will form the basis for the purchase price. No VAT is payable and the valuation is valid for 3 months. The valuation will only be instructed when the purchaser confirms in writing that they will pay the DV's fee, which is estimated at £500. If the purchaser subsequently decides not to proceed they will still be responsible for the DV's fee. The purchasers will also be responsible for the QLTR's legal fees which are estimated at £650 plus any outlays.

Royal Warranty
If the purchase price is agreed the QLTR will then complete their title. This is done via a document called a Royal Warrant (the Warrant), which is sent to the Registers of Scotland for approval. Once the Royal Warrant is approved and returned to the QLTR it is sent to London for execution on behalf of the Sovereign.

Once the signed warrant is returned from London the QLTR advises that the transaction will take approximately 6-8 weeks to complete. This timescale cannot be accelerated.

The signed Warrant is then presented to the Registers of Scotland who will issue a document called the "Deed of Gift". This Deed will transfer title to the purchaser. The QLTR will provide a style Disposition to be used. The Deed of Gift and the Disposition is then sent for registration.

If you would like advice on how to purchase land from an unknown owner please do not hesitate to contact our commercial team who would be happy to assist.


CTA Land and Buildings Transaction Tax


Written by : Super User