Comparison of priority periods in England (official search with priority) against protected period in Scotland (advance notice)
Produced in partnership with Rachel Oliphant of Pinsent Masons LLP
Comparison of priority periods in England (official search with priority) against protected period in Scotland (advance notice)

The following Property guidance note Produced in partnership with Rachel Oliphant of Pinsent Masons LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Comparison of priority periods in England (official search with priority) against protected period in Scotland (advance notice)

In property transactions the person buying, leasing or taking security over a property will check the title for the property before they proceed with the transaction. However between checking the title and the deed in their favour (the Deed) being presented for registration in the appropriate land register the situation could alter depriving the buyer/tenant/lender of the rights they thought they were acquiring. Although the risk will be addressed in the contract between the parties, there are also protections available through the registration process. See England and Wales Practice Note: The ‘registration gap’.

The way to avoid the risk in England and Wales is to carry out an official search with priority (priority search) in the HM Land Registry and ensure that the Deed is registered during the priority period. See Practice Note: Pre-completion searches—Official search with priority—registered land or seller’s title pending first registration.

In Scotland, the risk is addressed by an advance notice and ensuring that the Deed is registered during the protected period. See Practice Notes: Investigating title in Scotland—searches and enquiries—the basics and A guide to land registration and the sasine register in Scotland..

Although both solutions aim to address the gap period there are differences and it is important that a party more familiar with one jurisdiction is aware of the different protection provided in the other jurisdiction.