As part of our series of blogs sharing our customers’ experiences of ScotLIS, we spoke to Emma De Sailly from Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP.
She is a Rural Property and Business Solicitor at the firm, and has recently made the switch from Registers Direct to ScotLIS. Here she shares her experience of the new service, and why she agrees it’s the platform of choice for land and property information in Scotland.
How did you find out about ScotLIS?
Initially, through Registers of Scotland and the Law Society of Scotland Journal. However, the first full explanation and demo I had of ScotLIS was whilst I was at Registers of Scotland attending another meeting and they were holding demos in the entrance hall.
What benefits does ScotLIS provide?
ScotLIS provides a number of features which benefit the profession and help us to deliver services for clients much more efficiently.
One of the stand-out benefits of ScotLIS, which complements the service we provide to clients, is the map-based system and improved search functions. These features are particularly useful when undertaking complex voluntary registrations for rural clients as the boundaries of neighbouring registered properties can be easily checked, and the results shared with the clients, and in many cases avoiding having to carry out a complex title review.
It’s faster, easier to use and more user-friendly. It makes new, innovative ways of working with the Registers and our clients possible by providing greater flexibility, and our clients will welcome the chance to access ScotLIS themselves directly.
On the practical side, ScotLIS is also helpful for finding out more about a title by simply using the map function before ordering the title if needed.
In addition, I personally prefer that you can download the whole of the search sheet when searching the Sasine Register in one go rather than printing each page individually as under Registers Direct.
These features are better than Registers Direct and fit in with the digital transformation which is ongoing at Registers. The upgraded digital options will help speed up the registration process, complement the move towards digital conveyancing and improve the experience for our clients by allowing us to provide a technologically advanced solution to title enquiries and land registration.
Are there any potential new features for ScotLIS you’d be interested in seeing included in the future?
Although ScotLIS has already improved the user experience and how we deliver services to clients, there are some additional features which would be useful in the future.
For example, it would be helpful if some of the Sasine titles could be mapped to allow us to confirm the extent of Sasine titles without having to order the deeds. Currently, when you zoom into a Sasines area on ScotLIS it will only inform you that it isn’t in the Land Register. If it was possible for the search to instead tell us the search sheet number (even roughly) that would be helpful in narrowing down the relevant search sheets and titles we need to order.
This would be of particular assistance when investigating ownership of areas of ground for clients, making the process much more efficient and reducing the time spent searching the registers and ordering and examining search sheets and copy deeds.
We’d be interested to see links to the relevant deeds on a Search Sheet through ScotLIS on the Sasine Register in the same way that a title sheet is available – i.e. – you could click on deed details on the search sheet to order a copy and have a PDF downloaded at once. This would improve the experience for clients by making title investigations much quicker.
Which of the post-launch features do you find the most helpful?
A number of the post-launch features are very useful – again benefiting our clients and the profession by providing information more quickly and in an easier format.
For example, it’s really helpful that you can retrieve a title bought for free any time on the same day. It’s also very useful for my colleagues and I that we can email the whole of a Land Register search to ourselves in one go and download a PDF of all the documents. This significantly reduces administrative effort and provides us with an email record which we can quickly and easily share with clients.
We also really like the feature when viewing search sheet indices, which now puts a tick beside each one you’ve viewed. Sometimes you are viewing hundreds, and if it is a common name, this can really speed up the process.
Thanks very much to Emma for her thoughts. We were interested to hear her suggestion of mapping Sasine titles. This isn’t a development we’re currently working on, but we recognise identifying ownership of land on the Sasine register can be complex and that is one of the drivers to completing the land register. Having a completed Land Register will make buying and selling property or identifying land ownership easier, faster and cheaper.
To see a full list of all recent developments visit the ‘Feature Updates’ page of ScotLIS. Keep an eye on our blog and social channels to find out all the latest news on ScotLIS and other RoS products and services.
For more information, including how to sign up and access the service, visit ScotLIS.