The National Trust for Scotland's Georgian House in Edinburgh has become the first property to be registered on the Land Register of Scotland under new powers held by the Keeper of the Registers of Scotland (RoS).
The recently introduced Land Registration etc. (Scotland) Act 2012 allows the keeper to transfer land and property from the deeds-based sasine register to the map-based land register without an application.
Scottish ministers have invited RoS to complete the land register by 2024, with all public land registered by 2019. The registration of the Georgian House, a National Trust for Scotland property and a key part of the Edinburgh New Town World Heritage Site, is one part of the pilots the keeper is running to register some of Scotland's heritage assets, which are unlikely to enter the land register through other routes.
Sheenagh Adams, Keeper of the Registers of Scotland, said: "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.
"We believe that we are the only registration authority in the world to have keeper-induced registration powers. This means that, for the first time, property can be registered without needing to wait for one of the triggers – such as a sale – which would usually move a property onto the land register. This is likely to contribute significantly to achieving land register completion."
Iain Reid, the National Trust for Scotland's director of finance, who is shortly to become the charity's interim chief executive, said: "We at the National Trust for Scotland are proud to feature in the pilot of this immense, decade-long undertaking.
"From our perspective, there are many practical advantages to our taking part, not least the many interesting historical facts that are emerging from the documents reviewed during the process. However, the real value is at national level, as we can learn a lot from mapping the places we hold in trust for the people of Scotland."
Land and properties registered on the land register benefit from property boundaries that are clearly recorded and shown using the Ordnance Survey map. The register also provides an easier, faster, and less expensive way to transact with property.