Answer to a question from a reader

How can I transfer ownership of a plot I bought?

The short answer

You need to consult with a conveyancing attorney

The whole question

My wife and I bought a plot four years ago that previously belonged to a married couple. They moved to the Eastern Cape and we lost contact with them. I have since been looking for a way to change the title deed. The documents I currently have are a police affidavit with our ID numbers, a copy of the ID of the man from whom we bought the plot, and proof of payment. We have not used the plot yet, but I want to build a house on it. Are the documents I have enough to transfer the plot to my wife and me?

The long answer

Though the documents you have are proof of purchase, you would need to consult with the conveyancing attorney who is the lawyer that actually does the transfer at the Deeds Office, and usually charges a fee of around R7 685. Usually a conveyancing attorney will draw up transfer documents which have to be signed by both the seller and the buyer before the transfer documents are lodged with the Deeds office and before the purchase price is paid.

In your case you have already paid the purchase price, and you no longer have the contact details of the seller, so you would need to consult with the conveyancing attorney to find out what further documents might be needed to be lodged at the Deeds Office - for example, a clearance certificate from the municipality confirming that all municipal services payments have been paid for the last two years.

Perhaps you could start by asking the municipality for advice on how best to go about the transfer process.

Answered on June 12, 2020, 11:05 a.m.

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