16 Sep 2015
Rob Aberdein, Partner, analyses the impact first registrations have on lenders.
What is the Register of Sasines?
The General Register of Sasines - also known as the Sasine Register - is the oldest land register in the world, dating back to 1617. Its name comes from the old French word 'seizer', which means 'take'.
The Sasine Register is a chronological list of land deeds, which contain written descriptions of properties. It is gradually being replaced by the map-based ‘Land Register’.
What is changing?
Following the introduction of the Land Registration etc. (Scotland) Act 2012 on 8th December 2014, the Scottish Government has set a target for Registers of Scotland to complete the Land Register within the next ten years. This means “closing” the Register of Sasines.
As of April 2016 the closure of the Register of Sasines to Standard Securities will mean that any property over which a Standard Security is granted must be registered in the Land Register of Scotland.
The Register of Sasines will be closed to all future applications for registration in a staged manner over the next ten years.
How does this impact upon lenders offering remortgages?
A full first registration of title will be required in every remortgage where the property is currently registered in the Register of Sasines.
This means a significant amount of additional work once a remortgage is completed in terms of registering the customer’s title and a lender’s standard security.
The additional activity required for those interested includes:
• A full title examination to ensure title is valid, marketable and able to be registered in the Land Register without limitation of Warranty;
• The completion of the application forms for the voluntary application;
• Obtaining a ‘plans report’ in order to confirm that the occupied extent of the property matches the legal extent of the title. If the plans currently held with the Sasine deeds are insufficient then fresh plans will be required; and
• A full title check on receipt of the completed application back from Registers of Scotland in order to ensure that all property is registered correctly.
The Registers of Scotland are in the process of drafting ‘detailed proposals’ in order to make the process for voluntary registration required in a remortgage easier for customers and for solicitors acting for lenders.
Lenders would need to consider the implications for remortgages, questions they may need to pose themselves may include:
•What is the impact on ‘free legals’?;
• Are the changes a barrier to a remortgage for some customers?;
• Who will pay the extra legal fees and outlays – the customer or the client?; and
• How will the changes impact on SLAs and timescales?