Kruger Incorporated | Attorneys Notaries Conveyancers

Conveyancing Frequently Asked Questions

Find comprehensive answers to some of the most popular questions regarding conveyancing in South Africa and how the legal framework is set up locally. Should you have specific questions pertaining to your situation, then contact us directly with your query or find out more about our conveyancing services.

Sellers need to give 90 days’ notice to the financial institution if they intend to  cancel their bond. The penalty, or early termination charge, is usually equal to 90 days’ interest (not capital) and is calculated daily. This means that if the bond is cancelled after 60 days’ notice, only 30 days’ penalty interest will be charged. The early termination penalty will not be applicable should the bond be cancelled once the 90 days has lapsed. The seller must inform the relevant bank through calling, emailing or faxing the bank, or their private banker, of their intention to cancel the bond in order to reduce the penalty payable.

We suggest that registration be achieved without delay in order to reduce any further risk for the Seller.

The Compliance Certificates (Electric Compliance, Electric Fence System Compliance and/or Gas Compliance Certificate) should be attended to as soon as possible after signature of the sale agreement. Should your purchaser be financing the purchase price of the property by means of a mortgage bond, the bond registration attorneys may require the Compliance Certificates to submit to the bank prior to the matter being lodged.

There is no need to obtain new Clearance Figures from the council if you recently paid your latest account from the council. We will however, need the Proof of Payment to the of your latest account payment to determine whether the latest statement amount was included in the Rates Clearance Figures.  If this is the case, then you will only need to pay the difference between the Rates Clearance Figures amount and the most recent amount paid.

If Electricity is provided by Eskom, the seller must call Eskom’s call centre to close the account. In addition to this, the purchaser must call the call centre to open the electricity account in their own name.
If Electricity is provided by the Council, such as the City of Johannesburg or the City of Ekurhuleni, the sellers and purchasers can utilise our services, at an extra nominal fee, to have the council accounts closed and opened.  If sellers or purchasers have opted to close and open these accounts on their own, without utilising our services, they will be provided with the necessary documents to assist with this process.

The general rule is that the first debit order will be processed on the next date as chosen by you on your Debit Order Instruction.

‘Lodgement’ is when the Transfer Documents are handed in to the relevant Deeds Office for examination. Provided that no queries or notes are raised during examination, the documents will be returned to us to prepare for registration (known as ‘On Prep’).Once the matter is ‘On Prep’, the documents would have been successfully examined and the relevant Deeds Office will permit registration. The matter must be registered within 5 days.Once the matter is ‘On Prep’ and we are ready to register, the matter is ‘put forward’ for registration. The matter will be ready to register the day after being ‘put forward’ (the deeds office needs a day to attend to final data checks).Registration is the final step in the Transfer Process and confirms that the change of ownership has now been officially recorded in the Deeds Office.

The Transferring Attorney is appointed by, and acts for, the seller however, he/she also owes a duty of good faith to the purchaser.

A conventional transfer takes approximately two to three months to register from date of signature of the Offer to Purchase. Each transaction is unique as there are variable conditions and timeframes agreed to between the parties, which makes an accurate prediction of the date challenging.

The proceeds of the sale are paid as soon as possible after registration, generally within 48 hours.

The additional amount is, more than likely, VAT on the commission amount which may have been excluded.

The proforma account must be paid prior to signature of the transfer documents. A delay in the payment could prejudice the speed of the transfer.

The Rates Clearance Figures are issued with the current outstanding balance as at date of issue, together with a 4-month forward projection of rates and utilities. The amount to be refunded will be calculated on a pro-rata basis, based on when the transfer registers. The Council calculates this after registration and pays the refund to the Transferring Attorneys.

The Council has to audit the accounts on registration of the transfer, as well as record the change of ownership of the property on their system. This process takes at least 4 – 6 weeks after transfer. Utility accounts must still be opened by the Purchaser.

The bank will calculate the refund on date of registration. The Transferring Attorneys have no involvement in the calculation of the refund.  We suggest you call your bank to receive clarification if required.

The pro-rata levy figure on your account is an estimation of levies payable to the managing agents on your behalf.  We request levy figures on receipt of the matter and they are usually valid for a 3 month period, in order to cover the transfer period.  Should the matter register before the date of expiry of the figures, we do a pro-rata apportionment between the seller and purchaser for the levies.

If you have a bond over the property that you are selling, which entitles you to access any additional funds from the bond account, you will be unable to withdraw money from the bond account once we have requested cancellation figures. This is to ensure that the cancellation figures issued by the bank remain accurate.

A Rejection is when the Deeds Office Examiners identify an error or omission in the transfer, bond or bond cancellation documents lodged. This error may have been occasioned by any one of the attorneys involved, or may be an error previously overlooked by the Deeds Office. In each instance, the queried documents must be rectified and be re-lodged.

If you are married out of Community of Property, then a property can be purchased in either spouses’ name, provided that the spouse purchasing the property will qualify for the bond on their own.

Conveyancing Frequently Asked Questions: Transfer Costs

What costs are incurred by the Seller when selling immovable property?

A Rates Clearance Certificate is required to effect transfer of immovable property and certifies that the Seller’s municipal account is up to date. The Seller will be required to make a payment of rates, taxes and utilities for a period of 4 months in advance. A clearance certificate is usually valid for 60 days from date of issue.

A Levy Clearance Certificate is required to effect transfer of a sectional title unit. This certificate certifies that all levies due by the Seller have been paid in full to the Body Corporate.   The certificate will have an expiry date and must be valid at the time of transfer.

An Electrical Compliance Certificate (ECC) is required by law for the transfer of immovable property. The ECC must be issued by an electrician licenced/registered with the Department of Labour. An ECC is valid for a period of 2 (two) years from date of issue, provided that no remedial work, alterations or additions have been made to the electrical installation from date of issue of the ECC.

An Electric Fence System Certificate of Compliance (EFSCOC) is required by law for the transfer of immovable property if an electric fence system is present or operated from the property. An EFSCOC must be issued by an electrical fence system installer, licenced with the Department of Labour. An EFSCOC is valid provided that no remedial work, alterations or additions have been made to the electric fence system from date of issue of the EFSCOC.

A Certificate of Conformity for Gas Appliances (COCGA) is required by law for the transfer of immovable property if there are gas appliances installed at the property. A COCGA must be issued by a gas installer licenced in terms of the regulations. A COCGA remains valid provided that no remedial work, alterations or additions have been made to the gas installation from date of issue, however a new certificate is required for each transfer.

A Plumbing Certificate of Compliance is issued by an authorised plumber confirming compliance in terms of the applicable regulations. This is currently only a requirement in the City of Cape Town as part of the Municipal By-Laws.

A Pest or Borer Beetle certificate must be issued by an Entomologist registered with the South African Pest Control Association. This is currently a requirement in Kwazulu-Natal, the Eastern and Western Cape.

Estate Agents commission is due by the Seller and is ordinarily paid to the Estate Agency by the Conveyancers on date of registration of transfer as set out and agreed in the offer to purchase. Commission is usually deemed to be earned upon signature of the sale agreement or upon fulfilment of suspensive conditions.

If a mortgage bond is registered over a property (even if the balance is zero), the registered bond needs to be formally cancelled in the Deeds Office by way of an application made by the Bondholder to the Deeds Office. A Conveyancer will be appointed by the Bondholder to attend to such cancellation. The cost is approximately R3000 – R4000.00.

Costs for which the Purchaser of immovable property is liable?

The Purchaser shall be liable to pay the Conveyancers a fee for the transfer of the property which is calculated on a sliding scale based on the purchase price. The tariff is recommended by the Law Society.

The Purchaser shall be liable to pay the Conveyancers a fee for the registration of the mortgage bond which is calculated on a sliding scale based on the bond amount. The tariff is recommended by the Law Society.

  1. Transfer duty
    Transfer Duty is a tax levied by SARS in respect of the transfer of immovable property (or right to immovable property) and is payable by the Purchaser. Transfer Duty is calculated on a sliding scale based on the purchase price. The rate of tax is determined by SARS.

In the event that the Seller remains in the property after date of registration of transfer or if the Purchaser takes occupation of the property prior to registration then the party enjoying occupation will be obliged to pay occupational rental to the registered owner. Occupational rental is agreed upon between the parties and reflected in the offer to purchase. The rental will usually exclude consumption charges in respect of utilities.

In order to obtain a rates and/or levy clearance certificate, the Conveyancers may be requested to make an advance payment of rates/levies. Pro-rata or pre-estimated amount of levies and/or Municipal rates may be requested from both the Seller and Purchaser. Upon registration of property, if any party is due any credit, same will be refunded.

A financial institution which grants credit to a consumer (such as a Bank granting a mortgage bond to a Purchaser) shall be entitled to charge an initiation fee. The maximum amount which may be charged is R6037.50.