Most readers will by now be aware of the changes to the system of land registration introduced by the Land Registration etc (Scotland) Act 2012. The proposed move from the old Sasine Register, a descriptive based register, to the Land Register by 2024 for all private land, offers opportunities for landowners to be either proactive or reactive to the impending changes. The options are either voluntary registration or to wait for Keeper-induced Registration or an event that triggers first registration, such as sale such as the transfer of a property either as a result of a sale, death or gift or the granting of a lease to a third party.
Keeper-induced Registration allows the Keeper of the Registers of Scotland to move a Sasine title onto the Land Register irrespective of what the owner wants to do. It is carried out at the expense of the Registers and without input from the landowner, so there are opportunities for potential issues to arise outwith the owner’s control. Any errors in registration require an application to the Keeper to rectify the entry and title. Keeper-induced Registration has been piloted in some areas of Scotland and at the moment it is mainly focused on public sector land and urban areas.
With voluntary registration there is the opportunity to exercise an element of control over the registration process, and you may benefit from getting all of your ducks in a row. It is worth considering the 25 per cent discount on registration fees and for voluntary registration, particular where they might be boundary issues or uncertainty with regard to title, this has been guaranteed until the middle of 2019. Is this a big enough incentive when considered in the context of wider costs of the process? Voluntary registration is something certainly worth considering before Keeper induced registration comes around. Individual circumstances will dictate policy and appetite for the chosen route.
As a firm we have been dealing with more and more cases where new title deed plans are required for first registration due to certain trigger events. Whilst the majority of the time the process is straight forward, there are cases which can become complex and protracted. Individual circumstances will dictate policy and appetite for the chosen route, but the issue of land registration certainly merits discussion and planning.
Edwin Thompson can provided advice and mapping support to produce plans that meet the Registers’ deed plan requirements.
Ben Burbridge is a rural practice surveyor with Edwin Thompson LLP based in the Galashiels office. He provides professional advice to clients throughout southern Scotland on a range of rural issues.