Register a change of owner

When property changes owner, the deed transferring the property must be registered in the Land Register of Scotland.

The land register is our main register, and it captures all property transfers. It’s replacing the General Register of Sasines.

Land registration is a complex process that requires legal knowledge. We recommend that you use a solicitor.

Why you must register

Ownership of land is generally transferred in a formal deed called a disposition.

A buyer does not have a real right of ownership in the land they have purchased until the disposition is registered in the land register.

Once registered, this real right of ownership carries a state-backed guarantee.

Preparing an application

Your solicitor will check which register the property is currently held in:

The type of registration required depends on:

  • which register holds the property
  • whether the whole of the property is being sold

Find out more about types of property registration.

Order reports

Your solicitor will carry out searches and enquiries to find out if there are any problems with the property.

This can include checking:

  • that the seller can legally sell
  • arrangements for areas shared with neighbours
  • rules about what you can and can’t do with the property
  • that there are no potential problems with the property’s boundaries

They may also request legal and plans reports to confirm that everything's in order.

Protect the deed

Advance notices protect buyers from the house being sold to someone else while you wait for the sale to complete.

Map the property

We include every registered plot of land on our cadastral map.

Depending on your registration type and the style of your previous title deeds, you may need a new plan of the property before we can register it.

If a new plan is needed, your solicitor must have one prepared that complies with our deed plan criteria.

This will allow us to accurately define the plot on the cadastral map.

Submit the application

Your solicitor will complete the application and send it to us with all the necessary deeds and documents.

Applications to register land must meet strict legal guidelines before we can accept them.

We will reject your application if there is something missing, or if it contains errors or unclear information.

Your solicitor will be asked to correct any problems and submit the application again.

Get an overview of our process when we receive an application.

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