By Hugh Welsh, head of land register completion
The completion of the Land Register of Scotland is an exciting and challenging piece of work. The culmination of this will be a national asset that will bring benefit to everyone in Scotland.
As of December 2017, land register coverage stands at over 64.4 per cent of titles and over 30.90 per cent of land mass. In the 12 months to September, the increase in land mass is just larger than the county of Fife, or the equivalent of Clackmannanshire, Glasgow, Kinross, West Lothian and Nairn added together.
The land register is Scotland’s register – it belongs to the people. Therefore it’s important that land and property owners who wish to register their properties feel that they’re an intrinsic part of the process. Our Knowledge Base has a step by step guide to voluntary registration, designed to help people through the process, and we encourage anyone thinking of registering their property to visit this resource.
In the year to September we created 6,014 titles through voluntary registration. Many of these are for large areas of land and make a contribution to increasing the land mass on the land register. Notable registrations include, but are not limited to, Cornton Vale Prison, Thornielee Forest and the Royal Hospital for Sick Children.
In the period from January to mid-August this year, applications for voluntary registration from the commercial sector were up more than 150 per cent on the same period last year.
Keeper-induced registration (KIR) is also playing an important role in our work to complete the land register. It has been a valuable tool in registering publicly and privately owned properties in urban, residential areas where we’ve gathered large amounts of data on the common rights and burdens contained in property titles.
We’ve been working with a number of councils, sharing data and resources to register public land in our research areas (areas containing a number of similar properties, such as housing estates, where we already have extensive existing information about the content of similar titles), substantially reducing the voluntary registration effort for these local authorities. This work has been a useful exercise in ascertaining how best to improve the efficiency of our processes in line with our digital transformation.
We’ve so far completed over 40,000 addresses using KIR, and this work is expected to increase in the coming months and years.
Importantly, the quality of title we’re producing through KIR is extremely high. We’ve had over 400 subsequent transactions on KIR titles successfully processed since the launch of KIR.
ScotLIS, the new easy to use, map-based online land and information service, will enable citizens, communities, professionals and business to access comprehensive information about any piece of land or property in Scotland. Coupled with our work to complete the land register, it ensures that RoS continues to be at the forefront of delivering a fully digital service for customers and citizens.