Property transfer process can get complicated
Although there may from time to time be long delays in property sale and transfer deals, the whole process is commendably sound and tamper-proof, says Ulrik Strandvik of Grant Gunston Attorneys. “The general public are often not aware of how important it is that, once the sale and transfer or inheritance of the property has been legally approved, the owner cannot, unless sequestrated, be deprived of it,” he says.
Strandvik says this basic principle is recognised in SA. “It is a tenet of SA law that is fundamental to our whole legal system and we can be grateful for it.” Over the years, says Strandvik, the legal fraternity has fought hard to protect, preserve and improve the transfer and registration process – “even though at stages in our history the State has ridden roughshod over certain owners’ rights.”
“A property sale is today a long and complicated process but every step along the way is vital – and that, in my view, is why appointing a reputable conveyancer is so crucial.” The average property seller – or even the average attorney – without conveyancing qualifications cannot, says Strandvik, be expected to know that the sale and transfer of a property involves such things as:
1. securing both a rates clearance and SARS tax clearance certificate
2. paying transfer and capital gains tax
3. ensuring that the sale has the Homeowners’ Association’s approval
4. registering the transfer and site plans with the deeds office
5. seeing to numerous other details.
The conveyancer, says Strandvik, is always at risk because if he makes a mistake that invalidates the sale or delays the sale, he will be liable to clients for this. “A good conveyancer will process a sale and transfer in a way that saves the client money and speeds up the process,” he says.