There have been a number of developments in the last 25 years which have brought us to where we are now with land reform and community ownership. These include: 


  • The Abolition of Feudal Tenure Act etc. (Scotland) Act 2000, which abolished remaining aspects of feudal tenure, initiating modernisation in the land system.
  • The Scottish Land Fund, which was introduced in 2000 to fund community acquisitions of land and land assets.
  • The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003, which introduced Community Right to Buy.
  • The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015, which extended Community Right to Buy to urban communities, introduced Community Right to Buy Part 3A and gave communities further powers to buy publicly-owned assets through Community Asset Transfer.
  • The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016, which introduced Community Right to Buy Part 5, established the Scottish Land Commission and introduced the Scottish Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement.

As a result of this legislation, there are now three different Community Right to Buy (CRtB) options for communities:


  • Community Right to Buy - Community bodies who successfully register a community interest in a site, have the first option to buy when the registered site is offered for sale.
  • Community Right to Buy, Abandoned, Neglected & DetrimentalCommunity bodies have a right to compulsorily purchase land which is wholly or mainly, abandoned or neglected or the use or management of the land results in or causes harm to the environmental wellbeing of the community.
  • Community Right to Buy, Furtherance of Sustainable Development - Community bodies have a right to compulsorily purchase land for the purposes of sustainable development that will deliver significant benefit to the community.

Please refer to the COSS guidance 'Introduction to Community Right to Buy' for an overview of the three rights, information on the processes involved and case studies. 


Related Resources

Module One B - Introduction to Community Right to Buy

Provides communities with a introduction to Community Right to Buy. The guidance covers:

  • Which CRtB option is most appropriate for your community
  • An overview of the three CRtB processes
    • Community Right to Buy Part 2
    • Community Right to Buy - Abandoned, Neglected or Detrimental Land
    • Community Right to Buy - Land to further Sustainable Development
  • Getting ready for CRtB
  • Four case studies from communities that have used the process
  • Tools and resources to help you on your journey
PDF icon COSS Introduction to Community Right to Buy FINAL.pdf