Page 3 - Buying a House in Scotland - FAQ
P. 3


               How much is Stamp Duty and when should it be paid?

               In Scotland Stamp duty has been replaced by Land and Buildings Transaction tax.  Often in the national papers
               you may see comments on Stamp Duty in general terms.  In effect the tax is payable in the same way in Scotland
               and England, but the rates differ.  These rates are published from time to time.  It is payable to the inland
               Revenue before the buyer registers the title in the land register – so effectively it must be paid to the buyers
               solicitor before the transaction is finalised. Rates of this tax can be found here

               What do I actually get when I buy a house – do I get some documents saying I own it?

               At the settlement date your solicitor gets a document called a “disposition” – which is a document of transfer to
               the buyer. However it is immediately sent by the buyer’s solicitor to the Land Register where it is recorded. The
               Keeper of the Land Register then issues a “Land Certificate” to the buyer’s solicitor. That shows the buyer is the
               owner of that house – but the actual certificate is sometimes held by the buyers lender. Even if the buyer does
               not actually hold that certificate he or she is the recorded owner – and if a certificate goes astray it can easily be
               replaced by a duplicate.

               How do I know if I buy a house that there is not going to be a public house or something built next
               door to it?

               Your solicitor’s offer for the property will include a clause requiring the seller to provide a certificate stating the up
               to date planning status of the property. The solicitor will check that during the conveyancing process. The
               certificate only shows the planning status at that time – it is no guarantee of changes in the future.

               I want to buy a house with my money but let my brother live with me rent free for a few years whilst
               he is at University. Are there any legal issues involved – does he get “squatters rights” or anything?

               Not in Scotland. You can have anyone stay with you informally and they cannot gain any right to stay in the
               property – unless they are spouses or civil partners where different law applies.

               What happens if after I move into the house I discover dry rot or something which costs a lot to
               repair – I can get compensation from the seller?

               Generally houses are sold “as seen” and there is no right to compensation if the house is not of the standard you
               thought.  That is why buyers must satisfy themselves as to condition, either from the Home Report, or perhaps

               even from a survey they instruct themselves. Sometimes the contract allows claims for defects of certain types
               reported to the seller within a short time of the date of entry – usually seven days. But this usually relates to
               things like central heating not working – not the fabric of the building.

                                                         Page 3
   1   2   3