Community Organisation Eligibility for asset transfer

To become eligible for any form of asset transfer a group needs to be considered to be a "community transfer body". This can either be a community controlled body as defined by the eligibility requirements outlined below or a body designated by Scottish Ministers.

Currently the only class of bodies to be designated are those organisations who meet the requirements for the community right to buy or the crofting community right to buy under the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003. If you meet those requirements you will also be eligible for asset transfer. 

There is no definition of "community" in the Act - it is up to the community group to make that definition. It could be : 

  1. A geographic community - a village or area of a town or city 
  2. A community of interest - one that shares a characteristic or interest.  This could include people affected by a particular illness or disability, faith groups, sports clubs etc 

Distinction is made between which type of body can request an asset transfer on the basis of whether the asset transfer is for lease/management or ownership (which has additional requirements detailed below). 

Eligibility Requirements for Asset Transfers

To be eligible for an asset transfer, your group has to be a community controlled body which means a body that has a written constitution that includes the following:

(a) A definition of the community to which the body relates.

(b) Provision that the majority of the members of the body consists of members of that community.

(c) Provision that the members of the body, who consist of members of that community, have control of the body.

(d) Provision that membership of the body is open to any member of that community.

(e) A statement of the body's aims and purposes, including the promotion of a benefit for that community.

(f) Provision that any surplus funds or assets of the body are to be applied for the benefit of that  community.

Additional Eligibility Requirements for Ownership

In addition, if your asset transfer is for ownership, the community transfer body must also be incorporated as one of these three structures: 

  • A Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) the constitution of which includes provision that the organisation must have not fewer than 20 members  or
  • A Community Benefit Society (BenCom) the registered rules of which include provision that the society must have not fewer than 20 members  or
  • Company the articles of association of which include provision that:

(a) The company must have not fewer than 20 members and

(b) On the winding up of the company and after satisfaction of its liabilities, its property (including any land, and any rights in relation to land, acquired by it as a result of an asset transfer request under this Part) passes—

(i) To another community transfer body, 

(ii) To a charity

(iii) To such community body (within the meaning of section 34 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003) as may be approved by the Scottish Ministers

(iv) To such crofting community body (within the meaning of section 71 of that Act) as may be so approved, or

(v) If no such community body or crofting community body is so approved, to the Scottish Ministers or to such charity as the Scottish Ministers may direct.

If you are setting up a new organisation for your asset transfer, you can download Model Documents suitable for Asset Transfer from the bottom of this page on the Scottish Government website.

If you are unsure what type of organisation is best for you, SCVO has information on the various legal structures. 

Most existing organisations have to make some changes to their governning document to be eligible for asset transfer. You can discuss this with your COSS advisor who will be able to assist you. 


Related Resources

Asset Transfer Guidance for Community Transfer Bodies

This guidance has been developed for both relevant authorities and community bodies.  Relevant authorities are required to have regard to guidance issued by the Scottish Ministers in carrying out their functions in relation to asset transfer.

There is more guidance for community transfer bodies on completing the request form, and more for relevant authorities on the acknowledgement and notices they have to issue following receipt of a request.

PDF icon Asset Transfer CTB Guidance Notes.pdf