Steps Taken to Effect Transfer of Property

1. Receive instructions to attend to the transfer.

2. Request the original title deed, original mortgage bond and the cancellation figures from the existing bond holder. The cancellation figure is the amount which the existing bondholder requires to be paid before it will cancel the bond over the property.

3. Request a statement from the local authority setting out the rates and taxes. In the Western Cape Province the local authorities require full payment in advance of the balance rates and taxes for the remaining period until the next end of the municipal financial year, being 30 June. Elsewhere in South Africa rates and taxes are payable only for a period of approximately three months in advance. No transfer can be effected until the Registrar of Deeds is satisfied that the rates and taxes have been paid up to the date of transfer. Also, in case of a Sectional Title Unit, a request is made to the Body Corporate or its Managing Agent for a statement setting out the levies that need to be paid in advance to obtain a levy clearance certificate.

4. Obtain the relevant information from the Purchaser regarding the institution that granted the bond and obtain payment of the deposit in terms of the Agreement of Sale (if applicable), which deposit is invested in an interest-bearing account for the Purchaser’s benefit pursuant to the provisions of Section 78(2A) of the Attorneys’ Act, 1979.

5. Once the Purchaser’s bond has been finally granted, guarantees/undertakings are requested from the Attorneys who are attending to the registration of the bond and the transfer documents are drawn. The guarantees are letters from the financial institution concerned guaranteeing that payment of certain monies will be made on date of registration of the property. An undertaking is a letter from the attorney tending to the registration of the bond wherein he undertakes to pay certain monies to the transferring attorney on date of transfer. One of the guarantees/undertakings is utilized to guarantee/undertake payment to the existing bondholder in respect of the cancellation figures referred to in clause 2 above.

6. Call upon the Purchaser and the Seller to attend to the signing of the documents drafted to give effect to the transfer of the property.

7. Pay transfer duty and apply to the Receiver of Revenue for a transfer duty receipt/exemption certificate.

8. Payment is made to the local authority of the rates and taxes, as per the statement obtained in terms of clause 3 above, in order to obtain a municipal rates clearance certificate as proof that such rates and taxes have been paid. In case of a Sectional Title Unit, payment is made or an undertaking is given to the Body Corporate or its Managing Agent that payment will be made to them in terms of the statement obtained in clause 3 above on date of registration.

9. Upon receipt of the guarantees/undertakings from the bond attorneys, the guarantees/undertakings which are required to cancel the existing bond are issued and dispatched to the attorneys attending to the cancellation of the bond.

10. Once the transfer duty receipt/exemption and a municipal rates clearance certificate (and also the levy clearance certificate in case of a Sectional Title Unit) have been obtained, arrangements are made with the Attorneys attending to the registration of the Purchaser’s bond and the attorneys attending to the cancellation of the existing bond to have all the documents lodged simultaneously in the Deeds Office.

11. After examination of the documents by the Deeds Office (which currently takes about 8 – 12 working days) the transfer and the bond will be registered and the existing bond cancelled.

12. Upon registration of the transfer in the Deeds Office, the Purchaser becomes the registered owner of the property, the Bond Attorney pays the bond proceeds to the Transferring Attorney, the existing bond is settled, the Estate Agent receives his/her commission and the Seller receives payment of the balance of the proceeds from the sale. This normally takes place on the first working day after the registration date.

About the Author
Bernard obtained the degrees BA Law (2000), LLB (2002) and LLM (2003) from the University of Stellenbosch and commenced practicing as duly admitted attorney and conveyancer in 2006. He is the Founder of Van Tonder Inc.

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