The Register of Community Interests in Land was set up following the introduction of the community right to buy in part 2 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003. Before a community body can exercise the community right to buy, it must register its interest in the RCIL, which is maintained by Registers of Scotland.

Originally, the CRTB applied only to predominantly rural areas, but since 15 April 2016, when the CRTB was extended to all of Scotland, a right to buy could potentially affect any type of property, including commercial buildings and land in urban areas. Accordingly an instruction to search in the RCIL should be included when instructing searches against any land that could potentially be affected, meaning it should be instructed as a matter of course in all sale and purchase transactions.

The only exception to this is the sale of typical residential property. It is unlikely that a residential home would be the target of a community buyout, nor is it likely that it would pass the necessary sustainable development and public interest tests to allow a community body to register an interest.