General FAQs

We are frequently asked to answer questions regarding the 2012 Act. Here's a list of the most popular questions that should give you a better understanding of the 2012 Act and what it means for you. If you have any questions that are not answered here, click on the link in the contact box to the right and we will get back to you with a response.

Q1. Why have we changed from the 1979 Act?

After the 1979 Act was introduced, it became apparent that it resulted in some unforeseen consequences that led to severe difficulties for property owners. In some circumstances this led to court proceedings involving the Keeper and Land Register titles. The then Keeper asked the Scottish Law Commission (SLC) to review the 1979 Act. In its report on land registration the SLC recommended that land registration in Scotland should be given a new statutory basis.

Q2. When did the 2012 Act come into force?

On the day after Royal Assent some of the technical sections of the 2012 Act came into force such as the interpretation section. On 1 November sections 53(4), 64, 107, 107, 109 and 100 of the 2012 Act were brought into force by Commencement Order 1. Of these sections, the commencement of the new commercial services power (s.108) and the new fee making power (s.110) are notable. The remainder of the 2012 Act was brought in to force by a series of commencement orders made by Scottish Ministers and laid before Parliament. The designated day was the day that all the sections of the 2012 Act which provide for the new scheme of land registration came in to force.

Q3.What are the commencement orders?

A commencement order is a form of Scottish Statutory Instrument that brings into force the whole or part of an Act of the Scottish Parliament. Commencement orders are used when an Act does not provide for a date (or dates) that sections in the Act come into force.

Q4. What are the key changes in the 2012 Act?

Essentially there are five main policy areas in the 2012 Act:

  • Provide a modernised and comprehensive scheme governing the law of land registration.
  • Realign registration law with property law.
  • Provide a scheme for the completion of the Land Register and the closure of the Register of Sasines.
  • Introduce a system of advance notices to protect conveyancing transactions from certain entries in the Register of Inhibitions and from competing deeds.
  • Amend the Requirements of Writing (Scotland) Act 1995 to allow for legally valid electronic documents.

Q5. How has the 2012 Act changed the Land Register?

Under the 2012 Act the register contains four parts: the title sheet record, the cadastral map, the application record and the archive record.

Q6. Are the details on the title sheet the same?

In the 2012 Act the title sheet will comprise four parts, the property section, proprietorship section, securities section and the burdens section.

Q7. What is the securities section?

The charges section is replaced by the securities section which is a term reflecting Scots law. Deeds currently shown in the charges section will in future be shown in the securities section.

Q8. Has there been a public consultation?

Yes. There was a public consultation on the Bill before it was introduced to Parliament. In addition, there have been two further public consultations: the first on Part 10 of the 2012 Act (electronic documents) which was carried out between 1 July and 29 September 2013 and the most recent on implementation of the 2012 Act which ran for 12 weeks from 16 September to 9 December 2013. All public responses to these consultations can be found on our website.

Q9. What are the advance notices?

An Advance Notice is a notice that will be placed on the application record of the Land Register or recorded in the Sasine Register. The purpose of an advance notice is to provide a protected 35-day period for receipt of a specified deed that is to be presented for registration. During this period the deed is protected from competing deeds entering the register first or certain entries in the Register of Inhibitions adverse to the granter of the deed. For further information on Advance Notices click here

Q10. Why are we using the term 'cadastral map'?

 The Scottish Law Commission recommended using the term 'cadastral map' as it is an internationally recognised term for a map showing legal titles.

Q11. What is the cadastral map?

 The cadastral map is a map that will show all the registered geospatial data. In effect it will be similar to the index map, in that it will show the extent of all the registered titles and the extent of all the rights and encumbrances that have a geospatial extent. The 2012 Act specifies some new rules on mapping that will mean that cadastral units cannot overlap and that areas owned in common must have their own cadastral unit (and corresponding title sheet). The 2012 Act also specifies that the Land Register is to extend to the seabed of Scotland out to the 12 mile territorial limit.

Q12. What is a cadastral unit?

A cadastral unit is an extent on the cadastral map that shows the extent of an area of ground that is owned by one person or one set of persons. Every cadastral unit must have a corresponding title sheet

Q13. What is the designated day?

 The designated day is the day that the new scheme of land registration governed by the 2012 Act came into effect.

Q14. When was the designated day?

The designated day was 8 December 2014.

Q15. What is the keeper's midas touch?

The Keeper's 'midas touch' is the name that is commonly given to the effect of registration under the 1979 Act. Under section 3(1)(a) of the 1979 Act the registration of a deed coupled with possession of the subjects can make a titleimmune to rectification. The result of this is that if the Keeper registers a void deed (a deed where the granter did not have title such as a fraudulent deed), if the purchaser registers their title and is in possession of the subjects and does not consent to rectification, the register cannot be rectified and the true owner is deprived of ownership.

Q16. What does 'bijuralism' mean?

 The simultaneous application of two different systems of law: in the case of Scottish land registration these are (a) the special rules of registration of title under the 1979 Act and (b) the ordinary rules of Scots property law. Bijuralism disappears under the 2012 Act as it realigns registration law with property law.

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