Land Registers and Conveyancing Searches for Scotland

Frequently Asked Questions - Glossary of Terms

Abstract

This term is usually used to describe a legal document made by a conveyancer after inspecting one or more deeds and marking them as so inspected. The abstract summarises the main parts of the deed or deeds and is as authentic as though it were the original.

Burdens

Registered titles in Scotland contain detailed extracts of burdens affecting the property, e.g. restrictive covenants.

Caution against First Registration

A Caution against First Registration is a means of protecting a person's interest in an unregistered property and can be registered in respect of charging orders, rentcharges and the like.

The Caution Title identifies the Cautioner and provides details of his interest in the property. The Caution is registered separately and is given a title number. In addition to a Caution Title register there is also a Title Plan showing the extent of the property affected by the Caution.

A caution is not an actual registration of any estate in land. It is merely a means to trigger notification to the person who lodged the caution when an application for first registration is made. In practice the solicitor acting for the purchaser of a property will make a search at HM Land Registry, which will reveal the existence of the Caution. He will then ensure that the Cautioner's interest is dealt with before proceeding with the purchase. Thus the registration of a Caution against First Registration is an effective way of protecting an interest in an unregistered property. As the registration of all property is now compulsorily following a purchase, the Caution is always seen and must be dealt with for the purchase to proceed.

There can be many cautions registered against the same property, each with their own Caution Title.

Day List

When an application is made for registration of an interest or a search is made an entry is kept in the Day List pending completion of the registration. Thus the Day List is a list of pending applications such as is made when registering a new purchase or of a search made in contemplation of a new purchase.

Deeds (Old Deeds)

As a general rule the Land Registry do not retain the deeds and documents received by them when a purchaser applies for registration of title, but copies the salient parts thereof into the register. The deeds, then being redundant, are returned to the person applying for registration. If the Land Registry consider it to be in the best interests of the owner of the property to retain certain deeds, e.g. because they make more sense when read as a complete document, then they will retain the deed and make a note on the register with words similar to "copied into the certificate". This alerts a person viewing the register to its existence, and a copy can then be obtained by applying for a Registered Old Deed search.

Examples of registered old deeds are transfers, conveyances, agreements, deeds, deed plans, abstracts, and licences. Often the documents contain detailed plans and drawings that often contain measurements, and are often very useful where there is a boundary dispute.

Folio

In Ireland and Northern Ireland the property register is referred to as a Folio. The Folio contains details of the property's title, description, tenure, ownership, covenants, mortgages and charges etc.

Index Map

This is large scale map based on the Ordnance Survey and usually of a scale of 1:1250 (1:2500 in country areas) which shows whether a property in England and Wales is registered and, if so, the Title Number. The Index Map will also reveal whether there are any 'Cautions against First Registration' affecting an unregistered property.

Manorial Title

A manorial title, or lordship of the manor, is an Incorporeal Hereditament. The Land Registration Act 2002 which came into force in October 2003 prevents the registration of further lordship titles. Manor titles before this are still recorded at the Land Registry and copies of the registers are still available. They are obtained by applying for a search of the Index Map for Manors and Franchises for the administrative county in which they are in. The Land Registry respond by forwarding a list of the the registered manors for that administrative county, together with their title numbers. Once the title is known a search can then be made for a copy of the register in the same way as for a property register.

Official Copies or Office Copies

These are officially stamped copies of the Register, Plan or Registered Old Deeds and are admissible in evidence in court proceedings.

Rentcharge

A rentcharge is an annual sum paid in perpetuity or for a term of years, which gives the owner of the rentcharge (the rentowner) certain rights if the sum is not paid, eg to forfeit the property over which it is registered.

Since 1977 only certain rentcharges can be created. These are mainly estate rentcharges created for the purpose of making a landowner's personal covenants (e.g. maintenance of a boundary fence) enforceable by the rentowner. All other rentcharges created before this date will be extinguished on 22 July 2037, if not already extinguished.

Sasine Registers

The Registers of Scotland maintain records of unregistered properties as well as registered properties. Unregistered properties are recorded in the Sasine Registers, of which there are 3. The first relates to properties recorded after 1993, the second to properties recorded between 1954 and 1993 and the third to properties recorded before 1954.

Sasine records are description based, and can be more tricky to identify, particularly if the property is an area of land such as a field, where there is no postal address.

Tenure

The 2 main forms of tenure in England & Wales are Freehold and Leasehold. A freehold tenure is almost absolute ownership (The Crown is the only absolute owner of land in England and Wales).

A Leasehold tenure is ownership of an interest in property for a fixed term of years. This happens when a lease of freehold land is granted (or, where a lease has already been granted, a shorter lease of the leasehold interest (a sub-lease or under-lease). When the term of years expires the leasehold interest reverts back to the superior owner (either the superior landlord or the freeholder). Common leasehold interests are granted for 99, 125 and 999 years. Shorter leases are granted but these are usually for commercial properties.

When the freeholder of a large building decides to convert the property into 2 or more flats he usually grants a leasehold interest of the respective flats, which are then registered with separate titles.