05 Dec 2014
Chris Comfort, Senior Solicitor, assesses whether the new act allows for easier registration.
From December the 8th, the new Land Registration (Scotland) Act 2012 will officially come into force. When the official change over takes place, what should we expect in place of the old system?
The aim of the new act is to reform the law surrounding the registration of rights to land within the Land Register of Scotland by repealing a significant amount of the current Land Registration (Scotland) Act 1979 by putting a new system of registration into place. The new Act brings in new practices for the conveyancing process, for example Advance Notices taking place of the standard Letter of Obligation and a new registration form taking place of the former forms 1, 2 and 3.
Furthermore the introduction of the new ‘One Shot Rule’ limits the leniency which the Keeper may have once had when rejecting applications. Now the Keeper will really only allow for ‘perfect’ applications, without the need for requisitions. The current requisition system was found to be unsatisfactory creating a disadvantageous domino effect for both conveyancers and home owners, by tarnishing application records with unnecessary errors therefore causing delay and extended uncertainty as to the title of the land in question. With erroneous applications jumping the queue and taking priority over satisfactory applications, delaying the actually registration of the new title holder - it allowed for scrupulous conveyancers having to compensate for the less scrupulous.
Importantly, from a practical perspective, will this allow for an ‘easier’ registration process? Well initially, probably not. Like most things, there will probably be teething problems in getting to grips with how exactly the new system works and what is to be expected by the Keeper. Regardless, initially the new registration forms and the ‘one shot rule’ seek to speed up the registration system and eliminate any defective applications at a faster pace than is currently applied. As a general overview, once the new system overcomes the inevitable teething problems, the replacement registration form and one shot rule combined, should provide for better efficiency and simplicity in the registration system, by eliminating any confusion with regard to which forms to use in ambiguous title applications, and a speedy response from the Keeper when an application isn’t quite ‘perfect’.
With the Keeper’s aim of reform in mind, it would appear that the new practices enforced by this new act will succeed in creating clarity for title applications and lessen any ambiguity existing within the registration process.
To discuss the registration process of the Land Registration (Scotland) Act 2012, get in touch with one of our expert advisors by clicking here.