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Requirements before signing the Transfer Documents

By Ridwaan Desai,
Attorney Conveyancer and Notary Public, practising as Desai and Associates

Both the seller and the purchaser will be required to call at the office of the conveyancer to sign certain documents which have been prepared by the conveyancer and which will enable the conveyancer to effect the transfer in the deeds office. The documents which will have to be signed are the following?

1. Declaration in respect of status
In this document the purchaser and Seller declares his or her marital status. This deals with such questions as to whether he or she is married in or out of community of property (which determines whether the property is to be registered in his or her name or in the name of both spouses). Unmarried adult persons, whether never married, divorced or widowed, are granted full rights of ownership.

Property may even be transferred or transferred from a legal entity such as Company, Close Corporation or a Trust. Where the property is in the name of or is to be transferred to a child, the parents or guardian will sign on their behalf, alternatively the child will be assisted by his or her parents.

Transfer duty and Value Added Tax (VAT) declaration
Transfer duty is a form of tax payable to the State and is calculated on the value of the property. If the deed of sale is signed by either the seller or the purchaser after 30 September 1991 then Value Added Tax may be payable on the transaction. This tax will be payable on the estate agent's commission, on the conveyancer's fees and on portions of some municipal rates. If the seller is registered as a vendor then VAT will also be payable on the purchase price.

If VAT is payable on the purchase price, then no transfer duty will be payable. The conveyancer will require the parties to sign declarations about these taxes. With these declarations in hand he or she will be able to finalise the matter with the Receiver of Revenue and either pay the transfer duty (after being put in funds to do so) or obtain a transfer duty exemption. Without a transfer duty receipt or a transfer duty exemption receipt being produced, the Registrar of Deeds will not register the transaction.

Mortgage or bond documents
If the purchaser gets a loan from a financial institution (bank or building society) or from his or her employer or other source, the lender will insist that the purchaser registers a mortgage over the property to secure a loan.

To enable the bond to be registered, the purchaser will be required to sign a written power of attorney for the conveyancer to do so.

To enable the conveyancer to draw up all this documentation correctly, the purchaser must submit his or her identity document, marriage certificate and if applicable, antenuptial contract to the conveyancer. Details of the loan and the lender will also be required.

Next Column: The costs involved in the transfer process

For queries/questions please e-mail
Ridwaan Desai
Attorney, Conveyancer and Notary Public


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