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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.

The digital service will be available in respect of transactional deeds already covered by an Advance Notice.  Furthermore, the service will apply only to applications to deeds undergoing registration in the Land Register of Scotland.  Sasines applications are excluded although Registers of Scotland continue working on a solution for these.      

All deeds which can be submitted for online registration must still be signed and witnessed in accordance with standard guidance and practice.  As the deeds are to be submitted as a PDF file, they must also be capable of being scanned.  Meantime, principal paper deeds will be kept on file, for future reference or submission, if required.

The Law Society of Scotland have issued a statement encouraging members to make use of the digital submission service until the Application Record is fully re-opened.  The protected period afforded by the Advance Notice, as extended by the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 and referred to in our article dated 3 April 2020 will still apply.  The launch of the digital submission service does not constitute a reopening of the Application Record under the Act.

Further updates will be posted as the digital platform goes live.  Meantime, the move is welcomed as potential solution for addressing the backlog of property transactions on hold since lockdown commenced.


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