Thursday, 20 March 2014

Response From Scottish Lawyer On The ASA Ruling Against Highland Titles

There was an interesting response publish in The Scotsman newspaper after the story about the ruling against Highland Titles was published. This is letter to the Scotsman newspaper sent by Craig Anderson, Lecturer In Law at Robert Gordon University Aberdeen.

In it Mr Anderson makes it very clear that in his opinion, buyers of souvenir plots in Scotland do not own the land they might have been led to believe they have bought.

Who would you rather believe, a lecturer in law in Scotland, or a company like Highland Titles who have been found by the Advertising Standards Authority to be publishing misleading information in their advertising materials?

The letter is reproduced in full below.

"I note from your article, “ASA raps company over ‘fake Scots laird’ titles”, (11 March) that the Advertising Standards Authority has taken action against a company claiming to sell minuscule pieces of land, entitling the purchaser to adopt the title Laird, Lord or Lady of Glencoe.

Such action is to be welcomed. However, I am afraid that, in ­reporting the exposure of one part of this company’s misrepresentation, you have given ­credence to another. Your article stated that the sale of these plots has “created 7,500 new Scots landowners”. It has done nothing of the sort. A person who buys land in Scotland can only become the owner by registration in the Land Register of Scotland.

The Land Registration (Scotland) Act 1979 does not allow registration of “souvenir plots”, meaning “land which, being of inconsiderable size, or no practical utility, is unlikely to be wanted in isolation except for the sake of mere ownership or for sentimental reasons or commemorative purposes”.

As the square-foot plots sold by this company clearly fall within this definition, they cannot be registered and, as a result, their purchasers can never become owners of the land they believe that they have bought.

In other words, so far is this company’s scheme from creating 7,500 new landowners, that it has in fact created none whatsoever.

Craig Anderson

Lecturer in law

Robert Gordon University


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