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Insights

According to the latest report on wealth in Scotland, today’s young people are more reliant on inheritances, rather than earnings, to determine their living standards and wealth. This may prompt parents and grandparents to consider making a financial gift during their lifetime, rather than after.

Latest reports suggest that the city’s economy is gradually rebounding from the effects of the recent downturn in the oil and gas industry. This is evidenced in a study by The UK Power House which places Aberdeen as the best performing city economy in Scotland, with the fifth best rate of growth in the UK. At the beginning of the year Aberdeen was also voted as the best location to launch a start-up business in the whole of UK.

Economic conditions are improving for many employers, with confidence rising amid signs of recovery in the energy industry – that could in turn lead to an increase in the use of employee share schemes and other forms of employee incentivisation.

What is LBTT?

On the 1st of April 2015, Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (“LBTT”) replaced Stamp Duty Land Tax in Scotland. LBTT is a property tax applied to residential and commercial land and buildings transactions (including commercial leases). In most cases an LBTT return will require to be made to Revenue Scotland shortly after the date of entry to the property by either the purchaser or tenant (normally submitted by their solicitor).

On 26 February 2018, the Contract (Third Party Rights) (Scotland) Act 2017 (the “Act”) came into force which provides a statutory basis for third parties to be granted rights under a contract governed by Scots law.

The Offshore Petroleum Regulator for Environment and Decommissioning (“OPRED”) issued a consultation (“Consultation”) on 18 January 2018 in relation to the introduction of The Offshore Environmental Civil Sanctions Regulations 2018 (the “Regulations”). The relatively short consultation period closes on 15 February 2018. Strangely, the Consultation has been issued in the middle of an informal consultation on the same matter (issued by OPRED on 22 December 2017) which remains open for comment until 25 January 2018.

Recent publicity about an English Court of Appeal ruling on the rights of unmarried couples has highlighted the misunderstanding that many people have about their rights following their partner’s death.

The Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016 introduces a new type of tenancy in Scotland, under which it is possible for a tenant’s partner or other family members to inherit their tenancy following their death.  This Insight highlights the requirements which must be met in order to take advantage of the new provisions.

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