Scottish Highland Titles Cease Trading

Scottish Highland Titles Website – http://www.scottishhighlandtitles.com

Now that Scottish Highland Titles have ceased trading where does that leave all their so called Lairds & Ladies? “Up a Gumtree” Fake Scots Titles would say!!

As we have pointed out on our “Fake Lords & Lairds page“, these worthless 1ft sq plots of land that individuals around the globe have been scammed into believing they had ownership of from Scottish Highland Titles are nothing but a farce, along with the said titles of Laird & Lady.

As Scottish Highland Titles are the legal title deed holders as per The Land Register of Scotland they are the ones that can now, or at any time, legally dispose of the land. Those people who beleived they had purchased these insignificant plots and were issued a so called Master Title Deed from the company indicating that they were the owners of the plots are not. What documentation these customers have in their possesion is and has always been totally worthless.  This because the document only transfers personal rights to the land and not real rights, which are superior and always take precedence.

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17 Responses to Scottish Highland Titles Cease Trading

  1. BGHamilton says:

    I don’t know who wrote this article but I suggest the person that did should read a little Scots law before attempting his/her next article. In Scots law heritable rights may be divided real and personal. Where someone owns a large piece of land, duly registered in the Sasine or land Register he has a real right to the land and if he wishes to sell it off square foot by square foot his contract of sale deprives him of ownership of each square foot that he sells. It does not matter that his purchasers are unable to record their rights in the registers and thereby make their personal right into a real right; they are the owners of the land that they have purchased.

    Quite frankly I wonder why you spend valuable time on this; surely you have better things to do with your time than to concern yourself with folk who think it funny to aquire a token piece of Scotland. The only people who are taking this seriously are you; I doubt if the purchasers of these token plots are overly concerned about the niceties of Scottish landlaw.

    Brian G. Hamilton.

  2. What is to stop Scottish Highland Titles selling the land, it is their name on the tilte deeds registered with Register of Sasine or land Register. Where would the 1sq ft landowners with a title deed issued from Scottish Highland Titles be left. As far as the Register of Sasine or land Register is concerned it is Scottish Highland Titles right to sell it as they are (as far as the registers are concerned) the Legal title holders of the land.

    What recourse would the 1sq ft landowners then have?

    • BGHamilton says:

      The first point to make is that these companies, including the one you mention, own the land and have the legal right to sell, even one square foot at a time. If one of those companies then sold their estate without informing the new owner of previous sales that would be actionable. They do not have a legal right to sell the same piece of land twice. In theory they could; the prohibition of recording token plots in the registers creates a situation that only the company knows the totality of sales. However, these companies are well known for their activities and a purchaser of the whole lands is unlikely to purchase the land without being on notice that some of the original land has been sold.

      In answer to your last question; in the unlikely event that you descibe happening an owner of a token plot could object to the Keeper of the Registers of Scotland regarding land sold being subject to new registration. An owner of a token plot cannot have his ownership registered but he can object to it being registered in someone else’s name.

  3. So, to quote Rob Gibson Member of the Scottish Parliament in the Daily Reecord –

    “This exploitation of Scotland should be outlawed.”.

    “Selling square-feet souvenir plots of Scotland purely for financial gain is utterly unacceptable. I find this activity attracts spivs and speculators and people should avoid it with a bargepole.”

    “There should be some means to stop this. This is not the first time somebody has tried to make a fast buck out of selling a little piece of Scotland.”


    The Daily Record, August 21st 2010

  4. From
    Scottish Law Online

    Disposition

    “This is a formal document transferring ownership, or “title”, to the land. Following the first stage in the conveyance of the property (the missives), the purchaser has a personal right against the seller. Ownership of the property, however, which is a real right, (ie a right in the land) does not pass to the purchaser until the disposition is registered in the Register of Sasines or Land Register of Scotland.”

    • BGHamilton says:

      Scottish Law Online is wrong! It has ignored the legal position between purchasing and recording. Between these two events the person who has paid for the land has a personal right to the land. If he did not have a personal right he would not be able to create a real right. It is not a right against the seller unless that seller acts in bad faith. It is a right in favour of the purchaser. In the situation where the purchaser is unable to register his land his personal right remains. Certainly if the seller is dishonest, and we have no indications that in the circumstances we are talking about that they are, the purchaser because of his inability to register his land will be put to a lot of trouble.

  5. Niki says:

    To add to the excellent points that Mr. Hamilton has already made (forgive me if I did not use your proper title), I must say that the amount of ignorance on this site is just astounding!! For example, the attempt to link titles of Lord/Lady with that of “fake peerage” titles is misleading, at the very least, since the title of Lord/Lady is tied to land ownership and is NOT a title of peerage, nor have I seen any claims to the contrary made by most of the sites mentioned thus far. Therefore, trying to imply that such is invalid based on the fact that a title of peerage can not (technically) be bought is a blatant attempt to mislead and defraud your readers. Certainly in most cases, when a person held a title of peerage they were landowners as well and thus used both titles or did so as a courtesy address; however, the two are not the same and no dictionary in the world has ever linked the title of Lord with any specific amount of land required; therefore, we must wonder who is the one trying to mislead who here, and more importantly, why?

    Now, directly to my points, first, to John Duncan’s reply, when you quote a member of Scottish Parliament as saying that it “should be outlawed” you are, by default, proving that it is in fact legal and therefore, would it not be the case that those who are perpetuating this relentless campaign claiming that it is a “scam” are not only being disingenuous but committing libel as well?

    Further, to insinuate that those using Lord/Laird/Lady are in some way committing an illegal act, is again, false. Even by UK law you are free to use any name that you see fit, which is only natural as it should be an individual’s solemn right to be known by whatever designation suits them best; and so not only is there a very long standing tradition that entitles a land owner to the related address (regardless of how small their plot of land is)they are most certainly NOT committing an illegal act. If someone uses such a title as part of a plot to deceive others in some manner, then the deception itself is the illegal act, not the fact that they used the designation of Lord/Lady.

    I must wonder why people spend so much effort on things like this, with such an obvious hatred, when there are actually real scams out there and real problems to be addressed.

    I also notice that you claim people use these land sales merely for profit and greed, and while I am certain that there are dishonest people who use similar things to defraud, most of the companies that you seem to target are actually using this as a conservation and preservation effort and most of those who participate do so because of their love of Scotland and their desire to help preserve the natural and historical beauty of the land they feel so connected to. Perhaps that is something that you simply can not understand.

  6. Scots Titles says:

    Niki.

    Even by UK law you are free to use any name that you see fit,

    There is no such thing as UK law, the Land is in Scotland and is covered by Scots Law. Yes anyone can indeed call themselves what they want however, they are NOT adding a ‘title’ to their name as you suggest but changing their given name, for example, from Mr Joe Blogs to Mr Lord Joe Blogs they have not gained a title but a new first name. It is also quite apparent by looking at the Highland Titles Forum that this is exactly what they are doing to have Lord etc added to their driving licence and other official documents.

    I must say that the amount of ignorance on this site is just astounding!! For example, the attempt to link titles of Lord/Lady with that of “fake peerage” titles is misleading, at the very least, since the title of Lord/Lady is tied to land ownership and is NOT a title of peerage

    The title of ‘Lord’ in Scotland is NOT linked to the land. There are only three types of ‘Lord’ in Scotland a ‘Law Lord, peerage Lord and a feudal Lord (Barony). The title Laird is NOT interchangeable with Lord.

    There can also only be ONE Laird of any estate not multiple Lairds with the same Territorial Designation such as ‘of Glencoe’ and an estate is NOT 1sq ft plot but ownership of multiple acreage. If it were the case that 1 sq ft made you a Laird then every land owner in Scotland who owns a house or a garden plot would be a Laird.

    “Perhaps that is something that you simply can not understand.”

    I also notice that you claim people use these land sales merely for profit and greed, and while I am certain that there are dishonest people who use similar things to defraud, most of the companies that you seem to target are actually using this as a conservation and preservation effort and most of those who participate do so because of their love of Scotland

    If this is truly about land conservation, which I find hard to understand being that in some cases the land in question is in the Cairngorm National Park and is covered to a certain extent by park legislation and the planning department. Or, as in some other retailers of plots, a peat bog in Caithness. Why not drop the misleading become a Lord, Laird or Lady title rubbish and concentrate the various websites on land conservation and not the buying of an insignificant piece of land to gain a so called ‘Scottish title’.

    I think sales would plummet, as it is obvious that by various media such as the Australian channel 7 and other types of coverage, that it is about the thought of gaining of a ‘title’ and the conservation is perhaps little more than an afterthought if that.

  7. inchtalla says:

    Niki

    It is surely the companies that delude their clients into believing that they can call themselves “Lord” or “Lady” who are being disingenuous. The only reason to change one’s forename to “Lord” or “Lady” is to mislead others and misrepresent themselves so as to “gain advantage”, which is illegal in both English and Scottish law (gaining goods and services under false pretences). Furthermore, there is a difference in how this change is effected as in England, despite the common practice of using Deed Polls to do so, there are only three legal ways to change one’s Forenames: Confirmation (by far the easiest); Act of Parliament (difficult to achieve in modern times); and Royal Assent (ok, if you are a friend of the monarch of the day). Deed polls only truly have legal effect in changing one’s surname and, despite the frequency and ease with which Deed Polls are accepted, there is no legal obligation on any person to accept a change of first name effected by Deed Poll.

    Regarding “outlawed” meaning that it is legal, there are new crimes such as theft of virtual goods which do not currently have specific legislation prohibiting them, but that does not make it “legal”. This scam of selling souvenir plots with “titles” false into this self-same category.

    If these companies were truly about Scottish heritage and conservation they would base themselves within Scotland rather than outside the UK.

  8. scottishhighland titles are back by the way with a different website but same email address see http://www.highlandtitles.com and also on facebook
    I shall correct one or two conveyancing misconceptions referred to above separately.

    • minnimerc says:

      They had hijacked the Glencoe heritage trust through a L@rd desmond supposedly of Glencoe, I have been acting for the trust and managed to get the website changed but I am getting a lot of flack from these jumped up idiots. luckily I have been saving the information and building a case against them.

  9. levi1991 says:

    Real rights trump personal rights, thats the problem. So in the case of a company that went bust, the receivers of that company will have a ‘real right’ to the property as all the people who bought never registered it, they only have a ‘personal right’ all they can do is sue the seller, but seeing as he’s bankrupt that’s going to do nothing.

    It appears certain people here are completely ignorant of one of the most basic principles of Scots land law ‘traditionibus non nudis pactis domina rerum transferentur’ or in english ‘rights of property are transferred by delivery and not by bare agreement’

    The relevant law states ‘Abolition of Feudale Tenure (Scotland) Act 2000
    s.4 provides:
    (1) Ownership of land shall pass—
    (a) in a case where a transfer is registrable under s.2 of the Land Registration (Scotland) Act 1979, on registration in the Land Register of Scotland;
    (b) in any other case, on recording of a conveyance of the land in the Register of Sasines.’

    For land that delivery is registration, which means those who ‘bought’ the land don’t have a real right, just a contractual right against the company. And if that company has gone bust that essentially means they have NO rights at all!

    If you disagree feel free to tell my lecturers of property law the university of Aberdeen, I’m sure they’ll be amused!

  10. The people who were taken in by the pretender who claimed to be Grand Dutchess Anastasia Romanova of Russia in the 1920-30’s in NY were in a similar boat. Her supporters started a corporation called GRANDANOR (an anagram for Grand Dutchess Anastasia of Russia) and sold shares, with shareholders promised a percentage of any monies recovered from the banks in England rumored to be holding funds on deposit by the Czar prior to his abdication and susequent demise in 1918. Needless to say, they all lost their investments, but they were not necessarily fools, nor were they broke before or after. It was more a measure to provide financial support for the pretender than an investment intended to produce a substantial return, although the believers in the scheme certainly expected the vaults in London to be thrown open eventually and spew Russian Gold…

  11. To all of the people out there who care deeply about the legitimacy of Scottish Highland Titles. I will be blunt. You are not going to like it. Scottish Highland Titles ARE legal. Laws that are made hundreds of years ago are not suddenly rescinded because they don’t seem to make sense hundreds of years later. What normally happens is that they are there, but mainly forgotten. People who live in foreign countries find it very prestigious in their own country to hold a British Title. They stand apart a little from the rest if they have the title of Lord or Lady in front of their name. This is an example of a Legal Loophole. All the people who paid money to purchase their plot and have been allotted a plot number as part of the process and have been registered as Lairds, Lords and Ladies with the Companies they purchased their plots from are LEGALLY Lairds, Lords or Ladies. These are manorial seated titles, nothing to do with HRH but more to do with some old land laws. My advice – get in quick and get yourself and your family a title before the laws ARE rescinded. All the fuss and international internet bun fights about the Titles is drawing too much negative attention to the Titles Scheme. Good heavens, you people will be questioning the role and title of HRH.
    LADY FAIR LADY BRIGHT

  12. inchtalla says:

    You posted elsewhere asking about the legality of these schemes as you had purchased 2 manorial titles: no vendor is going to admit to anything that is even morally dubious let alone of questionable legality. Yes, there is a legal loophole, which I (and others in Scotland) would like to see closed.

    However, the deception of some vendors (not all) applies to their misleading purchasers into thinking that they can use Lord or Lady as a title in front of their name when all they have purchased is a piece of land to which they do not have real rights (thus, it could be legally resold by the vendor and the new owner would have no obligation to the plot owners, who would have to sue the company if they could find them). Only Dunans (which is where, I believe from your other posting, you have your plots) is honest enough to state in the small print that no transfer of land takes place. Were they to be entirely honest, they would be clear that they are selling souvenir plots of Scotland and not titles. As the Lyon has pointed out, Laird is not a title but a respectful description of a person who generally had the role of owner of an estate by his tenants.

    So what is illegal? By telling people that they can change their documents to Lord or Lady, the vendors are encouraging people to break the laws of some nations by proclaiming themselves to be a peer (or child of a peer of the realm) as that is the only way Lord and Lady are used in the UK. Lord is not synonymous with Laird and has not been so for centuries – a correct translation into modern English would be Squire (an owner of an estate or substantial piece of land). Thus, no purchaser of a 1 square foot ( apiece of land so small that its owner could not stand on it without encroaching on their neighbours’ plots) is legitimately a Laird, let alone legally a Lord. To my mind, there are only two reasons to place Lord or Lady in front of one’s name, when one has merely bought a tiny wee piece of Scotland: snobbish pretension or intent to defraud.

    This is one of the reasons that these vendors focus their sales drives in Australia and the USA, because they know that their target market are likely to be ignorant of British Titles. You, yourself, have used an incorrect honorific if you were referring to the Queen (she is correctly styled HM The Queen).

    [By the way, I find your comment about the Queen somewhat ironic given Australia's proclivity in trying to become a Republic. A country that is deeply divided over the monarchy, yet finds British Titles prestigious, is almost as droll as the Americans who with one hand proclaim egalitarianism but desperately seek an honour to raise them above the common herd.]

    So all this fuss on the net is hurting this trade in a meaningless “titles” (sic): good! If they were serious about conservation (and in some cases the evidence is severely lacking), they would be charities and not profit making companies, the majority of which are not even in Scotland! It is clear that in most cases the vendors care little or nothing about Scotland, present or past, but are out to make themselves a pretty fortune.

    This site has made at least two promoters of these non-titles substantially clean up their act, which can only be to the good.

  13. TruBlu says:

    Very well put inchtalla. None of these companies sell titles, they sell tiny plots of land and suggest to buyers that this confers the right to a title. The responsibility of so doing falls entirely on the buyer who has no more right to do so than non landowners. The fact of owning land has got nothing at all to do with whether one can or cannot be titled.

    I agree that if all the fuss is hurting the trade, that can only be a really really good thing :-)

    The conservation claims of one of these companies (Highland Titles – Glencoe Estates) has recently, on the forum on this site, been shown to be highly dubious, with even the claim that the motivation that the land was bought to protect it from development looking very unlikely indeed.

    I’d think that others seeing the profits that can be made will find it attractive to start similar businesses. Are these the kind of companies we want to attract to do business in Scotland? I hope not, the sooner this whole tawdry farce is forced to clean up and cease making outright false and misleading claims the better. These companies are often based offshore, pay little in the way of UK takes, and provide very very little in the way of employment or opportunities in Scotland.

    Make more fuss!!

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