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Update from Registers of Scotland - 23 April 2020

Registers of Scotland have, today, announced their digital platform for accepting online applications to register is due to go live on 27 April.  As of that date, the Keeper can start accepting scanned copies of signed principal signed deeds for registration.  For straightforward purchases and sales, this is a welcome development which should facilitate completion of transactions put on hold since the Covid-19  lockdown commenced.  It is, however, recognised that the online platform may not cater for more complex transactions.  Only time will tell how efficient the process proves to be.

It has been widely reported that Registers of Scotland closed the applications record last week. In response, the Law Society of Scotland released a recommendation to the effect that  purchase/sale/security transactions should not be completed until Registers of Scotland are in a position to clarify next steps.

At present, the process of completing a registrable transaction involves a number of key steps. The first of these is the submission of an ‘’Advance Notice’’ in the run up to completion. Clients are not, generally, aware of the importance of Advance Notices, however, following closure of the application record, the importance of Advance Notices has been thrown into sharp focus.

Stronachs’ earlier release Irritancy (termination) of leases in Scotland discussed measures brought into force in England, Wales and Northern Ireland by the Coronavirus Act 2020. On Tuesday 31 March, and earlier than expected, the “Coronavirus (Scotland) Bill”, was fast-tracked through Holyrood.  

Commercial property has not been left unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The closure of all non-essential businesses has caused disruption and uncertainty for both landlords and tenants. One particular concern for tenants is the prospect of their lease being terminated early due to an inability to continue to pay rent.

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