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Long Leases (Scotland) Act 2012

Section 8: Conversion of reserved sporting rights

38.This section provides for landlords to preserve sporting rights: i.e. rights to game and to fish.

39.Section 8 does not apply to exclusive rights to fish for salmon. Exclusive rights to fish for salmon are separate tenements in land: i.e. they are capable of being owned separately from the land or river in which they subsist. This means that either exclusive rights to fish for salmon are included in the qualifying lease or they are not. Given this, no special provisions are required for exclusive rights to fish salmon.

40.Subsection (2) provides for the execution and registration of a notice by the landlord.

41.Subsection (3) sets out requirements as to the content of the notice. This includes the terms of any counter-obligation to the right.

42.Under subsection (4), registration can be either against the interest of the landlord (i.e. the owner of the land) or the tenant of the qualifying lease.

43.Subsections (5) and (6) provide that the notice must be sworn or affirmed before a notary public. In the normal case this must be done personally by the landlord but some exceptions are set out in subsection (6).

44.Subsection (7) converts the sporting right into a separate tenement on the appointed day provided that the requirements of the section have been complied with and the right is still enforceable. It also prescribes the content of the separate tenement.

45.Where the right has been expressly reserved in the lease, the operation of subsection (7) clarifies the types of game which may be included in the right to take game. First of all, it comprises the rights and obligations set out in the lease in question. Secondly, insofar as consistent with those express rights etc. it comprises, in the case of game, an exclusive right to take hares, pheasants, partridges, grouse and ptarmigan, and, in the case of fishing, an exclusive right to fish for freshwater fish. Freshwater fish is defined in section 80. The definition mirrors that in section 69(1) of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 2003.

46.Subsection (8) qualifies subsection (7) by providing that any exclusive right to game is subject to the right of the occupier under the Ground Game Act 1880 to take or kill hares and rabbits.

47.Subsection (9) provides that the separate tenement continues to be subject to any existing counter-obligation. It also provides that a counter-obligation is extinguished on the extinction of the right.

48.Subsection (10), as read with the definition of landlord in section 80, makes clear that only the owner of the land can serve a notice converting the right into a separate tenement. Where the right is held in common each co-owner must sign the notice.

49.The section is subject to section 75 which deals with pre-registration requirements for notices.

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