FOI release: Scottish and UK Government legal right to ownership

Published: 02 September 2022
Freedom of information class: How we deliver functions and services

Information request under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA)

FOI reference: CW-2022-298
Date received: 14 August 2022
Date responded: 16 August 2022

Information requested

  1. If and how many properties were removed from the register, by their owners, over the last ten years, detailing how many each year.
  2. Do the Scottish and/or U.K. Governments have a legal right to ownership of any or all properties or land registered with Registers of Scotland.


  1. Once registered in either the Register of Sasines or Land Register, there is no legal mechanism to ‘remove’ property from either register. Accordingly, the answer to your first question is zero.
    Land and property can be transferred from the Register of Sasines to the Land Register through trigger events, such as the registration of a disposition or standard security.
  2. The Land Register (and Register of Sasines) are controlled and maintained on a statutory basis by the Keeper of the Registers of Scotland, who is a non-Ministerial office holder in the Scottish administration. The registers themselves reflect the real rights created through the registration of deeds submitted to the Keeper by applicants.
    The Scottish and UK Government only have legal rights in the same way any other applicant does e.g where they are the current registered proprietor. Further information on SG and UKG owned properties can be obtained through our data matching service, details of which can be found on our data and statistics page on our website.

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