HOUSE buyers will be able to check crime levels in their local area for the first time under a system announced today.
The Keeper of the Registers of Scotland (RoS) will lead a task force to develop an online system that will allow users to find out comprehensive information about any piece of land or property in Scotland with a single enquiry.
It means house hunters will be able to check for information on school catchment areas as well as crime statistics and details of flood risks.
RoS’ Sheenagh Adams said: “The creation of a land and property information system for Scotland is an exciting development that fits with our current project of completing the land register. Not only will this system make our economy more efficient, but it will reduce both the risks and costs of doing business.
“We’ve already seen the benefits of such a system in countries like Norway, which is ranked number five on the World Bank’s ‘ease of doing business’ survey in relation to registering property. I believe that we can do the same, and that Scotland can become an exemplar of joined-up thinking and digital provision.”
Bob Fraser, senior property partner at estate agent Aberdein Considine, said the new system would help remove “nasty surprises” for buyers.
“This system will be a huge boon for house hunters in Scotland and will give buyers all the information they need at their fingertips,” he said.
“Information on school catchment areas, flood risks and crime statistics are crucial for home buyers - and having them all in one place can only be good for the market.
“With the introduction of this alongside Home Reports, which have been in place for a number of years, house buyers in Scotland will be among the most informed in the world.
They will be buying with their eyes open and there will be no nasty surprises.”