ARTICLES

Electronic discharges – A brave new world or a natural evolution?

Professor Stewart Brymer outlines what needs to be done to enable all discharges to be effected electronically in Scotland and considers the changes in conveyancing practice that will result.

Land Registration (Scotland) Act 2012: Commonly asked questions.

The past 12 months have been an interesting time for not only conveyancers but for us as underwriters at First Title. Together, we have been getting to grips with the provisions of the Land Registration (Scotland) Act 2012, understanding the new procedures set out by the Registers of Scotland and what they mean for our conveyancing transactions.

Case Study: First Title delivers for a new distribution centre

When access restrictions and several title conditions threatened to frustrate a client’s new development project, our client turned to First Title for help.

When must a seller reveal plans for development in the area?

Sellers have an obligation to be truthful about their knowledge of any proposed developments affecting a property. But precisely what constitutes ‘knowledge’ and ‘affecting’ is less clear cut.

Proposed extensions of permitted development rights: are planning authorities losing control?

In 2013 permitted development rights were seen to shift the balance of power from the planning authority to the developer. But with an extension of existing legislation on the horizon, are planning authorities set to lose control of the planning process or will they fight back? William Goodwin explores the potential impact of proposed plans to extend the current rights.

When things go wrong in a conveyancing transaction

Professor Stewart Brymer offers some useful guidance on the most appropriate course of action to take when things go wrong in a conveyancing transaction.

Energy subsidy scrapped; however, there are solutions

In response to the scrapping of the renewable energy subsidy scheme from 1st April 2016, Kirsty Findlater, Commercial Underwriter, looks at how title indemnity can provide solutions to title risks and assist developers in meeting the funding deadline.

Searches before contract

So just what conveyancing searches should we be making? And what should we be telling clients about the results of the searches we do make? Paul Butt examines a recent negligence case which holds warnings for us all.

On the road to urban recovery......?

With towns and cities up and down the country experiencing regeneration, developers are reminded of the complex nature of the law surrounding highways and how they can tackle it.

Access law: getting it right

The law concerning right‐of‐way disputes is in desperate need of an overhaul, but changes have yet to be made despite Law Commission recommendations. The following developments could prove useful explain Julia Stansfield and Helen Evans from Hill Dickinson.

Celebrating 10 years of success!

As First Title CEE enters a new chapter, Andrew Jackson reflects on the highs and low of the last decade and considers what the future might hold for Title Insurance throughout Europe in the coming years.

Examination of title – minerals

Professor Stewart Brymer details why mineral rights play an important, but often overlooked part of the conveyancing transaction.

Reassurance on repossessions

Elizabeth Vyner from First Title explains why Clive Aronson v The Keeper of the Registers of Scotland and Others has brought some much needed clarity to repossession cases.

Reverter of Site: Could 19th century laws impact on 21st century developers?

With local authority budgets under pressure, disused schools, museums and libraries are being earmarked for development. But, as Martin Wilks explains, an obscure 19th century law could stop plans in their tracks.

Admissible evidence in boundary disputes

Boundary disputes can often spiral into complex and costly litigation for all parties. Kevin Lee offers some insights from the recent judgement in Norman v Sparling, which may help reduce the number of disputes in future.

New guidance on flood risk and contaminated land searches

Paul Butt highlights two updated practice guides from the Law Society, which underline the benefits of flood risk and environmental searches and provide some useful pointers for conveyancers.

Better Information for House Purchasers

The Scottish Government wishes to see the whole of Scotland mapped and on the Land Register by 2024. This is an ambitious target but the benefits that it will bring are considerable.

Transfers at Undervalue: A Risk to Lenders and Purchasers

Laura O'Neill from First Title explains how a transfer at undervalue takes on a new meaning and triggers other implications when it is read in light of the Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 1985.

Being a Bad Neighbour Can Really Cost You

Neighbours from hell may provide entertainment for the TV viewer, but to the victim the pain is often not only emotional, but also financial. The case of Raymond v Young is a salutary example of what can happen when things go wrong between neighbours explains Kevin Lee.

Rights to Light ‐ Light at the End of the Tunnel?

Kathryn Graham, commercial underwriter in the commercial real estate group at First Title, discusses the potential impact of the Law Commission’s recent report on rights to light.

Breach of Trust...Yet Again!

Paul Butt explains why conveyancing firms dealing with high value transactions should have strict controls in place in order to avoid being blamed in breach of trust issues.

Un mot de notre consultant

Robert Waterland, consultant de First Title Insurance plc en France, nous explique comment les solutions d’assurance de First Title Insurance plc peuvent, selon lui, aider à faciliter certains dossiers compliqués.

Liability for Trees and the Laws of Nature

Trees that overhang railway lines can be hazardous. Kevin Lee examines a recent court case that raises pertinent questions about whether a landowner should be ‘an insurer of nature’.

Squatters and Adverse Possession

Despite the criminalising of trespass, squatters may still be able to access registration of title ‘through the back door'. Martin Wilks examines a recent High Court judgement and its significance for residential landlords.

Providing Comfort for Alterations to Residential Properties

Conveyancing transactions can often become mired in the time-consuming hunt for missing alteration documentation, but it needn’t be that way. Elizabeth Vyner explains.

Digital Signatures and Conveyancing Practice

With the inexorable rise of digital communication Professor Stewart Brymer argues that legally binding electronic signatures and secure electronic document exchange protocols can only be positive for Scottish conveyancing.

Living in the Office: New Permitted Development Rights

Developers are increasingly applying to convert offices to residential. New permitted development rights have reduced the planning burden but to what extent? Martin Wilks highlights some of the lingering constraints.

Squatters’ Rights: A Guide for Commercial Property Owners

When squatting in residential buildings became a criminal offence in 2012, squatters headed for commercial properties instead. Martin Wilks examines the impact for landlords and explains how they can mitigate the risks.

Avoiding Misrepresentation

Paul Butt looks at misrepresentation in the context of conveyancing transactions and the attempts by sellers’ conveyancers to draft contractual clauses avoiding such liability.

How Straightforward is the Green Deal

The Green Deal aims to improve energy efficiency in homes. However as Paul Butt explains, the scheme is complex and properties with a Green Deal loan could prove difficult to sell.

Solving a Common Problem

A recent decision by the Lands Tribunal has brought back into focus the debate about registration of, and rights over, common areas. Kirsty Findlater discusses relevant case law and explains why title indemnity is a potential solution.

Service Charge Miscellany

Paul Butt revisits the problems connected to the ownership and management of leasehold flats. He highlights the problems faced by landlords and management companies in complying with the protections laid down by the law for flat owners.

What do Clients Really Want?

Professor Stewart Brymer examines the critical issue of client service. According to Professor Brymer, a few simple things make the difference between loyalty and indifference.

Legislating for Growth

Since the nineteenth century statute has helped local objectors to preserve open spaces and, increasingly, to thwart unwanted development. But, as Ian Borders explains, the tide might be about to turn.

Thinking Green but What are the Risks?

Ian Borders explains why effective risk management strategies are key to ensuring the successful completion of renewable energy projects and how title policies assist developers minimise risks.

Breach of Trust Revisited: Some Good News…and Some Bad!

The problem of fraudsters setting up fake law firms - and the liability of genuine firms dealing with them - has once again been reviewed by the Court of Appeal. Paul Butt examines the latest position.

What Now for a Non Domino Dispositions?

The Land Registration (Scotland) Act 2012 offers useful guidance on ‘a non domino’ dispositions and prescriptive claimant applications. Liana Di Ciacca explains the background, remaining limitations and potential alternative solutions.