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Agribusiness News June 2024 – Management Matters: Land Register of Scotland

31 May 2024

Who owns Scotland?

The Registers of Scotland (RoS) is currently undertaking the mammoth task of digitally registering Scotland’s titles to add them to the Land Register of Scotland, which was created in 1981. The Land Register replaces the General Register of Sasine which was created in 1617 and holds many historical titles.

The Land Register

The Land Register can be accessed online and is free to view at  Properties can be searched for by postcode, title number or by map, and digital titles can be bought for a small fee through the register website.

Digital Registration

The purpose of moving to a digital register has many positives. Older titles quite often only have a written description with no maps and use outdated terminology which can make modern interpretation very challenging.

A digital register, using Ordnance Survey mapping, ensures that, rather like a jigsaw puzzle, all the registered parcels of land fit in beside each other. It also allows for an opportunity to merge titles in the case where a business has bought several land parcels over decades of time, or indeed separate them, if that is what is required.

It then makes matters such as succession and selling a much smoother process in respect of the legal aspect as solicitors have access to an up-to-date register which can make transactions much easier.

Land Register submissions

There are several ways a property can be added to the Land Register. It can be triggered when a property is sold or transferred which has been happening since the late 1990s.

Where properties have been in the family for generations, such as estates and farms, owners can volunteer to register their property. RoS are offering a discounted registration rate to encourage landowners to consider this option.

Finally, it is understood that the RoS are working through the Sasine Register to move properties on to the Land Register. However, this route will be a lengthy process and is expected to take many years.

Registration considerations

It should be known that there are additional costs when undertaking the voluntary registration. There will be the preparation of digital maps and the fee for a solicitor to submit to the RoS.

The fee for voluntary registration is calculated on the current value of the land and can range from £60 to a staggering £6,190.

Understandably, the cost of registration can be inhibitive.  However, it should be noted that for many landowners their property is their biggest asset and registration provides a degree of protection. However, there have been cases where land has been registered, and occasionally, the boundary has been incorrect necessitating the neighbouring property to dispute the accuracy of the registration, resulting in additional legal costs.

Registering your land can ensure peace of mind that your boundaries are precise, but it can also guarantee that the land is in order for future generations to inherit.

For further information on the legislation, registration fees or to see if your land is on the Land Register please go to:


Jennifer Galloway,; 01776 702649


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