Blog post by Jennifer Henderson, Keeper of the Registers of Scotland.
I know this will be a very worrying time for you personally and professionally and I wanted to reassure you that Registers of Scotland (RoS) are doing all that we can to support you to deliver the best possible service to your customers.
We are all facing an unprecedented challenge. One thing I hope we can agree upon, is that the only way we will get through it is to work together.
RoS has implemented a business continuity plan that responds to the ongoing public health emergency, while protecting the wellbeing of our colleagues, and supporting our customers and the economy of Scotland.
We are adhering to the latest advice of Government and NHS Scotland.
It is already clear that Covid-19 will have a significant economic impact, and therefore we want to do everything we can to keep RoS operational, so we are in the best possible position to support a speedy national recovery. At the start and end of every working day, my team and I meet up (over Skype) to check our current staffing and service levels. We agree the latest actions, our responses to your queries, the latest communications lines, and then revise our plans accordingly. The fact that we are checking and updating our business continuity procedures at least twice a day (and on an ad-hoc basis throughout the day if required) tells you a lot about the seriousness of the challenge and how determined we are to support the land and property sector at this time.
As the health emergency escalated, we quickly realised that it was essential for us to make sure that what we were doing at RoS aligned with the needs of you and your customers. I contacted The Law Society of Scotland (LSS) to arrange a teleconference where we asked them to tell us what their members’ priorities were in terms of what they needed from RoS. Thankfully, what they told us very much matched what we had anticipated our priorities should be. We are now in regular dialogue with representatives from across the legal property sector regarding the Coronavirus situation, and that will continue until further notice. We are working on answering questions, such as whether we will be able potentially accept electronic submissions if required, and what will happen if RoS has to close one of our buildings. We don’t have all the answers yet but we will get them to you as soon as possible.
Our registration teams are working incredibly hard to process the work you submit to us, our Communications team are working in partnership with their counterparts at LSS so you have the latest information at your fingertips, and our Customer Relations colleagues are on hand to help with your specific queries.
To stay up to date with how we are responding to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) situation, please visit our website.
Following our discussions with LSS, we set up a bespoke email address firstname.lastname@example.org for land and property professionals to send us general questions about how the ongoing situation is affecting RoS services and how we are working on new solutions to support your work.
If you have a specific query about an ongoing application or a matter relating to our business services please continue to contact email@example.com, phone: 0800 169 9391.
We will be issuing additional guidance on our website, this will include answers to some of the questions you have asked us – such as which correspondence you should now send us by email and which will still need to be in paper.
Update to our copy deeds service
We have altered the delivery method of specific deed orders. The vast majority of deeds will be provided in the usual way.
The affected deeds are those we need to obtain from The National Records of Scotland (NRS) who have now closed their offices to the public and business. We have been working closely with our colleagues in NRS to put in place measures that protect our staff and have the least impact on our customers.
However, we will no longer be able to source:
- Register of Deeds extracts prior to 2006
- Duplicate plans
- Burgh Register deeds
RoS holds digitised Sasine deeds from the mid-1870s and all copy deeds should continue to be ordered via our website. For larger orders you can email Customer Services.
RoS is doing all it can to support the smooth running of the housing market. At the time of writing, we are delivering on all of our business-critical objectives but the situation is changing at such rapid pace, we cannot predict where we will be in a few days, let alone in a month from now. So instead of my usually monthly blog, I’ll be issuing a weekly update to let you know how we’re working with you to help support Scotland’s land and property market.
If you think there is anything else we can do to help you, then please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s keep working together.