Investigating title in Scotland—searches and enquiries—the basics
Produced in partnership with Gary Donaldson of Millar and Bryce
Investigating title in Scotland—searches and enquiries—the basics

The following Property guidance note Produced in partnership with Gary Donaldson of Millar and Bryce provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Investigating title in Scotland—searches and enquiries—the basics
  • Standard pre-registration searches
  • Standard searches for properties not registered in the Land Register
  • Standard searches for properties registered in the Land Register
  • Standard searches for all transactions
  • Additional pre-registration searches

Searches are an essential part of the examination of any heritable title in Scotland and no conveyance can safely settle without them. The content of a search is usually from a public record or register (eg Register of Sasines, Register of Inhibitions, Companies House and where appropriate Local Authorities) although it is often augmented with data collected from a variety of sources. Searching is a specialised, exacting and highly technical exercise which, since the mid-19th century, the legal profession has been happy to leave to professional searchers and rely implicitly on their expertise. Searches are usually requested by the seller’s solicitor. It is usual practice for the searches to be ordered early in the transaction to allow time to resolve any adverse matters which are disclosed. Certain searches will need to be current at the date of the transaction so updates of these searches are ordered immediately before settlement.

Standard pre-registration searches

The nature of the standard searches that will be required for a transaction will depend on whether the property being transacted is already registered in the Land Register or is recorded in the Register of Sasines, see Practice Note: A guide to land registration and the sasine register in Scotland

Standard searches for properties not registered in the Land Register

Legal report (unregistered)

A legal report