Skip to content

Which Lairdship Schemes Respond to Email and How Quickly

Scotland Highlands - The Quirang
Who’re active? Who’re out walking in the highlands? Who get lost in the mist? Image via Wikipedia

We decided to do an email survey of the lairdship schemes we have already reviewed, and the results have been very very interesting. We can now say that Scottishlaird.com, Lochaber Highland Estates, Moon Estates  and Scottish Highland Titles are the active outfits on the list and the rest are let down either by contact forms which don’t work, email addresses which bounce back or simply no reply.

And of course this is hugely important. Not only do we need a point of contact if anything goes wrong, but also, to make enquiries before we purchase.

What we did

To make this a fair survey we created an email with three relatively straightforward questions (there’s a copy of our email below), registered a google mail account and then contacted each of the Lairdship schemes in the manner they prefer on their website – either by straightforward email or contact form. Then if the answering email did not fully answer our question we re-iterated it.

The questions were:

  1. Is the title inheritable, and if it is, what happens if the rest of the estate is sold?
  2. When I order how long does it take me to get the documents (I’m in London W12)?
  3. When I come to visit my ‘estate’ is there any chance of meeting someone there to help me identify my plot?

The Results

1. Scottish Laird answered in 31 minutes. It’s evident that the owner Charles Dixon-Spain was at his computer when the email came in and he replied immediately. We like what he says, and he’s volunteered to meet Mitchell Warrington when and if he comes on site. This is big plus point as none of the other schemes offered this — looking at his address it is because he lives on site. It follows up what they say on their website, and frankly Mitchell can’t wait to go! The interesting thing here was his answer to (1): he doesn’t sidestep the issue the estate getting sold (and in fact he adds in the issue of when he dies). Apparently, there’s a Charitable Trust which will administer the ScottishLaird project once he’s gone. This is very reassuring and gives the project he is running a feeling of longevity and competence. Reviewed here.

2. Lochaber Highland Estates answered in just over the hour. Their answers were as we’d expect, but a little short on one of the topics, so we mailed them again, and their reply made us chuckle. What is nice, like ScottishLaird, is there is a certain amount of personality and customer service here. We weren’t really convinced by their answers to question no. 1. Given that the sale of one square foot of land in Scotland is not covered by the Land registry, the Laird or Lady is dependent on the parcel of land in question being owned and administered by, in this case, Lochaber Estates in perpertuity. To say that the land can’t be sold because so many people own it, isn’t really dealing with the issue. Reviewed here.

3. Moon Estates (Laird of Kincavel) answered in 1 hour and 30 minutes. Again, this answer was as we’d expect. The same reservations pertain to this as to Lochaber Estates. The only difference here was really that it took an hour and a half to reply. We must say we find this an entirely respectable return time and wouldn’t be perturbed in the slightest. Reviewed here.

4. Scottish Highland Titles (Laird of Glencairn) took 3 hours 24 minutes to answer our email, so, again within the same business day. Unfortunately not in time for last post, but nevertheless a pretty respectable result. And the answers elicited looked much the same as Moon Estates and Lochaber Estates. Reviewed here.

5. Scottish Land Sales (Laird of Bandrum) finally got back to us via their webdesign people as their form does not work (big demerits for that one), Somerset Web Design, with an email which has a hectoring tone to it which we’re not comfortable with. The idea of 175 year lease being the only legal way of owning the land seems odd, and unlike the other schemes there seems to be a reticence on identifying individual plots. Surely the sensible way of doing this is to have a fixed marker and extrapolate a plot’s location? We chuckled at the justification for not having staff on site. Reviewed here.

The other three schemes we reviewed will now carry a warning, because try as we might, and we tried as much as any prospective laird or lady should try given the competition in the market, we couldn’t get a response out of them.

  • InstantRoyalty.com make much todo about not letting spam spiders get hold of their email address, redirect you to another website called “Rons Help Desk” and then ask you to select them scheme you wish to contact Ron about. Frankly, all of this would have been just about bearable but then the contact form doesn’t work — something about a licence expiring. Sloppy that is.
  • Select Titles (Laird of Tattingstone) gives an email, but to date we haven’t received a reply.
  • Scottish Highland Titles (Laird of Kingsdale) have a contact form, which seems to work, but to which they haven’t yet replied.
In conclusion, this experiment has definitely shown which schemes are worth the candle, and which just do not cut it. We’ll be demoting Laird of Bandrum for tone and general lateness and given Scottish Laird’s performance and their answer to the inheritance query, we’ll be promoting them to equal to Lochaber Estates, because they STILL haven’t included a product shot.

Here’s the correspondence we sent out and have received

Hi,
I’m thinking of buying a lairdship from you as my grandmother was Scottish (a McHale from Ayrshire) and I wanted some way of celebrating her and my ancestry. I have some queries:
1. Is the title inheritable, and if it is, what happens if the rest of the estate is sold?
2. When I order how long does it take me to get the documents (I’m in London W12)?
3. When I come to visit my ‘estate’ is there any chance of meeting someone there to help me identify my plot?
Thanks,
Mitchell Warrington
The replies:
31 minutes: Scottish Laird —
Hi Mitchell,
Thanks for your query.
In answer to your questions:
1. Yes the title is inheritable. And as for ‘if we sell’ or, as some have asked ‘when we die’, your plot of land will remain yours. On sale or our death administration of the ScottishLaird project will pass into the Charitable Trust’s care, which will therefore also guarantee your rights in perpetuity, including access to the river for fishing, walking in the grounds and the visiting castle once it is restored.
2. We can have the package out to you within 24 hours, so if you ordered now you’d have it by Friday at the latest
3. Let me know when you intend to visit and I’ll be very happy to show you where your plot is. Be warned though, you’ll need rugged footwear! The plot is in a beautiful, tranquil spot in the ravine (below the tallest tree in the UK – so we’re told), but it can get a bit wet when it rains …
I hope that I have answered your questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need anything else.
Kind regards,
Charles Dixon-Spain
Charles Dixon-Spain, MA
Laird of Dunans Castle
Dunans Castle,
Glendaruel
Argyll PA22 3AD
http://scottishlaird.com
01369 820 115
Lochaber Highland Estates: 1 hour 3 minutes

Good afternoon,

Yes the title can be passed on to your children or other family.

Once we receive an order we normally despatch the pack the following day and it would take 1-2 days to be delivered in the UK.

You can visit the estate at any time but there is normally no-one available to be able to help you. You do get map co-ordinates with your order so if you have GPS it should be fiarly easy to find the area. Google map is very helpful also.

If you have any further questions please get back to us.

Jo

Contact Details:

Enquiries/orders: 01481 823939

Fax: 01481 823940

Email: sales@lochaberhighlandestates.com

wesbites: www.lochaberhighlandestates.com

websites: www.scottishwoodland.com

We asked for a little clarification here:

Hi Jo,

Thanks for your reply. You have answered all my questions except the one regarding what happens if the estate is sold. I don’t think I was very clear on this. I meant that if Lochaber Highland Estates sold their holding, what would happen to my inheritable title? Would I still own it?

Thanks in advance,

Mitchell

And we received this in reply:

Good afternoon,

Apologies for delay in replying – I have just returned from lunch break….. feel better now

You & your heirs own your plot for ever and as the land is owned by multipal landowners it would never be sold as one. Any plot owner can resell their plot to someone else if they do  not wish to keep it but because the land is and will be owned by a large number of people it is really being conserved for a long time into the future.

Jo

Laird of Kincavel (Moon Estates), 1 hour 30 minutes:

Hi,

Thank you for your enquiry.  I can confirm that yes the title is inheritable.  It doesn’t make any difference if the rest of the estate is sold as you will still be the owner of your particular plot.

Orders placed with us are usually sent out within 24 hours, so you should receive your pack within 3-4 working days.  Unfortunately the estate is not manned, and because of the natural state of the land it would be impossible to pinpoint the precise location of your plot exactly anyway.  However the plot map that you receive will give you a good idea of where your plot is located.

I hope this is helpful but if you have any further questions please let me know.

Warm regards,

Angela Young

MoonEstates.com Ltd

www.moonestates.com

E: angela@moonestates.com

T: 0800 034 6102 or +44 1726 874180

F: +44 1726 874185

Mail: Freepost SWB 40683, St Austell, PL25 5ZZ, UK

Laird of Glencairn, 3 hours 24 minutes

Hello Mitchell,

Many thanks for your enquiry.

Yes, the Titles can be inherited and passed down through the generations. The land will always remain in the name of South Angus Survival and cannot be sold as one package as there are so many individual landowners.

Delivery to London from order would be approx 7-10 working days.

The estate is not manned but we can offer detailed directions and advice as to what to do and where to go once you are at the location.

I hope this is of some help to you.

Please get in touch if I can be of further help :o)

Kind regards,

Jill,

Scottish Highland Titles

Laird of Bandrum, 32 hours +

Dear Mr Warrington

Thank you for your enquiry.

1.      The plots are leased for 175 years in the name of you nominee, the

longest possible under Scots law, and the only legal way of having

possession of such a small land area. However, they do not have any material

value.

2.      To a UK address, we can usually ship within about 3 days assuming there

are no complications over names, addresses etc

3.      These are heritage (souvenir) plots with a gift package and therefore are

not marked out (they are too small for this) The land area on which they are

located is for all plot-holders to enjoy in general. Sorry, but we do not

keep resident staff on the site. Our plotholders find the beautiful

isolation and views a comfort that would be mitigated by staff or

structures..

We hope this has been helpful

Sincerely

Basil Kelly

For SCOTTISH LAND SALES

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Be Sociable, Share!
Sphere: Related Content

3 Comments

  1. Elizabeth Mann

    Mr Warrington.
    I cannot thank you enough for your endeavour to determine the best Lairdship schemes available.
    I am an Australian with Scottish links and want to purchase such a scheme……but I could not for the life of me figure out which was the best offer. You have solved it for me….so I thank you….again.
    Lizzie Mann

    Posted on 10-Mar-10 at 12:23 am | Permalink
  2. Anne Ross

    Thanks for the prompt service when I ordered a title for my friends 40th Birthday she is so delighted and cannot wait to use this title.Now other people will have to think of a present to top mines that will be very hard.

    Posted on 21-Jun-10 at 10:56 am | Permalink
  3. Admin

    Anne … Which one did you use??

    Posted on 09-Feb-12 at 11:07 am | Permalink

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *
*
*