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Letter: registration frustrations
Frustrations are building at practical aspects of policy in relation to the Land Register, which Registers of Scotland seem unwilling to act on
I suspect the article by Donald Reid (Journal, March 2017, 33) may have evoked some response if solicitors are as frustrated as myself at the deterioration in the land registration system.
Two aspects are of particular concern to me.
The first arises from the variation from time to time of the Ordnance Survey Map. While the Land Register bears to be based on this map, it does not appear to take account of it being a fluctuating map. I have experienced difficulties where clients have found that the boundaries on the Ordnance map have moved but no change has been made to their title plans, and nothing has changed on the ground. This has seen a neighbour suddenly being shown as owning part of another’s property, I have known this to be a material and significant portion. The Keeper's response is that the title plan is unvariable, but this seems unsatisfactory when the information on what it is drawn can fluctuate. It is particularly unsatisfactory that a client can find themselves deprived of their property without even any intimation. It is also unsatisfactory that an apparently good title can be adjusted without any reference to the relevant interested parties.
The second aspect suggests that Registers are developing a less rather than a more practical system. I submitted a disposition as a first registration with a plan comprising six A3 sheets. This was accepted and registered. However, the land certificate issued has within it the plan on 135 A4 sheets. Concerned that this created practical difficulties in comparing the plan with the original disposition plan, I raised the matter with Registers, to be advised that “the processing does a calculation and decides if it is feasible or not to create an A0 version. In this case it did not. An A0 plan can be created by our GIS Team as a bespoke service similar to the service mentioned for shape files”.
I find it perplexing that the PAS can produce plans on A3 sheets which we can work with, even if they require to be spread across a floor, but the land certificates are produced in a less intelligible form.
In both these instances what is particularly disappointing is that Registers do not appear to recognise my concerns and we appear to be stuck with a system as it stands without any prospect of improvement.
Iain McDonald, Gillespie Gifford & Brown, Dumfries