2012: new starts, and challenges
Registers of Scotland page: the past year has seen some significant developments for Registers of Scotland, in the wake of new legislation
As 2012 draws to a close, Registers of Scotland is reflecting on another year of activity, development and opportunity. The past 12 months have been a period of review and improvement for RoS. Not only have there been significant legislative changes impacting on the way we will deliver our services, but the prevailing economic conditions continue to be a challenging environment for our business.
Significantly, the Land Registration etc (Scotland) Act was passed by the Scottish Parliament earlier this year. The Act will replace the 1979 Act with a more balanced system of land registration. To prepare for the implementation of the legislation, RoS has brought together a team of legal and registration professionals, headed up by Grant Hall LLB, DipLP. Grant’s team is currently engaged in mapping out activities required ahead of the designated day, likely to be in late 2014. The new legislation brings registration law closer to existing property law, addressing tensions that have caused confusion for property owners since the introduction of the Land Register in 1981. RoS is looking forward to the numerous opportunities the Act will create, and anticipates working closely with customers to make the whole process as smooth as possible.
The Crofting Register, now up and running after meticulous preparation, is a recent success story for RoS. Applications are being accepted to the first map-based system of recording croft land and associated rights. Voluntary for the first 12 months of operation, the Scottish Government is encouraging community registration by offering a discount to those working together to submit applications. Registers of Scotland has worked closely with partners at the Crofting Commission and the Scottish Government to deliver the new register – our 17th – to the people of Scotland. Visit www.crofts.ros.gov.uk to find out more.
2012 has also seen RoS bring our ICT services back in-house, a move that will give us the flexibility and agility to deliver excellent service and value for money. At first, customers will see no difference, but we are now in the position to effect rapid improvements to the systems we all use to achieve efficient registration of property rights.
Among numerous other activities, the Foundation Edinburgh immersive film experience was launched in the summer and is now a permanent visitor attraction housed in Acheson House on the Royal Mile. This complements Foundation Glasgow, which is on show at The Lighthouse in Glasgow.
2013 promises to be another busy year, with an increased number of RoS-led stakeholder events, Crofting Register roadshows and the official opening of the new extension to our Meadowbank House building in Edinburgh to look forward to.
The Keeper and all at Registers of Scotland would like to wish readers of The Journal a very happy festive season and all the best for the coming year.
City of Perth Report
Registers of Scotland recently published the City of Perth Report, looking at property trends in Scotland’s newest city over the past five years. This is the first in a series of special reports scheduled for issue throughout 2013. Please visit www.ros.gov.uk/public/news/perth.pdf to view the report itself.
As at 26 November 2012
• 65,326 applications have been made
• 696 solicitors’ firms are currently on the ARTL system
• 29 lenders are currently on the ARTL system
• 13 local authorities are using the system
ARTL can now process applications containing a transfer with a value of more than £1 million.
For up-to-date information and a full list of participating practices and companies, go to www.ros.gov.uk/artl