Author: Tasneem Lodewyk
Lost title deeds and mitigating the implications thereof
It is significant to ascertain whether you or your client is in possession of the original title deed (where the property is not bonded). The aforementioned will unquestionably save you from unforeseen delays in the transfer process.
What is the procedure involved?
A procedure in terms of the Deeds Registries Act namely Regulation 68(1) as amended is to be followed. The process includes obtaining an information copy of the title deed which takes approximately a week or two to be issued by the Deeds Office. Thereafter the owner/s of the relevant property must sign an application and affidavit stating that nature in which the title deed has been lost, confirming that same has not been pledged nor is it being held as security by someone.
The process further includes publishing a notice of intention to apply for such endorsed copy. This notice must be published in a local newspaper circulating in the area in which the said property is situated. This notice must also be lodged at the Registrar of Deeds’ office. This notification shall lie open for inspection for a period of 2 (two) weeks from date of publication. Any interested persons may object to the issue of such copy, they are to lodge their objection in writing with the Registrar of Deeds within two weeks from date of the publication of the notice.
The application for such lost copy shall thereafter be lodged simultaneously with the transfer at the Deeds Office with the owner’s application and affidavit, proof of advertisement and copy of title deed for endorsement.
How to mitigate time implications herein?
Estate agents should enquire from their clients regarding the whereabouts of the original title deed. If same is lost, inform the transferring attorney when sending the instruction so that they shall ensure that the application and affidavit is signed, an information copy is applied for and notification is published as soon as possible.
In terms of private sales, the owner needs to ascertain whether or not they are in possession of the original title deed and same is not being held by the bank, they need to inform the transferring attorneys during the initial correspondence.
What is the turnaround time herein?
In light of the above, where lost copies are not applied for timeously, one can expect a delay of approximately two to three weeks.
What is the cost involved herein?
Publication of the notification costs approximately R1 500,00; and
Application for the lost copy costs approximately R4 500,00
Spare yourself undue delays and additional costs by ensuring your original title deed is kept in a safe place.