Answer to a question from a reader

How we apply for the ownership of my late father-in-law's house, which does not have a title deed?

The short answer

You should obtain a Letter of Authority from the magistrate's court.

The whole question

We would like to apply for the legal ownership of a house that my husband stayed in with his father for many years. His father has since passed away. My husband is the only child. How do we go about applying for ownership for the house, as it does not have a title deed?

The long answer

Perhaps the first thing to do is to report your father-in-law’s death to the magistrate’s court and ask for a Letter of Authority. A Letter of Authority is a document issued by the High Court authorising you to deal with your late father-in-law’s estate. You would need to take documents like the death certificate, ID etc. 

You could take the Letter of Authority to the municipal office and ask them to assist you to get the title deed issued. 

You could also ask Legal Aid for assistance:

These are their contact details:

Legal Aid Advice Line (Toll-free): 0800 110 110

Please-Call-Me number: 079 835 7179

Answered on Sept. 30, 2020, 3:32 p.m.

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Please note. We are not lawyers or financial advisors. We do our best to make the answers accurate, but we cannot accept any legal liability if there are errors.