Get Ahead Of Potential Problems In Your Transfer Process

Selling your property should be a relatively painless process. However, it is important to note that the obligations of the Seller do not end at simply signing the Offer to Purchase and moving out of the Property. Some of the most common issues that come up during the sale of the Property are as follows:

Rates & Taxes

When a freehold Property is transferred, the Rates, Taxes and Utilities account with the relevant local authority must be paid up in full, together with a forward projection amount for the time the matter will lie in the Deeds Office. It is a good idea to pay your rates and taxes account on time every month so that arrears do not build up, and that a Rates Clearance Certificate (RCC) may be issued timeously and does not become an impediment to transfer.

If there are existing disputes or other issues with the account, dealing with them at time of listing the Property with an Agent, instead of dealing with these issues when the Transfer Process is well underway, can give you a headstart and ensure timeous transfer. Engaging the services of a Rates Consultant can be highly beneficial here, as the Rates Consultant can attend to all of the administrative work, saving enormous amounts of time.

Building Plans

While it is not a legal requirement for Building Plans to be up-to-date and handed over at time of Transfer, many of the large Banks now make it a requirement of the Purchaser’s bond grant, especially where there have been additions or renovations to the Property. If building plans have been lost, these will need to be applied for from the Local Authority. It is important to note that in some cases Council has in fact lost or accidentally destroyed building plans kept in archive.

If building plans have been lost by Council, or if illegal (non-approved) structures have been erected on the Property, this can lead to disputes down the line. Engaging an architect to attend to drawing of revised plans and submitting so council early on in the process can prevent this.


Having a reputable electrician inspect your Property’s electrical systems is not only a requirement of the Offer to Purchase but also ensures there are no disputes relating to electrical systems after Transfer. If work on the electrical systems needs to be carried out to make it compliant, having the inspection done well ahead of time can prevent delays with scheduling the electrician to perform remedial work and having the ECC issued timeously.

The same is applicable if an Electric Fence Certificate or Gas Compliance certificate needs to be issued.



Lost or Destroyed Title Deed

If you have a bond on your Property, the original Title Deed will be held by the bank and released to your Transferring Attorneys during the course of the transfer process. If you do not have a bond over your Property, the Original Title Deed should be in your possession. The original Deed is required by the Conveyancer to transfer the Property. If you have lost your Title Deed, a copy of the Deed will need to be applied for from the Deeds Office and be endorsed for use in place of the original. This can cause significant delays in the process as the application will need to be published in the and lie for inspection in the Deeds Office. By requesting your Transferring Attorneys to institute the application for a lost Title Deed early on in the process, delays can be minimised.

Signature of Documents

Transfer documents will need to be signed by the Seller and Purchaser in order for the Conveyancer to effect transfer. If you are travelling or will be out of the Republic of South Africa, let your Transferring Attorneys know early on in the process so that signature of documents can be expedited before your departure or a Special Power of Attorney drawn up so that a trusted individual can sign in your absence. Signature of documents overseas is a possibility, but usually carries significant cost and can be a significant administrative hurdle to overcome as documents will need to be signed at a South African embassy or Consulate or signed in front of a Notary (or similar office-bearer) and an apostille certificate applied for.

Late Estates

It is important to note that certain extra steps must be carried out by the Transferring Attorneys when transferring a Property from a deceased estate to another party in the normal course of winding up a Deceased Estate. As a result, Deceased Estate transfers generally take slightly longer to effect than a transfer from individual to individual.

If the above matters are attended to before even taking an Offer on your Property, delays can be minimised and the transfer process made simpler.

Courtesy of NGL



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