A new version of the “Scottish Standard Clauses” (SSC) is launched throughout the country today.

The purchase of a house is the most important single financial transaction most people will undertake. It can be a stressful process for both buyer and seller (and sometimes for their solicitors too!), but the aim of the SSC is to remove some of the stress and uncertainty, by allowing a contract to become legally binding quickly.

An offer for a property in Scotland requires to be in writing and there is no binding or enforceable contract until there is an eventual straight acceptance in writing. For many years, the process was prolonged, with numerous contract letters being exchanged between a buyers and sellers’ solicitors until a final agreement on the terms were reached.

In order to try and bring an end to the delays and uncertainty that this caused, solicitors throughout Scotland, of which Macleod & MacCallum were one of the Highland representatives, formed a Working Party who met to agree a set of Clauses that would generally be acceptable to all parties in the majority of cases, and the “Scottish Standard Clauses – Edition 1” was launched in December 2014.

After a year or so of operation of the Clauses, a number of fairly minor amendments were made to the Clauses to clarify some areas, and Edition 2 is now being rolled out nationally today.

These Clauses are not something to immediately concern a buyer or seller, but you will become familiar with these as part of the process, as the terms of the SSC will be discussed with you in detail by your solicitor, to enable them to then ensure that a contract can be concluded quickly, and to allow you to concentrate on the coming move, in the knowledge that there is a legally binding contract, and to enable you to plan appropriately.

If you have any queries about the buying or selling process please do not hesitate to contact us.

May 3, 2016