First homes registered under new legislation

The first homes to be registered under new property legislation have been submitted today by Fergus Ewing MSP, Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism and Sheenagh Adams, Keeper of the Registers of Scotland.  

The minister who sponsored the legislation, and the keeper, who is responsible for delivering the statutory functions of the legislation, have become the first people to have their voluntary registrations processed under the Land Registration etc. (Scotland) Act 2012, which came into effect today.   

The new legislation makes the registration of property ownership simpler and safer. It affects everyone involved in land and property, modernises an already well-established land registration system, and paves the way for completing Scotland's Land Register, a key component of land reform. 

Fergus Ewing, Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism, said:   

"For most of us, purchasing our home is the biggest financial commitment we make, and I am proud that Scotland has the world's longest history of public registers protecting our property rights. The commencement of the 2012 Act introduces significant new safeguards for those transacting with property and paves the way for completion of the Land Register which will provide us all with a clear view of who owns what in Scotland. To mark the new Act and to show my personal commitment to completing the Land Register I, like the keeper, have chosen to voluntarily register my own property in the Land Register and would encourage others to follow suit."  

Sheenagh Adams, Keeper of the Registers of Scotland, said: "The 2012 Act is a generational change in how we register land in Scotland. The updated system provides greater safeguards and will make registration faster and safer. It will enable me to support Scottish ministers in our joint commitment to completing the Land Register in 10 years. Promoting voluntary registration is an important part of that and what better way to do that than to register my own home, which has gone through today under the 2012 Act."  

"Registers of Scotland has undertaken an enormous amount of work internally and with stakeholders to prepare for the 2012 Act, and I am delighted that the Act in now in force."   

Acting on behalf of the minister, Andrew McCowan of Leslie Wolfson & Co, commented:   

"Voluntary registration under the 2012 Act is a huge step towards completion of the Land Register, with the clear benefits that will bring for both solicitors and the public, and it's very exciting to be involved at this historic moment. The keeper's staff have helped enormously with the process and have clearly worked hard to have all the necessary changes in place for today.   

The keeper's property was registered by Chris Todd, Partner at Lindsays Solicitors. Todd said: "It's an honour for my organisation – and for me personally – to be involved in the first voluntary registration. The whole process has been very smooth and it's been very interesting working with Registers of Scotland to see how the new system is going to work in practice."   

As part of the 2012 Act, RoS has improved its registration processes, and is working in close partnership with stakeholders to ensure that the benefits the new legislation brings are maximised for solicitors and the public.   

The 2012 Act provides further protection and security to those buying and selling property in Scotland, and allows for the accelerated completion of the Land Register, a map-based record of ownership. Scottish ministers have invited RoS to complete the Land Register by 2024, including registering all public land by 2019.