Committee calls for 'greater clarity' in Land Registration Bill

06/03/2012

‘Greater clarity’ is needed from the Scottish Government in relation to land-registration reform according to a report published today by the Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee.

In its stage one report on the Land Registration etc (Scotland) Bill, the committee welcomed the general principles of the bill which seeks to update and extend legislation relating to land registration.

However, the committee has called for more detail to be made available in relation to some areas of the bill including the scope of the proposed offence relating to registration.

The report also calls on the Scottish Government to consider the use of the Lands Tribunal for Scotland to resolve disputes between landowners.

Committee Convener Murdo Fraser MSP said: “This is a complex and wide ranging bill which aims to reform the laws of land registration in Scotland.

"While the committee welcomes this timely update to the current system, there are a number of areas which we believe would benefit from greater clarity if Scotland is to have a land-registration system which is truly fit for purpose and can meet the needs of 21st-century users.”

The report also recommends that more information should be made available on plans for the completion of the land register, including the need to set a target date for completion.

Background

The bill was introduced to Parliament on 1 December 2011 and seeks to reform and restate the law on registration in the land register. This includes closing the Register of Sasines as well as enabling the registration of electronic documents.

In a series of evidence-taking sessions, the committee heard from a range of organisations about the need to reform the law on land registration as it currently stands.

The stage one debate is expected to take place in week commencing 12 March 2012, with stage two expected to begin by early May 2012.