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Property: what does feudal mean, please?

12 replies

OrlandaFuriosa · 16/09/2018 08:00

We are thinking of moving north and I’m househunting on the net. Some properties have the word feudal in the details. But I thought there had been a grand clear out under a 2004 Act that got rid of the concept ( which I am a bit hazy about anyway but sounds a bit like the conceit if freehold in England). Googling hasn’t got me very far.

Please could someone explain it?

OP posts:

OrlandaFuriosa · 16/09/2018 08:01

  • concept, not conceit!
OP posts:

cdtaylornats · 16/09/2018 09:32

The last chance to claim feu duty compensation was in 2006 so it is just a remnant in the deeds


LassWiADelicateAir · 17/09/2018 23:18

It doesn't mean anything these days.

The important thing to know is Scotland does not have , and never did have, any equivalent of English "leasehold" for residential property.
That is the case whether it is a house or a flat. (Commercial property can be leased out on lesses up to 175 years)

Feudal always meant the land and buildings were owned outright but the feudal superior collected an annual feu duty ( this was not a rent) This no longer applies.

More importantly the feudal superior could also impose conditions on what could be built on land and what it could be used for. Pre planning legislation it was the feudal superiors who imposed rules which resulted in all the beautiful Georgian and Victorian buildings in Edinburgh.


prettybird · 18/09/2018 00:31

Yes - I live in a conversion in Pollokshields in Glasgow (the original planned garden suburb Wink) and it is fascinating to read the deeds which still have the original feudal restrictions. Amongst other restrictions, we're not allowed to have a soap factory, tannery or mine working in the back garden; and the back gardens have to be defined by double skinned brick walls of a certain height Grin

The leasehold thing can be a pain when looking for building insurance: some insurance companies/brokers just can't get their head around the fact that as the owners of an upper conversion, we are jointly liable with our downstairs neighbours or both the roof and the foundations, as well as the general condition of the structural walls (like the pointing) and the upkeep of the soffits and guttering Confused The fact that we jointly own the "freehold" (which doesn't exist per se in Scotland) does not compute according to some insurance companies Hmm

A lawyer friend did once send us a copy of The Law of Tenement (which also applies for conversions of stone villas) when we had an issue (with a previous neighbour): but we didn't really want to read the c600 pages Shock Fortunately we now have great neighbours who don't always go with the cheapest but in the long run more expensive quote Wink


Sturmundcalm · 18/09/2018 07:13

in my town the feudal landowner still has the right to charge for access across grass verges, etc so there are remnants still in force...


LassWiADelicateAir · 18/09/2018 07:48

in my town the feudal landowner still has the right to charge for access across grass verges, etc so there are remnants still in force...

I'm not sure what exactly you are referring to but it won't be a remnant of the feudal system.


EmmaC78 · 18/09/2018 13:01

Lass - I thought it was possible to re-register burdens under a Feu writ in the Land Register to keep them enforceable. Isn't that the case?


LassWiADelicateAir · 18/09/2018 17:22

It was possible to re- register certain conditions, but not conditions just demanding payment. I don't know what you are referring to.

Do you mean the situation where a development of land is anticipated and it is discovered a third party owns the verges? Effectively there is a ransom strip? If so that has nothing to do with feudal rights.


EmmaC78 · 18/09/2018 19:33

Thanks for clarifying. It wasn't me that raised it initially so not sure what they were referring too. It was just a general query i had. I had a vague recollection of being able to re register but didn't know payments only were different.


Redyoyo · 04/10/2018 00:50

The feudal system referred to more than just payment of feu duty, most properties had a Superior and a vassal (owner), the Superior would have been the original land owner, they could impose conditions on the property such as feu duty to be paid yearly, what you could and couldn't do with the property, also things like you are entitled to a seat in the local church, and more importantly a right of pre-emption which is where you must give them first refusal if you want to sell the property. Most Superiors also kept the mineral rights to the property, therefore if you found coal under your property it belongs to them and they can mine it.
In 2003 these were abolished, however the pp is correct, you could before the date of the new laws coming into place register a deed with the land register to keep certain conditions such as pre-emption rights.


FrancisCrawford · 10/10/2018 17:35

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FrancisCrawford · 10/10/2018 17:40

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