Residential property
03 Apr 2020 News

Update from the Registers of Scotland

You may have seen in the media that the Registers of Scotland (which we deal with a lot in our work, including for the transfer of property) has been partially closed since Wednesday 25 March. This has held up property deals and securities that were about to complete, including many house sales and purchases. There are emergency measures available for a few transactions and we have some workarounds for these.

We are hopeful that this situation will improve shortly so there is no need to ‘pause’ ongoing transactions (other than those just about to complete) due to the Registers’ recent problem.

The emergency Coronavirus legislation passed at Holyrood yesterday (Thursday 2 April) will allow the Registers to be re-opened on an electronic system, and the Law Society and the Registers are working hard to implement this.

Realistically therefore, property transactions that are under way just now and in the near future should be able to go ahead, with  property titles able to be transferred and securities able to be registered, once the new electronic system gets under way. It remains to be seen when the new system will ‘go live’, but it is hoped this will be within two or three weeks or maybe less.

There will remain the practical issues of social distancing and avoiding unnecessary travel, but the legal aspects should not be a hold-up.

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