Blog post by Kenny Crawford Business Development Director at RoS.
On 1 April 2021 fees for registration, searches and rejections will change. This will be the first major amendment to our statutory fees since 2011.
Applications received after midnight on the 30 March will be charged at the new rates.
RoS fees contribute to the Scottish Government consolidated fund from which we receive our funding. Scottish Government Public Finance guidance requires RoS to cover its costs with its fee income.
Over the last 10 years we have driven a series of efficiency measures which enabled us to absorb cost increases without increasing our fees. However, this is no longer possible, and the change will allow us to cover the costs required to deliver our services.
Customers, professional bodies, and the Scottish Parliament support this change.
We would encourage everyone to send in their applications as soon as possible over the next couple of weeks so that our teams are not facing an excess of applications to process on 30 March.
We will continue to review our fees on an annual basis. I would like to make it clear that undertaking a fee review does not imply fees will increase. In fact, from 1 April the fee for rejections and withdrawals will disappear entirely. This is a result of a decrease in the overall number of rejections as well as a reduction in administration costs following the move to the Digital Submission Service. This is a saving of £30 per rejection. The registration fees relating to the Crofting Register, the Register of Community Interests in Land as well as the Chancery and Judicial Registers will remain at their current rate.
You will also see that we have maintained parity between fees for a First Registration, a Dealing with Whole, and a Transfer of Part. The policy aim behind this is to protect customers from the higher costs involved in registering in the Land Register for the first time. We also want to encourage as many voluntary registrations as possible so the fees in this area will continue to be lower than that of standard registration fees.
The Order approved by Parliament on 10 March affects fees for all RoS statutory services.
The Keeper also provides information products and services based on the data held in the registers she is responsible for. Some of these services incur a fee. These are set by the Keeper not by legislation.
To ensure we set fees at an appropriate level we are changing the fee for investigating non- addressable properties. Search requests will be £60 + VAT with effect from 1 April 2021.
We are making significant improvements to the land investigations service that will give customers greater clarity around what they get for their money and enables RoS to deliver a more efficient and cost-effective service.
More detailed guidance about changes to search request fees can be found in this news article.
We anticipate that as the digitisation of the registration process continues it will drive more efficiencies and potentially create further opportunities to manage fees in future. As we work hard to realise these benefits we will invest in our staff and our systems so that we can continue to deliver for the people of Scotland.
For full detail of the changes visit our website.