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Property Law Committee Update

20 October 14

Recent work of the committee and the Future of Conveyancing Working Party

by Ross MacKay

The members of the Society’s Future of Conveyancing Working Party and the Property Law Committee (PLC) are keen to enhance the flow of information on property law issues to the practising professional through a series of regular columns in the Journal. We don’t intend to provide a black letter law update but more of a “heads up” regarding current or near future issues – and offer a flavour of what the committee and working party are dealing with. 

In no order of importance therefore:

RoS roadshows and 2012 Act

We have been working closely with Registers of Scotland for many months now regarding implementation of the Land Registration etc (Scotland) Act 2012. A liaison team has met regularly with them considering issues of direct and practical impact such as advance notices, searches and so forth. General guidance on a number of topics will be forthcoming from the Society shortly. The overall belief, however, is that the necessary changes to day-to-day practice will be relatively minimal, focusing in essence on a new type of search, the production of an advance notice rather than a letter of obligation, and changes to missives. 

The latter point is being worked on by the PLC in conjunction with the Property Standardisation Group (PSG) and the Professional Support Lawyers Association. The PSG has its own suggested wording in relation to commercial offers. A separate working party is putting together what is intended to be the first set of Scottish Standard Clauses, to replace the various local sets of clauses. The target is to have this available by the end of this year for distribution to the profession for early adoption. In the meantime, an interim clause to be added to the present sets of clauses should be available shortly. 

Standard builders’ missives

A project has been gestating for some considerable time to produce a first set of standard builders’ missives suitable for new build properties. These are almost in final form and have been on hold primarily pending agreement of the clause to cover 2012 Act procedures. Hopefully, therefore, these will be produced for the use of the profession and their builder clients in the near future.

Society guidance and guidelines

The PLC has been conscious for some time that the overall body of rules, guidance and guidelines in property matters is increasingly out of date and requires a thorough review and update. The hope is that yet another group will be put together to focus time and effort in reviewing this area so that a comprehensive upgrade can be put in place during 2015. 

I am sure that members will have views, concerns and input in some if not all of the above topics and the PLC would be delighted to hear of any particular issues, problems or suggestions you may have to help progress these areas of work being undertaken on behalf of the profession as a whole. 

Ross MacKay, convener, Property Law Committee
See "Call it a comeback" for this month's main property briefing.

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