Posted on

What is the ESPC?

What is the ESPC?

A property website

Before there were Rightmove, Zoopla and all the other property websites or portals there was the ESPC.

The ESPC website ( is where sellers in Edinburgh market their properties and where buyers go to look for properties. Because it is Edinburgh and Lothians based, the ESPC website is the best place for buyers to start looking for properties. And it has the added advantages that you can download the property schedules and the Home Reports for properties which is not always the case when searching for properties on other portals.

What does ESPC stand for?

ESPC stands for Edinburgh Solicitors Property Centre.

Originally, when it first started (back in the 1970s) the ESPC was a shop where buyers could go to find out what properties were for sale in Edinburgh hence “Property Centre”. And although there is still the Property Centre in George St Edinburgh, people will know and visit the website more often than they would pop along to the Property Centre.

Also, it is worth mentioning that the ESPC is owned and funded by firms of solicitors in Edinburgh (and elsewhere in the Lothians etc) and only solicitor member firms are allowed to list their properties with the ESPC.

More than just a website

The ESPC has grown to be more than just a website for properties. You can also obtain mortgage advise, take advantage of their letting service, and they run events that are designed to give first time buyers an opportunity to find out more about buying.

Posted on

What is Standard Security?

What is Standard Security

So, what is Standard Security?

When you take out a mortgage to help you buy a property, your lender (the bank or building society lending you the money) will want two things: they will want you to give your undertaking to pay them back the loan with interest and they will want you to give them security for the loan, which is the property you are buying.

So, forget the word ‘standard” and think of it as simply being a “security”.

The Standard Security is the document you will sign in favour of your lender in which (1) you give your personal undertaking to pay back the loan on the terms agreed and with interest; and (2) gives the lender a security or charge over the property you are buying.

The Standard Security is then registered in the Land Register of Scotland as a charge over the property in favour of your lender.

In the event that you are unable to make your monthly mortgage payments, then ultimately, your lender has the right to enforce the Standard Security (referred to as calling-up the Standard Security) which results in you being removed from the property and the property then being marketed and sold by the lender.

What is a Discharge of Standard Security?

Once you have paid-off your mortgage in full, your lender will usually contact you to confirm this and to explain that you should now contact your solicitor to arrange for the Standard Security to be discharged.

The Discharge of Standard Security is simply a deed signed by your lender confirming that the mortgage has been paid off in full and which is then registered in the Land Register of Scotland which has the effect of removing (or discharging) the Standard Security from your title.

Do I need a solicitor to discharge my mortgage/Standard Security?

Yes. The solicitor will prepare the Discharge Document and send that off to your lender to be signed and will then arrange for the Discharge to be registered in the Land Register. Often, the application for the Discharge can be done online, but that depends on whether or not your lender has opted to do this and when you took out your mortgage. However, the process is usually quite straight forward.

The solicitor will charge you a fee for their work and there will be, in addition, the registration dues payable to Registers of Scotland of either £50 or £60 depending on whether or not the Discharge can be done online.

What happens to my title deeds when the mortgage is paid off?

If the title to your property is registered in the Land Register of Scotland then there won’t be any title deeds as such. Your title will be a Title Sheet. Once your mortgage has been paid off and the Discharge registered, your Title Sheet will be updated to delete the reference to the Standard Security.

However, if you purchased the property (in Edinburgh) before 2001 then it is likely that your title isn’t registered but instead still recorded in the older Sasines Register. In that case, you will have old style title deeds which are likely to be held by your lender. Once the mortgage is paid off, the lender will either send you the title deeds or they will be sent to your solicitor. You can then agree with your solicitor whether you want them to keep a hold of the title deeds or if you want to keep them yourself.

Can we be of help?

If you have paid off your mortgage and would like help in arranging for the Discharge of Standard Security to be prepared and registered, then we would be happy to help. Either give us a call on 0131 555 1296 or email us at [email protected] and we shall explain what is involved and what it will all cost.