Registering Scotland's land

Why it's important to have all of Scotland's land and property registered and mapped.

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Why register land and property?

The registration of land and property means that every property in Scotland is protected by a state guarantee. Scotland has a stable land registration system, recognised by the World Bank as underpinning the Scottish economy. Registration protects you when you're buying, selling and transferring property.

Who registers land and property in Scotland?

Registers of Scotland is the non-ministerial government department responsible for compiling and maintaining 18 public registers. These relate to land, property, and other legal documents. ScotLIS is the service which allows you to search our extensive land register for specific properties for free. In time we will extend the service to allow you to access more of the data that we hold on the land register. Find out more about the history of the registers.

What are the Land and Sasine Registers?

The land register is a map-based register of land and property titles in Scotland. Every time a property transfers ownership the land register is updated with new details. This is our main register and was introduced in 1981.

The General Register of Sasines was set up in 1617 and is a register of deeds. It is the oldest public land register in the world. We’re gradually replacing the sasine register with the land register. ‘Sasine’ comes from the old French word 'seizer', which means ‘take’.

Both registers hold information on millions of property titles and a property will normally only transfer from the sasine register into the land register when a property changes ownership; it's a huge task to update and modernise to a map-based system. We are heading towards a target of full transfer by 2024.

How much of Scotland is mapped?

The map shows how much of Scotland has been digitally mapped and is now included in the Land Register. To date, 63% of Scottish property is included. That represents 30% of the total land mass or nearly 2.5 million hectares.