I want to give you an update on the Fee Review we launched in October 2020 and how this affects our customers and stakeholders.
I’d like to start by thanking all of the individuals and organisations who took the time to respond to our Fee Review 2020 Consultation which closed on 24 December.
Since I joined RoS as Keeper in 2018 I have listened carefully to customer feedback on our current fees structure and the proposed changes reflected some of the key aspects of this feedback. The consultation on proposals to vary our fees was a formal opportunity for customers to help shape our next steps.
The 44 responses to the consultation have been analysed by our project team and, where permission was given by the respondent, published on the Scottish Government consultation hub. You can also read RoS’ response to the consultation feedback.
I am delighted to say that overall, the responses have been supportive of our proposed changes, with several of the proposals receiving strong support, in particular our proposal to remove rejection fees.
In some cases, respondents used the consultation to raise wider issues or comment on matters that were not related directly to fees. Again, I am extremely grateful that respondents shared with us their views, and we will factor them into our strategic plans and ongoing stakeholder communication strategy.
What happens next?
Subordinate legislation known as a Scottish Statutory Instrument (SSI) has been laid in the Scottish Parliament. The SSI will now go through the parliamentary process.
If it is approved by Parliament, the proposed date for the new fees coming into effect is Thursday 1 April 2021. Please note that this is only a provisional date and cannot be confirmed until the proposals receive parliamentary approval.
Once we receive confirmation from Parliament, we will make a further announcement.
I understand that this is a challenging time for all of us. Since March 2020 I have maintained very close and regular dialogue with our customers and listened to their views to understand how the Covid-19 pandemic is affecting Scotland’s property sector and how RoS can help. We have worked closely with customers to introduce significant technological and business changes that are minimising the impact of the lockdown on the housing market and maximising its ability to continue to generate revenue during the crisis. In addition, we have reviewed and implemented where possible all opportunities to manage our income and expenditure.
The proposed changes to our fees will enable us to continuing delivering the high-quality products and services that help underpin Scotland’s property market.
Jennifer Henderson, Keeper of the Registers of Scotland