An update from the Property Standardisation Group, including documents dealing with COVID-19 related matters

The Property Standardisation Group is delighted that Kirsten Partridge, partner at CMS CMNO joins the PSG as of 1 May 2020, replacing the inimitable Douglas Hunter as he retires from practice. Douglas joined the PSG in 2002 shortly after it was founded, when Hamish Hodge, one of the co-founders, retired. We will greatly miss Douglas’s contribution over the last 18 years and are grateful to him for sharing his depth of knowledge and transactional experience. Just as importantly, we’ll miss his humour and fantastic attention to detail. We welcome Kirsten and are looking forward to the new dynamic in our collaboration as the PSG anticipates its 20th birthday in 2021.

COVID-19 documents

The PSG continues to support the profession during the COVID-19 lockdown and we are meeting virtually to progress our projects. We have created a COVID-19 page on the website to store transactional documents which may assist at this time, including:

  • two rent concession letters: one for paying rent monthly and the other documenting a reduction or suspension of rent;
  • trust clause wording and guidance, which may be useful with the partial closure of the Land Register application record and the consequent delays in getting dispositions registered;
  • a power of attorney allowing solicitors to sign documents on behalf of clients, which may be particularly useful during lockdown;
  • guidance on changes to consider to the offer to sell in light of lockdown, looking particularly at any time limits in the missives.

The registration clauses will need to be reviewed, for example amending the post-completion clause to refer to registration of the disposition within 14 days after the date on which either the application record for the Land Register of Scotland fully reopens, or the document can be submitted via the digital submission system, rather than 14 days after completion.

Offer to grant a lease

In addition to our COVID-19 drafting, we have published an offer to grant a lease, to be used alongside the PSG leases. The offer mirrors the format of the PSG offer to sell. It is drafted on the basis that the draft lease annexed to the offer is one of the suite of PSG leases and uses terminology consistent with the PSG leases.

The offer to grant a lease provides optional wording:

  • for suspensive conditions;
  • for a side agreement to be issued on the grant of the lease;
  • for the tenant carrying out fitting out works in accordance with the terms of the draft PSG licence for works annexed to the offer;
  • for a rent deposit to be paid and documented using the PSG deposit agreement;
  • for a guarantor of the tenant’s obligations using the PSG guarantee;
  • for a rent-free period.

The PSG consulted widely before finalising the offer to grant a lease and we are grateful to our consultees for their input, improving the final version of the document.

Community right to buy land

We have updated the offer to sell to include drafting for the latest community right to buy under part 5 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016: the right to buy land to further sustainable development, with drafting similar to the wording for the right to buy abandoned, neglected or detrimental land. We have moved all of the community interests wording into a part of the schedule, as the wording has become so lengthy.

As ever, we welcome your comments on the documents or suggestions for future projects. Contact details for the PSG members can be found on the PSG website: www.psglegal.co.uk

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