artl Frequently Asked Questions
When did the system go live?
Part of the system (digital Standard Securities and Discharges) went live in August 2007. The remaining part of the system (digital Dispositions and other deeds) went live in February/March 2008.
Are there any books on artl?
Ian Burdon’s review was published by RoS as book entitled "Automated Registration of Title to Land”.
Are similar systems in operation anywhere else?
There are similar systems operating in Canada. Ontario was the first Canadian province (in fact, the first jurisdiction in the world) to provide a live system. New Zealand went live with an automated system in 2002. In Europe, the Netherlands, Estonia and Bavaria in Germany have recently introduced electronic conveyancing. HM Land Registry in England and Wales has plans for an electronic conveyancing system. An International Conference of World Leading Countries on Electronic Conveyancing in Amsterdam in May 2007 showed that many land registries are either planning or developing similar systems.
Who can use the artl system?
artl is available through a simple licensing agreement scheme to Scottish solicitors' and licensed conveyancers' firms, mortgage lending institutions and local authorities. There is no charge for a licence. Licence application packs are accessible on the sign-up packs page.
Can the public access the system?
No. It is extremely rare for members of the public not to use the services of a conveyancing professional. artl is not available to the few members of the public who do carry out their own conveyancing, though they can still carry out transactions on paper as at present. The benefits of artl lie in making the system available to parties such as solicitors who undertake transactions on a regular basis.
What types of transaction are available under artl?
The majority of transfer, charge and discharge transactions over registered titles ("dealings with whole") will be registrable under artl. In broad terms, these include the following:
- Standard Security
- Simple Assignations of Lease
- Assignation of single Standard Security
- Notices of Improvement, Repairs Grant &c
- Notices of Cessation of Improvement, Repairs Grant &c
- Charging Orders & Discharges of Charging Orders A small number of "dealings with whole" transactions are unsuitable for artl and solicitors are asked to process them on paper.
How does the solicitor know if a transaction is compatible with artl?
If in doubt the solicitor should check the document entitled “artl: Compatibility of Deed Types”, which is accessible on the useful Information page.
Does RoS have a helpdesk to assist with artl-related problems?
Yes. The eServices Support Team has been set up to deal with enquiries and problems relating to the whole range of RoS’ electronic services. More contact details
What safeguards are in place to prevent fraudsters and hackers accessing and abusing the artl system?
RoS recognises the need for confidence in the security of any system. All of the main registers held by the Keeper are already in electronic form, and RoS is experienced at operating securely in the electronic environment. BT, which built the artl system, has a wealth of experience in providing secure solutions for land and property data processes. It should be borne in mind that the paper process for registration applications has never been particularly secure. artl represents a considerable improvement in this respect. The system features a very high level of security. Only accredited users can make use of artl. PKI (public key infrastructure) technology and associated identity verification checks are used to ensure that a person using the system is who they purport to be. Complete audit trails and logs are kept so that all transactions can be followed.
Does the system register First Registrations or Transfers of Part?
No. First Registrations and Transfers of Part do not lend themselves to automation and there are no plans to bring them within the scope of artl. However, the Keeper has longer-term plans to offer electronic lodgement, which may provide an alternative electronic route for First Registrations and Transfers of Part.
What registration fees are payable?
The Fees in the Registers of Scotland Amendment Order 2010 (S.S.I. 2010/404) introduces new fees for the services that RoS provide. Within the Amendment Order the fees for artl applications are set at a lower level than the equivalent fee for paper applications. For transfer of title applications, the savings range from £10 to £500, depending on the value of the property passing, on each application made using the artl system. For standard securities and discharges, a flat rate fee of £60 applies for paper applications. The fee for artl registrations for these transaction types is £50. The Fees in the Registers of Scotland Amendment Order comes into force on 10 January 2011.
What happens with Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)?
RoS and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) worked together under the banner of joined-up Government to create a one-stop shop for solicitors who use artl. Under artl solicitors do not have to interact with HMRC to submit a Land Transaction Return and any associated SDLT. Rather, an electronic equivalent of the Land Transaction Return will form part of artl. The electronic Land Transaction Return is completed as part of the artl system. Any SDLT is collected by RoS, by means of variable direct debit, at the point of registration. Solicitors will therefore find it much easier, and quicker, to make SDLT payments under artl.
What happens if the wrong Title Number or county is entered into artl?
At the start of an artl application the system provides summary information about the title that has been selected. This allows the user to check that they have selected the correct title sheet. The system pre-populates on-screen forms with information drawn from the title sheet for the title number specified, so errors should be immediately apparent.
What happens if something else is done incorrectly on the system e.g. a question is answered wrongly?
The system is designed to ensure questions are answered correctly before the user can proceed, so that accidental mistakes are prevented. This is an important improvement, as accidental errors in completing paper application forms are a major cause of applications being rejected. The artl system also requires all questions relevant to the application to be completed before it allows the application to be submitted for registration.
Under artl, where does the digital deed end up - is it sent back to the solicitor who submitted it?
The digital deed is not returned to the solicitor. It is archived in the artl system and copies will be available on request.
Do Land and Charge Certificates still exist?
Yes, but not necessarily in paper format. The Keeper offers paper Certificates as he has always done, or alternatively electronic Certificates with the same content. RoS offers a range of advice on Land and Charge Certificates, including specific Frequently Asked Questions.
Does the Keeper still guarantee title?
Yes, definitely. The introduction of artl has no effect on the statutory indemnity provisions. If a claim is made against the Keeper, consequential to an artl registration, the Keeper handles the claim in the way that he has always handled indemnity claims. In short, his staff examine the facts and circumstances carefully and correspond with the claimant or the claimant's solicitor.
How are deeds executed under artl?
Under artl, deeds are digital. The execution of digital deeds is also digital, requiring the application of a digital certificate to create a digital signature. This will be adhibited by solicitors acting under mandates from their clients. Lending institutions will execute discharges using their own digital signatures. The digital certificates are held on smartcards provided free of charge to solicitors by the Keeper. Smartcards are PIN-protected for security.
What form should artl Mandates take and how can they be obtained?
Current versions of the artl Mandates approved by the Council of the Law Society of Scotland in terms of the Rules can be downloaded from the Law Society website. All queries regarding the content or completion of the Mandate form should be directed to the Law Society.
Where do I send artl Mandate forms?
Completed Mandate forms should be sent to the address below within 14 days of submission of the artl application. The forms will be scanned and archived and the originals returned to the submitting solicitor.
Registers of Scotland Executive Agency
Archive / Despatch Section
153 London Road
DX 555338, Edinburgh 15
LP- 47, Edinburgh 5
How do Building Societies enforce Standard Securities?
Enforcement of securities is governed by statute. Registration of a security via artl only affects the means of registration, not its effect. artl standard securities are in digital form but it is possible to create paper copies, which are deemed to be sufficient evidence of the digital original.
Do solicitors need to complete the Matrimonial Homes checks?
Yes. artl is a registration system, not an e-conveyancing system, so the conveyancer still has to satisfy herself or himself in regard to Matrimonial Homes matters and ROI checks. However instead of submitting Matrimonial Homes evidence to the Keeper, under artl the user will simply be asked to confirm to the Keeper that they have seen the appropriate evidence.
Does the system deal with variations of standard securities?
No. Since deeds of variation of standard securities do not have a prescribed form, and contain a variety of different clauses, they are unsuitable for artl processing. It remains possible to register them via paper applications to the Keeper.
How should a web browser be configured to stop getting unnecessary security alert messages when connecting to artl and eFORMs? Click here to open the instructions.
What happens if there is a system failure?
As with any system, there are contingency provisions. In any event, the Keeper has taken care to ensure that any system failures are overcome quickly. There is an eServices Service Level Charter covering all of RoS’ public-facing electronic services, including artl.
What equipment and software do solicitor firms, mortgage lenders and local authority to gain access to artl?
artl is Internet-based. Access to artl can be made through various web browsers. There is advice on IT requirements on the downloads page.
Can case management systems and commercial software communicate with the artl system?
artl is designed to accept data in XML format, an industry and Government standard for data transfers. Third party software, which employs this standard, will be able to feed data direct into artl.