Land register completion

Land register completion

The Land Register of Scotland is a digital, map-based public register of land and property ownership. The information held is secure, reliable, and accessible. The majority of titles on this register are protected by a state-backed guarantee.

In May 2014, Scottish ministers invited the Keeper of the Registers of Scotland to complete the land register by 2024. All public land is to be registered within five years, by 2019.

A completed land register will make property transactions easier, faster and cheaper. It will be a national asset for Scotland, supporting the Scottish government's strategic objective of making Scotland a wealthier and fairer society. Anyone will be able to find out who owns what through an easy to use online search system.

At present, 60 per cent of land and property titles (around 1.6 million) and 29 per cent of land mass (2,280,472 hectares) are on the land register. That leaves 40 per cent of titles (around 1.1 million) and 71 per cent of land mass (5,727,206 hectares) still to be registered.

One of the key policy drivers behind the Land Registration etc (Scotland) Act 2012 was to provide a statutory framework to enable completion of the land register. Almost all the remaining land and property titles are held on the deeds-based General Register of Sasines. Property commonly transfers from sasines to the land register through a trigger event, such as a change in ownership.

Routes to the register

To achieve the goal of completing the land register, a dedicated team has been established within Registers of Scotland (RoS), supported by all departments across the organisation.

Alongside existing triggers like change of ownership, there are three mechanisms which will add titles onto the register:

1). Voluntary registration – through secondary legislation, a 25 per cent discount for voluntary registration application fees has been guaranteed until mid 2019.

2). Keeper-induced registration (KIR) – a new power introduced through the 2012 Act, which allows the Keeper of the Registers of Scotland to move titles from the sasine register onto the land register without an application from the owner.

3). New triggers – such as the closure of sasines to standard securities.

Voluntary registration

Currently the land register completion team is focussed on encouraging larger landowners within the public and private sectors to voluntarily register their land. Initial discussions are going well and many landowners are keen to take advantage of the benefits associated with having titles on a digital, map-based land register.

Benefits

For an individual owner, registering your land:

  • gives you greater certainty and security about what you own
  • provides a state-backed warranty of the information contained in your title
  • makes future transactions much easier
  • puts you will be in an ideal position to manage your property in the future and to provide a secure legacy for next generations
  • lists all references to your rights and burdens in one place
  • means that your land is shown on a cadastral map (based on the OS map), defining your boundaries
  • need only be done once

Mapping

To register your land or property, the keeper requires details of your boundaries in order to define exactly what you own on the land register map. For more information on what is required please read our deed plan criteria. In some cases additional digital information may be required to process an application, particularly for larger plots or complex cases. More information can be found in our digital data publication.

Want to know more?

If you’re interested in voluntarily registering your land, contact our voluntary registration advisors.

You can also email LRCompletion@ros.gov.uk to discuss any aspect of land register completion.

If you have a media enquiry relating to land register completion please visit our media contacts page.

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