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Land Registration etc. (Scotland) Act 2012

Summary of and Background to the Act

3.The Act makes provision for land registration in Scotland and provides a new legislative basis for the Land Register. The Act also increases the number of events that will trigger the transfer of property from the General Register of Sasines to the Land Register. This will ensure the eventual completion of the Land Register. The Act makes provision for applications for voluntary registration of titles in the Land Register and a power for the Keeper of the Registers of Scotland (the Keeper) (who manages and controls the Land Register) to register a title without an application (a “Keeper-induced” registration). The Act seeks to re-align registration law with property law by, for example, adjusting the circumstances in which a person can recover their property rather than only receive compensation under the state guarantee of title from the Keeper.

4.In addition to these matters affecting the Land Register, the Act introduces a system of “advance notices” for conveyancing transactions. The period between delivery and registration of a deed disponing an interest in land is the period in which the grantee of the deed (normally the purchaser) is at risk. The two main risks to which a purchaser in a conveyancing transaction is exposed are: (1) the insolvency of the granter of the deed (the seller); and (2) that a competing deed will be registered before the deed in favour of the purchaser. This risk is currently underwritten by insurance. Finally, the Act introduces amendments to the Requirements of Writing (Scotland) Act 1995, which will allow Scottish Ministers to make subordinate legislation enabling electronic conveyancing and electronic registration.

5.In 2002, the Keeper, with the agreement of Scottish Ministers, invited the Scottish Law Commission (the SLC) to review the law of land registration in Scotland. The SLC issued three discussion papers. The first was a Discussion Paper entitled Land Registration: Void and Voidable Titles (Scots Law Com DP No 125, 2004); the second was a Discussion Paper on Land Registration: Registration, Rectification and Indemnity (Scot Law Com DP No 128, 2005); and the third was a Discussion Paper on Land Registration: Miscellaneous Issues (Scot Law Com DP No 130, 2005). The SLC project culminated in the publication of its Final Report on Land Registration (Scot Law Com No 222), including a draft Land Registration (Scotland) Bill, in February 2010. The SLC report and draft Bill provides useful explanatory background. However, there are a number of differences of detail between the Act as introduced and the SLC draft Bill.

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Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Scottish Executive department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills

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