Many people are unfamiliar or confused by the process of transferring ownership of immovable property from one person to another. This confusion stems from a distinction in South African law between movable and immovable property.

To make transfer of ownership of immovable property legal, it must be registered in the Deeds Office serving the area concerned – a process known as conveyancing. This has been law since 1686, and conveyancing has been handled by the legal profession since 1844.

Transfer of ownership of movable property, such as a can of Coke, for example, is a simple matter and occurs upon delivery, such as when a street vendor hands to you the can of Coke.  That’s essentially all it takes. You are now the proud new owner of a can of Coke.

Immovable property, such as farms, houses, and sectional title units, works differently. Although you may have already entered into an agreement of sale with another party, ownership will only be transferred once registration of such transfer in ownership takes place in the relevant Deed’s Office.

The documents needed to affect this registration are complicated and, by law, may only be drafted and signed by an attorney who has further qualified him-/herself as and have been admitted as a conveyancer in the High Court of South Africa.

The legal implications for you, regardless of whether you are the buyer or the seller, are significant and we, therefore, highly recommend that you consult with an experienced conveyancer before entering into an agreement for the sale or purchase of land to ensure that your rights and interests are protected.

Let us take your hand and help you from start to finish.