Author: Abbaas Kamalie
Certain documentation is required to ensure a smooth and effective transfer at the Deeds Office. Although the format of the documents may differ based on the type of transaction, for example; a divorce transfer, estate late transfer, etc. certain documentation remains a standard requirement in order for the transfer to be registered.
This article will briefly focus on the following documentation: The Power of Attorney to Pass Transfer, Original Title Deed, Transfer Duty Receipt, Rates Clearance Certificate, Levy Clearance Certificate and the Homeowners Association consent.
The Power of Attorney to Pass Transfer is signed by the Seller and gives the transferring attorney’s conveyancers the authority to execute the deeds, lodged at the Deeds office, on behalf of the Seller. This document contains the details of the Sellers and Purchasers, the description of the property as well as the purchase price. It further states that upon registration of the property, the Seller cedes and forfeits all rights to the property to the Purchasers. Additional information can be reflected in the Power of Attorney to Pass transfer in accordance with the conditions of the transaction, for example; where a Purchaser is approved for FlISP, where a usufruct is created in favour of a Seller, etc.
The Power of Attorney to Pass Transfer must be signed correctly. In the event the Seller is overseas; this document, together with the rest of the transfer documents, must be authenticated accordingly, depending on which law applies to that specific country the Seller is residing in.
The Original Title Deed is also required to be lodged at the Deeds Office. If the Seller has an existing bond over the property, then the attorneys appointed by the Bank to cancel the existing bond, being the bond cancellation attorneys, will request the title deed from the bank and lodge it accordingly. In the instance where there is no existing bond over the property, the Seller will then have to provide the transferring attorney with the original title deed.
If the Seller has either lost the Original Title Deed or it has been destroyed, a formal application will have to be signed by the Seller, requesting a certified copy from the Deeds Office, in terms of Regulation 68(1) of the Deed Registries Act 47 of 1937. This certified copy will replace the lost or destroyed title deed. An advertisement will also have to be placed in a newspaper circulating in that area.
The Transfer Duty Receipt is another document required for lodgement at the Deeds Office. The transfer duty receipt will reflect the amount of transfer duty applicable. Where the purchase price is One Million Rand or under then transfer duty will be reflected as zero. A transfer duty receipt is always required to be lodged as it confirms that SARS has been notified of the specific transaction.
The transferring attorney will also apply for rates clearance figures in order to receive a Rates Clearance Certificate from the local municipality. Once the rates clearance figures have been issued by the relevant municipality, the full amount must be paid to the transferring attorney. The transferring attorney will then pay the amount due to the City and upload the necessary documentation in order to be issued with the rates clearance certificate. The rates clearance figures are valid for 30 days from date of issue and the Rates Clearance Certificate is valid for a period of 60 days from date of issue. This certificate acts as confirmation that all rates have been paid and settled.
Where the property being sold is administered by a Homeowners Association (HOA), a consent to transfer will have to be issued by the relevant HOA and lodged together with the abovementioned documentation.
Furthermore, where the property being transferred forms part of a block of flats or a complex and is managed by a body corporate/ managing agent, a Levy Clearance Certificate will need to be obtained. This certificate will confirm that there are no outstanding levies due and that all levies have been paid in full. It is not a requirement for this certificate to be lodged, however, the transferring attorney’s conveyancer has to sign a Conveyancers Certificate in accordance with Section 15B(3) of the Sectional Titles Act 95 of 1986 confirming that all monies due to the body corporate/ managing agent has been paid. This Conveyancers Certificate must be lodged.
In respect of the above, there may be instances where supporting documents have to be lodged or where the Deeds Office examiners raise notes requesting further information or supplementary documentation. Additional documents will also have to be lodged based on the type of transfer, for example; an estate transfer. Furthermore, based on the circumstances of the transaction, other applications and/ affidavits may have to be lodged in terms of the Deeds Registries Act or the Sectional Titles Act.