Posted on Apr 29, 2016 in Land and Rural Business
The Scottish Government’s drive to ensure transparency of land ownership includes accelerating the registration of titles to land in the Land Register of Scotland, with a target for completing the registration of all privately owned land in Scotland by 2024.
As part of this process, the concept of Keeper Induced Registration (“KIR”) has been introduced, giving the Keeper unilateral power to carry out compulsory registration of title. The Keeper has recently announced that, following pilot projects carried out in 2015, KIR will begin officially later this year.
Landowners whose title remains in the old Sasine Register may apply for voluntary registration in the Land Register but may wonder: why should I register my title now if the Keeper will eventually do it through KIR?
KIR may not apply. The Keeper considers that for now KIR is best suited to residential housing developments that contain high volumes of properties. There is no plan at present for KIR to be extended to cover rural properties.
No control. Through KIR, title to land will be registered without recourse to the owner. By contrast, voluntary registration allows the landowner to take control of the process. For example, if title is registered ahead of that for neighbouring properties, the landowner can make the decision on where the boundaries should lie. Under KIR, such choices will be taken out of the landowner’s hands.
Costs simply postponed. While KIR will be cost free to the landowner at the point of registration, he may still need to incur significant professional costs in reviewing the title produced by the Keeper and rectifying any problems or inaccuracies.
For more information on Voluntary Registration, please contact a member of our specialist Land & Rural Business team.