If you or your business acquired rural or commercial land more than 20 years ago, it is most likely recorded in the General Register of Sasines rather than registered under the land registration regime.
The land could be in the Sasine register if it was acquired more recently by a method which did not trigger land registration such as a gift, a transfer to a beneficiary by trustees, a transfer to a legatee by executors or a transfer of a Company’s shares.
Perhaps parts of the land are registered in the Land Register and parts are in the Sasine register because events such as the grant of a lease for 20 years or more, or securing a loan have resulted in ‘patches’ of the land being registered in the newer map-based register.
The Scottish Government has tasked the Registers of Scotland with registering all land in Scotland by 2024 (publicly-owned land by the end of 2019). If you or your business own an asset in the form of recorded land, you are affected.
In October 2018, the Registers launched ScotLIS (the Scottish Land Information Service), an online tool which enables individuals and businesses to look at a map of Scotland and access information about ownership, bringing registration into sharper focus.
The following are reasons why you should ask us to check the registration status of your land and benefits of acting now to move your land into the Land Register:-
Registration means mapping the boundaries on the Ordnance Survey Map, removing ambiguity and competition in Sasine descriptions. The law protects the rights of persons who acquire land in good faith with the result that there is a benefit in mapping and registering your boundaries before neighbouring land is registered and sold.
Registering title is an opportunity to prevent access or ransom strip issues if the land or part of it is developed by curing latent problems in Sasine title deeds. It is also an opportunity to update the title by adding or removing rights and conditions, such as removing burdens which no longer subsist or adding a valuable right which has been established outwith a formal title deed, such as a prescriptive right of access over a neighbouring property.
Land registration can consolidate and simplify complex title data and eliminate the time and financial cost of losing paper title deeds.
Dealing with registered titles makes buying and selling and granting security over property easier, faster and therefore cheaper.
A land registered title includes a state-backed guarantee of validity as at the date of registration.
There are clear benefits in retaining control of the timing and cost of the registration process. The Registers are using Keeper-Induced-Registration (registration without the consent of the proprietor) for certain types of property across the country and, despite criticism before the latest Land Registration Act was brought into force, the process does not take account of the views or knowledge of the proprietor. By voluntarily registering your title you can avoid unexpected levies from the Registers and/or the cost of remedying errors.
We will not charge you for checking the registration status of your property. The legal cost of registration will depend on the number of Sasine title deeds and the quality of the plans. We will provide you with an estimate of costs before proceeding and the cost will be spread across a registration timetable which we will agree with you.
In addition to the legal cost, registration dues are payable to the Registers. The dues depend on the value of the property. For example, the registration dues for a property valued between £300,000 and £500,000 will be £450.
To discuss your requirements, please contact Philip Buchan or your usual contact at Murray Beith Murray.
We are trusted advisors with vast experience in rural property matters. Our highly personal service reflects our culture, which is centred on integrity, trust and expertise, and the guidance we provide has been designed to be an investment rather than an expense. For more information, please contact us today.