If your charity is (or your charity trustees are) the named owner(s) of land in Scotland, or the tenant under a registered or recorded lease of more than 20 years of land in Scotland, then you may need to register on the Register of Persons Holding a Controlled Interested in Land (RCI) before 1 April 2023, unless certain exceptions or exemptions apply. Certain charities will not be required to register (see below).

On 1 April 2022 the Keeper of the Registers of Scotland (RoS) launched the RCI. The RCI has been introduced to increase transparency around who makes decisions about land and property and will show who controls such decisions and their contact address.

Owners and certain tenants of land will be required to make an accurate entry to the RCI as well as to keep the record updated within 60 days of any change. It will be a criminal offence not to comply and punishable by a potentially significant fine. For this reason a transition period of one year is in place to give those who must register the opportunity to do so before the offences are triggered.

The requirement is most likely to apply to unincorporated charities or those charities holding land on special trust as the following types of charities will not have to register:

  • Charities that do not have any property interests in Scotland
  • Charities that have certain property interests in Scotland but are:
    • Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIOs) or their Scottish equivalents (SCIOs)
    • Charities who report to Companies House as part of the Register of People with Significant Control (PSC) regime held by Companies House (typically charitable companies).

Note that registration of an overseas entity with the new Register of Overseas Entities (ROE) launched by Companies House on 1 August 2022 will not remove the duty to register in the RCI. Therefore overseas entities that are within the scope of the RCI must register irrespective of registration with the ROE. Furthermore, all organisations representing themselves as charities in Scotland must register with the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) regardless of whether they are already registered as charities in other legal jurisdictions.

For further information or any assistance navigating whether the registration requirements apply to your charity, please get in touch.

This article is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice.