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Big Changes in Scots Property Law - The Land Registration (Scotland) Act 2012 - 16th December 2014 - Click for larger version Big Changes in Scots Property Law - The Land Registration (Scotland) Act 2012 - 16th December 2014

A new piece of Scottish property legislation has just come into effect, which causes probably the most significant changes to Scottish property law, in several decades. This is the Land Registration (Scotland) Act 2012.

In the past, when completing a property purchase transaction, a Scottish solicitor would only be able to obtain a title search brought down to a date a few days before completion.

This meant that there was a slight exposure in terms of an unforeseen deed being registered against the seller’s title between the search date and completion.

To get around this problem, the selling solicitor would issue a “letter of obligation” which basically confirmed that as long as the purchaser’s title was registered within a specified period, their client would get a good and marketable title to the property.

As of 8th December 2014, this system has changed. Now, solicitors may register an “advance notice” against the title indicating the ongoing transaction. This notice then covers the period of the next thirty five days and protects the purchaser against competing deeds being registered within that period.

In addition, the Registers are moving away from the Ordinance Survey Map and instead will be using the Cadastral Map. It remains to be seen what issues that will cause in terms of plotting titles.

There are also further practical changes in relation to matters such as the issuing of hard copy title deeds following the registration process and the ordering of property searches.

It is a period of significant change in Scots Property Law and it will be interesting to see how matters evolve over the coming months and years.

However, hopefully these changes will have most impact on the legal profession and should not cause any significant inconvenience to our clients.

Last updated: 8.24am, Tuesday 16th December 2014

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