Land register completion: one year in

Published: 27 May 2015

It's now one year since Scottish ministers asked RoS to complete the Land Register of Scotland within 10 years – by 2024 – and to register all public land within five years – by 2019. Over the past year, RoS has set up a dedicated project team to coordinate its activities that will  allow us to fulfil the work that we need to do to allow land register completion (LRC) in this time frame.

LRC is possible because of changes implemented as part of the 2012 Act, including the extension of the number of triggers that induce a first registration and the introduction of keeper-induced registration powers, which allow us to register land without an application from the owner. These measures  give us confidence that we can play our part in achieving the target set out by Scottish ministers, and we welcome the focus on LRC.

Following our consultation on completing the land register, the following recommendations are now being progressed and will be implemented within the next year, subject to ministerial approval:

  • offer a reduction of 25 per cent in the fees for voluntary registration, at least until the next fee review in 2017 – we expect this to take effect from 30 June
  • in due course, close the General Register of Sasines to new securities and remove the fee completely for related voluntary registrations
  • officially remove the keeper's discretion to refuse to accept an application for voluntary registration

The main focus of our work has been to engage with private landowners and public bodies and explore ways that we can support them in the voluntary registration of their land. Some public sector bodies, including the Forestry Commission, Scottish Water, and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, have already  submitted a number of voluntary applications to build up their knowledge of the process. We know that many others are working on investigating their titles before submitting applications.

In the private sector, we have had many enquiries from professional advisors on behalf of their clients. Some of these customers are currently using our title investigations service to assist them in defining the boundaries of the estate. We are working closely with other customers to provide pre-registration  information and support that are helpful when preparing a voluntary registration, and we expect to receive their registration applications later this year.

In April, the National Trust for Scotland's Georgian House became the first title to be registered under keeper-induced registration as part of a wider pilot project exploring these new powers. This will be completed this summer, and will feed into the consultation on keeper-induced registration later  this year.

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. Property boundaries are clearly recorded and shown using the Ordnance Survey map with all the restrictions, burdens and securities  set out in one place. Overall, it should make it faster and more secure to transact in property.

Find out more

Thank you to all stakeholders who have supported and engaged with us this year on a project that is as exciting as it is challenging. To find out more about voluntary registration, or to discuss land register completion in more detail, please email lrc@ros.gov.uk.

Voluntary registration fees  reduced

From 30 June, we will be offering a 25 per cent reduction on the voluntary registration fee, subject to parliamentary approval. This discount is guaranteed to 2017. To receive this discount you must choose the voluntary application product type, please see our dedicated page on our website for further information.