Buying and selling property is an extremely stressful time and the recent decision of the Register of Scotland to close the Property Register to new applications has resulted in a lot of uncertainty among people due to move just now, and also in the upcoming weeks.
Registration of a title deed in favour of the new owner is an essential part of the property transaction and any delay or failure to register shortly after the purchase price is exchanged for keys leaves the client and any lender, whose security relies on that title, at risk.
The temporary closure of the Property Register was seen as necessary to safeguard staff and in the publics’ interest and safety. Recent updates confirm that work is ongoing to create an electronic registration system in the short term and you may have heard that some property transactions have been able to complete recently. This is because the Registers of Scotland and Law Society have worked together to put emergency practices in place for a number of limited circumstances where the failure to complete would cause undue personal and/or financial hardship or would result in homelessness, or similar extenuating circumstances to parties involved in the transaction.
However, there are inevitable practical issues preventing a property transaction from completing given this also relies on external factors e.g. removal companies, carpet fitters and a number of tradesmen, who are of course unable to leave their homes in the current health crisis
The Law Society have also issued clear guidance to Solicitors compelling the profession not to do anything that contradicts the current Government guidance.
Accordingly, the best advice at this particular point in time is to wait it out until the government restrictions on movement are lifted.
We all have a duty to follow the Government’s guidance to stay home and save lives.
If you want to keep an eye on developments as they are released, please visit:
Our promise to our property clients is to:-
· Keep you up-dated as to developments;
· Let you know just as soon as your transaction can resume;
· Work with you to negotiate a new date of entry agreeable to all parties.
We appreciate how frustrating this is for all concerned and would take this opportunity of thanking our staff and clients for their understanding to date, everyone has shown an amazing resilience and determination to work together despite the challenges facing us all at this time!
Our offices have now closed in accordance with the current guidance, however, our staff have been set up to work from home to ensure that we can support our clients and deliver the same high standards of service they expect from us. Our telephone lines have been diverted and we can also be reached by email or through the contact form on our website. Many other legal services can still be provided and for the most part we can still meet your legal needs.