Registers of Scotland page: service standards; 2012 Act update

Customers consistently tell us that speed of service and accuracy of our products are the two most important factors for them. Therefore, Registers of Scotland (RoS) has placed considerable emphasis on the speed and accuracy with which we deal with applications for registration. This has driven a significant reduction in the stocks of work that RoS now has.

At present RoS receives, on average, 6,000 applications to the Land Register every week. Our current stock of work (the number of applications outstanding) is circa 54,000 applications; that figure is being reduced on a weekly basis. As a comparison, two years ago our stock of work stood at 132,000 applications. This continuing reduction is being achieved against the welcome background of an improving property market and the subsequent increase in applications being presented for registration.

The introduction of service standards in April 2013 brought a real focus on completing casework within a defined timeframe. This has resulted in 45% of all casework being completed within one to five days, and 85% within 30 days. We aim to complete the remainder within six months for first registrations, and nine months for transfers of part. In 2013, we managed to complete all but some 200 first registration applications within six months.

Reducing our stock of work brings benefits to the Scottish public, solicitors and lenders by providing certainty far sooner. It also places RoS and the legal profession in a position to better enable the implementation of the Land Registration etc (Scotland) Act 2012 later this year.

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2012 Act update

The main provisions of the Land Registration etc (Scotland) Act 2012 are likely to commence later this year. As part of the preparations for this, RoS is working very closely with the Law Society of Scotland, and a joint working group has been set up between RoS and the Property Law Committee (PLC). This group is considering the conveyancing and practice impacts for solicitors that arise from the Act.

The group has been running for three months, and has already considered matters as diverse as the launch of advance notices, the introduction of the Cadastral Map, and the replacement of land and charge certificates by the new notification provisions. The group will continue its examination of the new legislation over the coming months.

One of the key outcomes of the group is the compilation of information notes and “frequently asked questions” (FAQs). These will be published on the 2012 Act section of the RoS website:

The first set of FAQs to be published relate to advance notices, and the aim is to publish information on other topics every few weeks. Look out for FAQs on the one shot rule, prescriptive claimants, and the new notification provisions; these will be published shortly.

Ross MacKay, convener of the Property Law Committee, commented: “Though this involves a considerable effort by the PLC, we are delighted to be involved with RoS in working out the mechanics of the new legislation with a view to ensuring a smooth transition to the new technical requirements necessary under the Act.”

Service standards update

  • Stocks of casework have reduced by

75% or

168,000 cases

over the last six years

  • 40%

reduction in casework arrears since the same period last year, despite increased intakes of Land Register applications

Service standards now apply to all Land Register products

Speed of service and quality standards remain high

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