All land and property in Scotland is due to move to the digital, map-based Land Register of Scotland by 2024.
For golf clubs who own their courses, clubhouses or other property, the change presents the opportunity to reduce future transaction costs, facilitate lending, and gain greater clarity and security of ownership.
If you own land or property in Scotland, your ownership is recorded on one of two public registers: the modern Land Register of Scotland, or the 400 year-old General Register of Sasines. The newer register is replacing the older by 2024, meaning that all property titles still on the sasine register will move to the land register.
Registers of Scotland is the non-ministerial government department responsible for land and property registration. It is encouraging owners with titles on the older register, including golf clubs, to voluntarily move to the land register.
Unlike the sasine register, which relies on the verbal descriptions of property boundaries contained in deeds, the land register records exact boundaries on a digital map, making it much easier to interrogate.
For many golf clubs, a major benefit of moving to the land register will be the prospect of easier, faster and cheaper property transactions. In the first instance, a land register title enables you to clarify exactly what you own, which may be crucial if your club is considering the sale of a piece of land or property. And since the conveyancing work required with a land register title is much simpler than with a sasine title, sales will be smoother and less costly.
Clubs wishing to refinance their property will also find that a title on the land register facilitates this process.
The security brought by moving to the land register is another benefit: a title on the modern register includes a state-backed warranty of title, giving protection against claims of adverse possession.
Registers of Scotland charges a fee for voluntary registration, but is able to reduce this by 25 per cent until at least mid-2019. With this discount, fees range from £45 for property valued up to £50,000, to a maximum fee of £5,625 for properties valued over £5 million. It’s likely that clubs will also incur costs for legal work and for mapping and title investigation.
Registers of Scotland can offer advice to guide golf clubs and other owners through the voluntary registration process.
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