By Gillian Wood and Sheelagh Cooley

The paper notes that even though commercial leases play a large part in the Scottish economy, there is very little statutory regulation. The essence of a lease in Scotland is similar to that in England, in that it is not only a contract between the landlord and the tenant, but also a property interest (a “real right”, using Scottish terminology), which is good against not just the landlord but the whole world.

The modern commercial lease was imported into Scotland from England in the 1970s. At that time the legal profession in Scotland had no choice but to adapt the English form of lease for the Scottish legal jurisdiction (“kilting” in the jargon), but without the statutory background for leases that existed in England, such as the Landlord and Tenant Acts 1927 and 1954.