Preventive control of legality

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The 2012 Act provides for a duty of care owed to the Keeper of the Registers of Scotland by a) a person granting a deed to be registered, b) a person submitting an application for registration and c) solicitors or legal advisors acting on behalf of both. This duty of care is to protect the keeper from situations where the granters of deeds and their advisers have not acted with ordinary competence.

The duty is to take reasonable care to ensure that the deed to be registered, and the information supplied in support of the application, does not induce the keeper to inadvertently make the register inaccurate. The duty extends from the first time a solicitor acts for a client until the keeper has made the decision to register.

In addition to this duty of care, the 2012 Act imposes a «one shot» rule. Based upon the principle that applications for registration submitted to the keeper should meet the statutory requirements and be «right first time», the one shot rule requires the keeper to reject any application that does not meet the requirements at the date of the application (the date of submission).

Deeds presented for registration must be valid and the applicant must certify on the application form that this is so. The keeper makes no further examination in this regard.

The keeper will check for defects on the face of the deed including, but not limited to, acceptable words of conveyance, description of the subjects, and that plans are prepared in accordance with the keeper’s deed plan criteria.