Everything that forms part of a person's estate can be described as "property". Property includes a variety of assets such as things (e.g. car, computer), personal rights (creditors' rights), and immaterial property rights. A thing is a specific asset (legal object) in a person's estate, i.e. an independent part of the corporeal world which is external to humans, subject to human control, and is useful and valuable to a person. Ownership is the (most comprehensive) real right a person can have with regard to a thing. Property law can be defined as the Individual interests in property, the guarantee and protection of individual rights with respect to property, and the control of proprietary relationships between persons (both natural and juristic), as well as their rights and obligations.

What is conveyancing?

Conveyancing (or conveyance) is the legal term for the process whereby a person, company, close corporation or trust becomes the registered and legal owner of immovable property and ensures that this ownership cannot be challenged. It also covers the process of the registration of mortgages.

What is a conveyancer?

A Conveyancer is an attorney who also passed the national conveyancing examination and by law is the only person who can register fixed property transfers. This is necessary to ensure the protection of the various interests the parties have in the transaction and to maintain the high standard of land registration.

What is the first step in the sale of fixed property?

The first requirement is a valid agreement of sale. The Alienation of Land Act provides that no transaction relating to a purchase or sale of immovable property will be valid, unless it is in writing and signed by both the purchaser and seller (and by the spouses in cases where the parties are married in community of property, or account to the laws of a foreign country) or their agents who have been given written authorization to sign on their behalf. A written “Offer to Purchase” signed by a purchaser and accepted by a seller also constitutes a binding agreement.

How long does the process take?

The above constitutes an outline of the normal conveyancing process. The picture can and often does become cluttered with complexities occasioned by subdivision and consolidation of properties, the registration of servitude's of use and rights of way, not to mention the fact that the sale of one property very often cannot take place until the purchaser has sold and transferred his/her property and so on. Conveyancing is in fact a complex process and requires extensive knowledge and accuracy on the part of the Conveyancer. The period of time it takes to register a transfer depends on the co-operation of each party and to what extent they have complied with their contractual arrangements.

Unforeseen difficulties, too numerous to discuss in detail, such as the death of one of the parties or the attachment of the property concerned by a creditor of the seller, may cause delays. The above aside, on average the transaction is completed in six to eight weeks.

Mariana Couzens heads the property law and conveyancing department. Together with her dedicated staff and her excellent problem solving skills, they ensure an outstanding professional service to their clients.

Our services in this department include advice on and the structuring of:

  • Transfer of residential, sectional title schemes, commercial and farming properties
  • Drafting rental agreements/leases for commercial and residential properties
  • General property advice
  • Contracts of sale, donation and exchange
  • Land subdivisions and consolidations
  • Township and sectional title developments
  • Notarial leases, bonds and servitude's
  • Deceased estate transfers
  • Eviction orders

Our lawyer’s are among the most experienced and sought after in their field. If you think we can help, contact us today.

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