One giant leap

Since April 2008 over 21 000 applications have been submitted via the Automated Registration of Title to Land (ARTL) in Scotland. ARTL is an alternative to the current paper based system of Land Registration for Dealings with Whole, where registration is completed electronically via a secure internet connection. Benefits include the state of the title being confirmed up to the day before and the registration in favour of the purchaser completed within 24 hours; No more bounced applications because of simple errors in the deed or the cheque: the system validates the information submitted as you go through the transaction and, as with SDLT, calculates and takes payment of the registration dues automatically; and a reduction in work for the submitting firm as much of the information is on the system already.

It had not been an easy task: processes, attitudes and culture had all had to change, but the achievement was a clear cause for celebration. Impressive though the achievements to date are, there is much more to come, according to Andy Smith, one of the Deputy Keepers. True end-to-end electronic caseworking is the goal, covering all applications including first registrations and sasine entries. Accurate, up-to-date mapping will be critical.

Registers of Scotland website

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