The Property Services division of DM Hall is making its contribution to the drive to move all properties and land in Scotland onto the Land Register.
The changes are being made through the Land Registration etc (Scotland) Act 2012, which came into force in December 2014. The Keeper of the Registers of Scotland has been asked by the Scottish Ministers to complete the Land Register within 10 years. One way this will be achieved will be through voluntary registration.
The statistics clearly show, however, that much of the land in Scotland is rural. While 59 per cent of property is now on the Land Register, that accounts for only about 28 per cent of the total land mass. This means that 72 per cent of the land has still to be registered.
To encourage private landowners to register on a voluntary basis, the Keeper and her team are offering a 25 per cent reduction in the not-insignificant registration fees, which are based on acreage.
To help both owners of residential property and rural land with the associated costs – which include legal fees, mapping costs and time spent – DM Hall is matching the Keeper’s offer with a 25 per cent reduction in the fees for producing the necessary plan for registration.
Alan Jeffrey, who leads the drawing section of the Property Services division from DM Hall’s Dunfermline office, has seen a significant increase in business over the last year. Alan and his team, who have a close working relationship with the Keepers?۪ staff, can provide the appropriate plans required for registration purposes.
They have also been implementing a programme of CPD sessions Scotland-wide, currently free to lawyers, which are tailored to cover the implications of the changes in the legislation and how they can be expedited to the benefit of everyone involved.
Susan McRitchie, Head Legal Searcher in the Property Services division, said: “The Keeper is facing a formidable challenge in the promotion of land registration and the incentives on offer for voluntary registration are very welcome.
“The costs for large landowners can be very significant and DM Hall is prepared to contribute to the process by reducing the costs of producing plans by 25 per cent up to 2017.
“It is not just private and property landowners who are affected. Public bodies such as housing associations, local authorities, Scottish Natural Heritage and Scottish Water also have to consider their even more restricted registration timescale of completion by December 2019 for registration, and take appropriate action.”
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