Update: Lost title deeds

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In February 2019 the Chief Registrar of Deeds issued a circular to announce that the Deeds Registries Regulations Board (the Board) had decided to suspend the implementation of the amendments to regulation 68 of the Deeds Registries Act 47 of 1937 announced in February 2019. However on 1 November 2019 the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform published amended regulations dealing with lost or destroyed title deeds of fixed property. The amended regulations will commence 1 January 2020.

An advertisement regarding the intention of the property owner to apply for a copy to replace the lost or destroyed title deed will also, in terms of these changes, have to be placed in a newspaper circulating in the area in which the land is situated affording affected parties two weeks from date of publication to object. In case of a notarial bond the advertisement will have to be placed in an issue of one or more newspapers circulating in the area of every deeds registry in which such notarial bond is registered.

Copies of the above-mentioned deeds will also be open for inspection in the deeds registry free of charge by any interested person during the two week period. If an affected party wants to object, the objection must be lodged in writing with the relevant Registrar of Deeds within the two week period.

This will certainly cause a delay in any property transaction and there will also be additional costs for the property owner.

We therefore urge all property owners to ensure that they know the whereabouts of their title deeds. If your property is mortgaged to a bank under a mortgage bond then the bank would usually hold the title deed. If your property is un-bonded and you cannot locate your title deed we urge you to contact us immediately to assist with the replacement thereof before the implementation of the new regulations.

If you would like a more in-depth analysis or legal advice regarding the new regulations please do not hesitate to contact us.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)