Registers of Scotland page: voluntary registration; 2012 Act guidance; rejected applications

Land Register completion: report on consultation

Our report on the Land Register completion consultation has been published on our website at www.ros.gov.uk/consultations. Thank you to everyone who took part.

One of the main outcomes of the report is that Scottish ministers have agreed to offer a 25% reduction in voluntary registration fees as part of efforts to complete the Land Register by 2024, with all public land registered by 2019. Around 58% of all Scottish properties are on the Land Register – that amounts to about 26% of Scotland’s land mass.

As well as charging a lower fee, we will no longer have the legal power to refuse applications for voluntary registration. This change will formalise the existing open-door policy for voluntary registrations that we have operated for some time.

Charles Keegan, head of Land Register completion, commented: “A completed Land Register will be a national asset for Scotland, providing a single, comprehensive, publicly searchable register that gives clarity on who owns what.

“Voluntary registration is one of the main ways we can speed up the completion process. Having a property registered on the Land Register offers owners greater certainty over their title, as well as creating an easier, faster, and less expensive way to transact with property.”

Another recommendation of the consultation report is the closure of the Sasine Register to standard securities, and the waiving of the voluntary registration fee for the affected title. We estimate that this proposal will lead to around 5% of the titles currently on the Sasine Register being moved to the Land Register by 2024.

The proposals set out in the consultation report are due to take effect later this year after discussion with stakeholders and subject to the required secondary legislation coming into force.

Rejections at 6% and still decreasing

The new rejection fee was introduced on 9 February after a two-month bedding-in period since the designated day. This new fee replaces and combines the previous rejection and cancellation fees that existed under the 1979 Act framework. By the end of that first week, only 6% of applications were being rejected prior to acceptance on to the application record. If this trend continues, rejection rates will soon be at or below pre-2012 Act levels. It is in our joint interests to reduce this figure further and we will continue to work with our customers to achieve this. The main reasons for rejection were:

  • application form not signed/completed
  • error in deed or no deed provided
  • incorrect fee (where payment is by cheque)
  • no SDLT certificate
  • no or wrong plan

For advice on completing an application, as well as general guidance on how to avoid rejections, call our dedicated application helpline on 0800 028 9311. 

2012 Act guidance

The 2012 Act has now become business as usual, and so we have closed our dedicated 2012 Act micro-site. However, you can still get all the relevant guidance, information and frequently asked questions answered on our website at www.ros.gov.uk

Service standards update

  • Since the start of the year, 100% of legal reports have been completed within 24 hours
  • 90% of plans reports have been completed within the same time frame, with almost all of the remainder having been finished early on the following day
    • This is in spite of the demand for plans reports doubling, and the turnaround time reducing from 72 hours to 24
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