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Section 11 — Liability of owner and successors for certain costs

Part of Tenements (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 – in the Scottish Parliament at 3:30 pm on 16th September 2004.

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Photo of Annabel Goldie Annabel Goldie Conservative 3:30 pm, 16th September 2004

I come to the aid of the minister—she is not the first person to become confused by the Tenements (Scotland) Bill. There were many furrowed brows and perspiring heads in the Justice 2 Committee.

The Executive's amendments to section 11 are welcome, as they acknowledge the concerns of the Justice 2 Committee. As the minister indicated, two amendments were lodged at stage 2 to try to avoid the situation in which a hapless purchaser becomes liable for a seller's obligations without knowing anything about it. I appreciate the attitude that the minister has adopted, as the amendments that have been lodged in her name accept the full spirit of the concerns that were expressed by the Justice 2 Committee and which I personally advocated as a member of that committee.

The reason why I lodged amendment 22A is that even though the Executive's amendment 22 is excellent, I am trying to make it a little better. Any purchaser who is buying a property, which is an important financial commitment, wants to know as soon as possible what the likely obligations of acquiring that property will be. Under the Executive's amendment, the purchaser will be liable but they will at least know about that liability because a notice can be registered until 14 days before the date of settlement. I thought that it might be desirable, for the sake of the purchaser, to make that date a little earlier, so my amendment 22A seeks to bring the date forward to the date of conclusion of missives.