Today, the 8th of December 2014, the land and property sector will face its biggest change in decades, as a new law comes into force which impacts the system of land registration in Scotland.
While the changes will be felt primarily by property professionals, at Pagan Osborne we have highlighted some key aspects which will impact you as land and property owners:
- The New Register – in an effort to embrace a “paper-light” system, we will no longer receive hard copies of Land and Charge Certificates. The Title Sheet Record will be available online with an option to request an extract for £30. The new Land Register will effectively comprise of the application record; an archive record; the title sheet; and the cadastral map (which shows the limits and boundaries of a property).
- First Registration, Keeper Induced Registration and Voluntary Registration – all transfers of property or dealings which vary an interest in land (by way of a sale, a gift, a disposition by executors or trustees to beneficiaries and the granting of standard securities) will now be first registered on the new Land Register.
If your title is already recorded in the General Register of Sasines (which acted as the register of land transactions prior to the introduction of the Land Register in 1979) any subsequent transfer of ownership will automatically be recorded in the Land Register after 8th December 2014.
The 2012 Act continues to preserve the right for landowners to voluntarily register their property and the Keeper of the Register will now have the power to register a plot of land at their own discretion.
The associated registration and legal costs which this will have on land owners is currently under review. General opinion is that the Keeper will primarily focus on large areas of land owned by local authorities. What this does mean however is that registering deeds for the first time in the Land Register will have a substantial impact on the extent of work required during the legal process to ensure that title is fully examined and ownership of the plot of land in question can be clearly established and referenced.
- Costs and Fees – The fees which you pay to Registers of Scotland when registering any deed remain unchanged. An additional charge of £10 will now be payable in relation to the new system of Advance Notices, which offer a period of protection for those who are benefitting from the transfer. An Advance Notice will be recorded against any deed for a period of 35 days prior to transfers of ownership and it has been suggested that the party granting the Advance Notice should meet the cost, unless otherwise contractually agreed.
If you wish to discuss any of the above further, or you would like to discuss your options for voluntary registration, please contact one of our property professionals at Pagan Osborne.