Answer to a question from a reader

Can I sell my RDP house if I don't have the title deed?

The short answer

To sell your RDP house, you must have the title deed and must have lived in it for eight years

The whole question

I have RDP house with no title deed. I only have Subsidy Approval. Can I sell the house?

The long answer

Thank you for your email asking whether you can sell your RDP house when you don’t have the title deed but only a Subsidy Approval.

To begin with, you probably know that you are not allowed to sell an RDP house before you have lived in it for eight years.

Secondly, the title deed is the only legal proof of ownership, and anybody buying the house from you without a title deed will have no legal proof of ownership either.

If you are still waiting for the title deed to be issued, you could take your Subsidy Approval to the municipality and ask them to establish why no title deed has yet been issued, and ask them to assist you to get the title deed.

You could also contact the Housing Enquiries of the Department of Human Settlements at the toll free customer service hotline: 0800 146 873 / 012 421 1915.

Many RDP house owners are still waiting for their title deeds, and if there is still a long delay in getting yours, you could ask the High Court to issue an order declaring that you are the owner. You could ask Legal Aid for assistance in approaching the court here:   

Legal Aid Advice Line (Toll-free): 0800 110 110
Please-Call-Me number: 079 835 7179

If you are not sure whether there is a title deed or not, you could take your subsidy approval letter to your local Deeds Office and fill out the prescribed form for them to look it up. Besides your full name and ID, they would also need the correct erf number and township or farm name and number, not the street address. You would pay about R14 for them to do this data search which should take about 30 to 60 minutes.

If there was a title deed which was lost or destroyed, a computer printout copy can be obtained from the Deeds Office.

Answered on March 2, 2020, 9:29 a.m.

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