By Julian Small





"Feuing" is the term for the legal process under Scottish law of selling land. 

The full definition of the Scottish feudal system of land tenure is as follows: 

"The property of land in Scotland is held either directly and immediately under the Crown as paramount superior of all feudal subjects; or indirectly, either as vassal to some one who holds his land immediately from the Crown, or as sub-Vassal in a still more subordinate degree."

(Bell: Principles of the Law of Scotland).

Sub-feuing may continue through any number of levels, the grantor or so-called Superior granting land to the vassal or feuar.  In granting the feu, the Superior may impose conditions limiting the uses to which the land may be put, or impose the requirement to pay an annual feu-duty (usually a constant amount).  If the land is feued for building, the Superior may impose conditions regarding the buildings to be constructed on that land.  Any conditions imposed in this way may be waived by the Superior, but otherwise continue for all time.  The land, once it has been feued, is - apart from any conditions, and so long as they are fulfilled - exclusively in the possession of the feuar.  When a feuar sells his land or buildings, the proceeds belong entirely to him, and the purchaser is bound by the same conditions (including any payment of feu-duty to the Superior) as the former feuar. 

It was because of the ability to impose conditions on its feuars that the City Council of Edinburgh was able to establish rules regarding the heights of buildings on the various streets in the New Town, and, for example, to require builders of houses in Charlotte Square to construct the facades to Robert Adam’s design. 

 Published by Cadking Design Ltd, Edinburgh, Scotland - Copyright © Cadking Design 1997-2001
Last Update 14 June 2001- Optimised for IE5+ and Netscape 4.5+