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Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Act 2006

Heritable property

91 Paragraph 8 makes provision for interests in heritable property to be a registrable interest. Heritable property by virtue of the definition in section 19(1) includes any right or interest in heritage whether in Scotland or elsewhere. Heritable property consists of land including houses and other buildings. The heritable property may be situated in any part of the world. There are two thresholds for such interests to be registrable interests. The first, dealt with in paragraph 8(2) (a), is the market value of the heritable property, which if it exceeds 50 per cent of a member’s salary at the relevant date, requires to be registered. Paragraph 8(2) (b), sets out the second threshold, which requires a member to register heritable property if the gross income for 12 months prior to the relevant date exceeds an amount determined by the Parliament.

90.Paragraph 8(3) clarifies that holding or owning heritable property covers sole ownership, holding property jointly and holding property in a trust where you have an interest as a beneficiary in that trust.

91.Property which is, or was, used as a residential home by the member, member’s spouse, civil partner or cohabitant is excepted under paragraph 8(4)(a) and (b) from the registration requirement (including a former residential home which is, or was, unoccupied and for sale, for a maximum period of 12 months). Paragraph 8(4) (c) clarifies that heritable property forming part of the assets of a partnership does not require to be separately registered where any income from that partnership is registered as remuneration.

92.Paragraph 8 also makes provision as to what is the relevant date for valuation of the right or interest in heritable property. Where the member has, or had, such a right or interest on the date of the member’s return as a member, then paragraph 8(6) provides that the relevant date is that date and 5th April in each succeeding year where the heritable property continues to be owned or held. Where the right or interest is acquired after the date of the member’s return then paragraph 8(7) provides that the relevant date is the date of acquisition and 5th April in each succeeding year where the heritable property continues to be owned or held. Where the property is disposed off during the year no revaluation is necessary.

93.Accordingly, where a right or interest in heritable property is retained on 5th April in each succeeding year, a member should reassess the value of that right or interest at that time to determine whether it has become, or remains, or ceases to be a registrable interest. A right or interest in heritable property may not initially be a registrable interest because it falls below the valuation threshold on the first relevant date. However, if that right or interest is retained it may become a registrable interest as a result of a revaluation on 5th April in a succeeding year. In that event, the member must register that interest within 30 days of acquiring such a registrable interest in terms of section 5. If a registered right or interest in heritable property falls below the thresholds on 5th April in a succeeding year the member may lodge a statement that it has become a ceased interest and have it deleted from the register.

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Text created by the Scottish Executive department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills

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