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According to admitted conveyancer Marianne Niemann of Niemann Attorneys and Estates, a conveyancer needs to be an admitted attorney who has specialised in the transfer of property. In this article Niemann sheds some light on the important work that a conveyancer does.
Marianne Niemann says all property sold/bought in South Africa have to be registered in a suitable deeds office. All registrations of property sold/bought in the Free State have to be done in Bloemfontein.
“There is quite a lot of work that goes into the registration of a property. A valid, written contract of purchase has to be compiled. Usually it is done by the estate agent who has sold the property. Should it be a cash transaction, the instruction after signing of the contract goes to the conveyance attorney. Should there be a mortgage bond, the attorney receives the instruction after approval of the mortgage bond. Then the work starts,” says Niemann.
She adds that a deeds search is done at the deeds office to make sure that the registered owner and the seller mentioned in the contract of purchase correspond and if there are mortgages or any other agreements registered against the property. “Transport documents are compiled, which have to be signed by the parties involved. In this case there also has to be complied with FICA regulations. Should an existing mortgage bond be registered on the property, the cancellation figures, or settlement figures, have to be requested from the relevant bank.”
Niemann emphasizes that the following should also be in place:
- Municipal clearance certificate, issued by the relevant municipality to confirm that all municipal rates and taxes, water and electricity fees have been paid up to date.
- SARS receipt. In all cases SARS has to issue a receipt. Transfer duty, however, is only payable on a purchase price above R1 000 000.
- Electricity and gas certificate. This certificate serves to ensure that the property meets all electricity or gas regulations and is safe for occupation.
- Should the property be a sectional title, the levy certificate, which confirms that there are no outstanding levies payable on the property, has to be acquired.
- With regards to farms, there has to be a certificate which confirms that there are no land claims or pending land claims against the property.
- There should also be looked at alien and invasive species (especially on farms). There is a national register which indicates alien and invasive species.
- Guarantees have to be delivered to the conveyance attorney to ensure that purchase price and costs are assured.
“All the certificates and documents which are required give the assurance to the buyer that there has been complied with all regulations and that there are no outstanding fees payable on his new property. When all the above are in place, the deed(s) can be handed in at the deeds office where a complete investigation will take place. The present registration period is more or less a week should there be nothing wrong with the deed(s),” concludes Niemann.
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