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Registers of Scotland (RoS) is to work with Scottish Land and Estates to make sure that landowners in Scotland are part of the process that will see all privately owned land registered and mapped by 2024. The Scottish Government has asked RoS to complete the country’s land register by 2024 for privately owned land and property and by 2019 for publicly owned titles. At the moment, around 58% of all Scottish properties are on the register and around 27% of Scotland's land mass. Almost all the remaining properties are held on the General Register of Sasines. Property currently transfers from the Sasine to the Land Register through change in ownership, or by the owner voluntarily applying for registration. However from April next year this register will close to standard securities, such as a remortgage, and any change to title will automatically come on to the land register. Landowners are being urged to register their land voluntarily with officials pointing out that benefits will include clarity of title on the map based system, which provides greater certainty and security about what is owned. A voluntary registration also includes a state backed warranty of the information contained in the title deed. The Keeper of the Registers of Scotland has a new lever known as Keeper Induced Registration (KIR) where she can register land and property with no involvement of the owner. The details of how this process will work have yet to be finalised and a public consultation will be held later this year. ‘Our commitment is to take reasonable steps to ensure that ownership of land is visible and to ensure that landowners or their named representatives are accessible and contactable,’ said David Johnstone, chairman of Scottish Land and Estates. ‘As owners and managers of land, members are concerned about the process and professional costs of voluntary or keeper induced registration of title and in particular the impact of any changes from a practical perspective. In general, we are concerned to ensure the integrity and accuracy of the land register for landowners across Scotland and will continue to work closely with Registers of Scotland as it progresses this work to achieve its target,’ he explained. Charles Keegan, head of Land Register Completion at Registers of Scotland, said that when titles are added to the map based public register, RoS will provide a title sheet that provides greater clarity on what is owned and should make any future transactions quicker and easier. ‘We look forward to continuing to work with Scottish Land and Estates members going forward on registering their titles and would encourage anyone with an interest in voluntary registration to get in touch with the team,’ he added. Continue reading →
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