Land grabs or land acquisitions are no stranger to South Africans. But it looks like a different cat is out of the hat. The Department of Rural development and Land reform has announced changes to Regulation 68 of the Deeds Registries act. Regulation 68 sets out what process must be followed after an original deed or mortgage bond has been lost or destroyed.
As an homeowner, there are various reasons why you would need a copy of your title deed. It is an important document, proving the owners of said property. If your property is still bonded, the bank is most likely to have a copy of your deed, but if you have freed up your property, you, as the owner would be in possession of this document. Currently, homeowners can simply make a written application (accompanied with an affidavit) to deed office and get a new one. This is about to change and could have financial implications when trying to sell your property. The regulation has been amended but it’s not in operation as yet. The implementation of the amendments to regulation 68 have been suspended by the Chief Registrar of Deeds until further notice. We are awaiting the publication of a notice in the Government Gazette. So it’s not all bad news just yet, homeowners still have the opportunity to obtain their title deed, the easy and more cost efficient way, before the new procedure sets in. You can either enquire directly with the deeds office or ask an attorney to assist with acquiring a certified title deed for your property. When the new regulation sets in, a property owner would need to follow these steps to get a copy of their title deed:
- Visit the deeds office (deeds registries may not give out information acting on a letter or a telephone call)
- Submit an affidavit, attested by a notary public (meaning paying an additional fee that was never part of the original cost)
The notice of intention to apply for a certified copy or the cancellation of a lost bond must be published in an ordinary issue of the Government Gazette. Copies of the deed must be left open for inspection in the deeds registry for a period of two weeks after the date of publication of the notice. For more on Regulation 68 of the Deeds Registries act and other changes in legislation, check out Sabinet’s Legal Information Services. Sabinet is always of the mind that the community surrounding it, is better off when it promotes growth, education and understanding through information. Visit Sabinet Gazettes and Sabinet National Legislation for more information.