Plan agreed to complete land transfers during pandemic

A plan has been agreed to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on ongoing transfers of title to land.

The Law Society of Scotland and UK Finance have agreed a position whereby lenders are willing to continue to lend against transactions that are due to go complete during the period in which the application record being closed. Most UK lenders have signed up to this.

Registers of Scotland has also confirmed that, if there are any immediate cases where an advance notice is not in place, it will work with the Law Society and the solicitors involved to open the application record (remotely) for those applications.

In particular, if there are Development Plan Approval (sales from new build developments) cases pending which require advance notices, RoS will deal with them digitally.

This means that anyone who really needs to settle a transaction in Scotland in the coming days can do so. RoS resources are focused on the people who would face serious personal or financial hardship if they cannot settle on the day required, and for whom the advance notice solution does not represent a solution.

A Registers of Scotland spokesperson said: “The decision we took to temporarily close the application record was done to safeguard the health and wellbeing of colleagues, their families and communities.

“We are sorry that the current COVID-19 circumstances have caused any solicitors or their customers problems. Registers of Scotland staff have been working around the clock to make sure that anyone who really needs to settle this week is in a position to do so.

“In addition, today RoS, Law Society Scotland and UK Finance have agreed a process that will enable transactions to be completed.”

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