For the purposes of assessing ownership of dwellings in Scotland in relation to the LBTT(A)(S)A 2016, an "owner", includes:
someone (or some body) who has completed title as proprietor, either individually, jointly or in common pro indiviso (i.e. where ownership of a dwelling is to be held by two or more parties in individual shares), by registration in the Land Register or Register of Sasines (registered ownership);
the buyer in a land transaction, either individually, jointly or in common pro indiviso, at the end of the day that is the effective date of that transaction (deemed ownership).* (Further details on the effective date of a land transaction in Scotland can be found in parts LBTT10019 and LBTT1004 of the guidance);
someone who has not completed title but who is entitled/has right, either individually, jointly or in common pro indiviso, to be the owner (such as a beneficiary who has inherited ownership of a dwelling) (uninfeft ownership) and
someone who is the beneficiary under a bare trust or who has a relevant interest in a dwelling comprising settlement trust (liferent trust) property. (Further details on transactions involving trust property can be found in part LBTT10063 of the guidance).
someone who holds a liferent in a dwelling under a proper liferent. (Further guidance on transactions involving proper liferents can be found in part LBTT10064 of the guidance).
the very rare case in Scotland of someone who is the tenant under a continuing long residential lease of a dwelling for a term of more than 20 years. (Further guidance on transactions involving residential leases can be found in part LBTT10065 of the guidance).
*In Scots law, a buyer does not own a property until their title is registered in the Land Register of Scotland. The corollary is that the seller is not divested of their title until that point also. The effective date for a standard residential property transaction is generally the date of settlement, which date is the day on which the buyer pays the purchase price and receives the keys and a signed disposition from the seller. For practical purposes, at this point, the buyer will consider themselves to be the owner and the seller will consider themselves to no longer be the owner. Paragraph 10 to schedule 2A of the LBTT(A)(S)A 2016 treats this practical position as "deemed ownership" - for the purposes of the Act, as from the end of the day that is the effective date of the transaction, the buyer is treated as being the owner of the dwelling, and the seller is treated as ceasing to own the dwelling.
For properties situated in the rest of the UK, the meanings of "effective date" and "land transaction" have the same meanings as in Part 4 of the Finance Act 2003 (UK Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) legislation). For properties outside of the UK, the same concepts apply and the meanings of “effective date” and “land transaction” are to be read according to the prevailing law and practice in the country in which the dwelling is situated. Additionally, all forms of ownership in the legal systems of the rest of the UK which are equivalent to ownership in Scotland are treated as ownership for the purposes of the 2016 Act.
The prevailing Scottish concepts regarding ownership apply across the foreign legal systems and must also be read in accordance with the prevailing law and practice of the country in which the dwelling is situated when determining whether an individual owns a dwelling outside Scotland.
An "owner" under the LBTT(A)(S)A 2016 can therefore comprise a tenant under certain types of lease both in the rest of the UK and the rest of the world. Further details on the application of the LBTT(A)(S)A 2016 to leases in Scotland can be found in part LBTT10065 of the guidance.
Registration Act 1617