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What is a Rural Housing Burden?

A Rural Housing Burden is a title applied to a property or house plot which gives rural communities and community landowners the right of pre-emption and control of future sales when the property is to be sold. This title can only be created on rural land, generally in settlements of under 10,000 residents and is applied by a Rural Housing Body.

The status of Rural Housing Body is prescribed by Scottish Ministers following an application made to the Civil Law and Legal System Division at the Scottish Government,

The purpose of the Rural Housing Burden title is to maintain affordability on a property in the event of future sales. The plot the title is placed on has usually been acquired at well below the market value and the title ensures that the discount is included in the future sale price. The community have 42 days in which to accept the offer,

If the burden is not exercised, it will lie dormant until the next sale, so it remains in the title in perpetuity.

Rural Housing Burdens help to prevent rural housing stock from being sold off into the holiday home and second home market.

Case studies: Find out more from the community groups

Ulva Ferry Housing Partnership

More case studies coming soon! 

Development Trust Association Scotland have a list of registered Rural Housing Bodies on their website.