Dealing with rights of access in property transactions—Scotland
Produced in partnership with Stuart King of Blackadders
Dealing with rights of access in property transactions—Scotland

The following Property guidance note Produced in partnership with Stuart King of Blackadders provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Dealing with rights of access in property transactions—Scotland
  • Access from a publicly adopted road
  • Ransom Strip
  • Servitudes of access
  • Public Rights of Way
  • Right to Roam
  • Site Assembly/Development Issues
  • Tenement Right of Access

Ownership, leasing or any other permitted use of land normally requires access to it to obtain the benefit of the land. The public are allowed to use roads and footpaths adopted by local authorities and if the land in question borders an adopted road, access should be straightforward. If access is required over another person’s land, reliance on common law or statute may be possible, but purchasers will generally seek some form of contractual agreement or servitude to be put in place where none exist.

If land is common or joint property, no separate rights of access are required by any of the owners to access or cross the land.

This Practice Note sets out the common access issues which might be encountered in property transactions in Scotland and the issues which a seller and buyer’s solicitor might be required to address. The same issues may equally arise in lease transactions as between landlord and tenant’s solicitors but ease of reference in this Practice Note, the parties are referred to as ‘seller’ and ‘buyer’ and the transaction as a sale or purchase.

Access from a publicly adopted road

Local authorities maintain lists of publicly adopted roads. These lists, however, will not necessarily reveal the full extent or boundaries of the road. It is common in purchases for a Property Enquiry Certificate (PEC)