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Scottish land registration reforms will take effect in December

Long-awaited reforms to the process of registering land and property rights in Scotland will take effect on 8 December 2014.

An order has now been published confirming the 'designated day' on which the changes, contained in the 2012 Land Registration etc. (Scotland) Act, will come into force. The Act will introduce much-needed reforms to the land registration system that has existed in Scotland since 1979.

"Property lawyers in Scotland have been awaiting confirmation of the date when much of the Land Registration etc. (Scotland) Act will come into force," said property law expert Robbie Wishart of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com.

"The Act updates and clarifies various areas of Scottish property law and practice. Now that the Designated Day is known, the legal profession and other property professionals and developers will be able to plan for the new processes required to implement the terms of the Act," he said.

Once fully in force, the Land Registration etc. (Scotland) Act will bring registration law more into line with the law relating to buying and selling property. It will adjust the circumstances in which a person can recover their property rather than merely obtain compensation; and create a new way to register 'common' property, for example children's play areas in housing developments.

The Land Register records all new changes of ownership of land and creation of new titles. Title to property which is registered in the Land Register is guaranteed by the state. The provisions in the Act will increase the speed at which the Land Register will be completed. Currently, property is only transferred from the previous Register of Sasines to the Land Register when it is sold on.

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