Recent progress on the Land Registration Act; CML Handbook; national standard clauses

Since the last update (Journal, October 2014, 33), things have been generally quiet so far as new issues are concerned, but like all serene swimming swans, there has been a large amount of activity beneath the surface.

First, and most important, has been the ongoing work in liaising with Registers of Scotland in connection with the introduction of the Land Registration etc (Scotland) Act 2012. Committee members have been actively involved in the preparation of guidance for solicitors, not to mention attending the numerous roadshows held to try and assist the profession. Particular thanks should go to Fiona Alexander for pulling together various suggestions and views not just on guidance, but on how the Act will be interpreted in various areas of practical importance.

We have also been dealing with the Council of Mortgage Lenders Scotland in respect of the forthcoming revisals to the CML Handbook, another element of work which has been going on behind the scenes for some months. By the time this article appears, it is expected that the various revisals to the Handbook will have been published and members will be able to acquaint themselves with a variety of changes which will apply in respect of loan instructions for future transactions.

Based on this work, it is hoped that there will be ongoing engagement with the CML on a number of topics of mutual interest, of which more in due course.

Separately, but working closely with the committee, the Working Party on the Future of Conveyancing continues to develop a number of important themes. In particular, it has been instrumental in putting together the first set of National or Scottish Standard Clauses. At time of writing, the terms have finally been agreed and again it is hoped that in early December they will have been registered and distributed to the profession with a view to their use throughout the country. The drafting party has had representatives from Dumfries and Inverness and all points in between, and the goodwill shown throughout has produced this important document in what is arguably a remarkably short time.

December is promising to look like an exceptionally important month for the property sector of the profession.

Ross MacKay, convener, Property Law Committee

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