1. How many stages are there in the conveyancing process?
Generally speaking, the conveyancing process involves three stages, two of which are closely interlinked. Missives are concluded between the parties, resulting in the creation of a personal right in favour of the grantee. The deed is then executed, again resulting in the creation of a personal right in the grantee. The deed is then registered, resulting in the creation of a real right in favour of the grantee.
2. How many other agencies/departments/registers etc. must be dealt with or checked prior to signing a legal transfer or mortgage?
This depends on the type of transaction and the parties involved. Along with a check of the title sheet checks should be made of the Register of Inhibitions and Adjudications, and can be made with Companies House (for transactions where a company is involved) and the Register of Insolvencies (held by the Accountant in Bankruptcy).
3. Who is responsible for dealing with other departments/agencies?
It is the responsibility of the parties involved in the transaction to conduct these checks, even if the register to be checked is one which is administered by Registers of Scotland.
4. At what stage of the overall conveyancing process is your organisation involved (i.e. from the time a person contacts a notary or a professional to act on their behalf on the acquisition of the legal title to the final act of registration)?
Registers of Scotland only become involved in the final stage of the conveyancing process, that of registration. It is, however, possible to submit an advance notice prior to this. Advance notices offer a 35 day period of protection for a deed between named parties where the intention is to register the deed in the land register.
Although Registers of Scotland may not be directly involved in the earlier stages of the conveyancing process it is likely that information under the control of the keeper will.
5. Is any or all of the conveyancing process dealt with electronically?
The conveyancing process in Scotland is undertaken by solicitors who are regulated by the Law Society of Scotland. Further information can be found on the Law Society website here..
6. Is any or all of the registration process dealt with electronically?
If the solicitor involved has signed up to the Automated Registration of Title to Land system (ARTL), the registration process can be handled electronically. If the submitting solicitor has not signed up to ARTL the process requires the submission of paper documentation.
7. When a deed/document or land registration form is lodged for registration, what is the general procedure involved in registering the effect of the deed?
The procedure varies depending on the type of deed, and whether the property is already registered. Generally speaking, the application forms, deeds and any supporting evidence will be thoroughly examined to ensure certainty about the deed’s effect etc. If required, a plan will be produced. Subsequently, the relevant details from the deed will be used to populate data fields in the Land Registration System, resulting in the production of the completed title sheet.
8. How many stages are there in the registration of title process? Please give examples for the following e.g. registration of a (1) transfer of all property, (2) mortgage (3) change of ownership on death where the estate has been administered if applicable (4) registration of right of way (5) transfer of part of property.
Generally speaking, regardless of the type of application, the process is the same: the application is submitted for registration and basic checks are undertaken before an application is created on the Land Registration System. More thorough checks are then carried out on the forms, deeds and supporting evidence and, if no problems are uncovered, registration is completed. The documents are then returned to the submitting agent along with an email containing pdf versions of the updated title sheet. The length of time required for this process varies depending on the complexity of the application.
9. What kind of entries are in your system? Describe their main features.
There are three main types of entry on the Land Registration System: Dealings of the whole of a property (DW), Transfers of part of a property (TP), and the first time registration of a property (FR). All these entries share common features, including a property section, proprietorship section, securities section and burdens section.
10. What is the average time taken to register a (1) transfer of all property (2) transfer part property (3) mortgage/charge?
Registers of Scotland works to a number of different targets (service standards) in respect of the time taken to register applications. An up-to-date breakdown of performance against these targets can be found here.
11. At what level in the organisation is the final decision to register a title made?
The level at which the decision to register is taken depends on the nature of the application, with more complex cases being dealt by senior personnel.
12. To what extent are registration decisions in your country taken by a person with a professional qualification? What is that professional qualification?
While there is no specific professional qualification that relates to registration of title to land, all Registers of Scotland staff are required to meet a stringent set of grade-appropriate recruitment criteria.
13. If registration decisions are not taken by a person with a professional qualification, how are they taken?
They are taken by staff who have undergone extensive and ongoing training in registration practice and policy.
14. Is the decision to register a legal, judicial or administrative function (or mixed)?
The decision is administrative.