Faulty registration rectification

The question begging an answer is how does a registrar of deeds resolve a scenario where the same land is registered in the name of one person under two different title deeds, by reason of an error in registration? It goes without saying that unless this scenario is resolved neither of the two title deeds will be recognized as definite proof of ownership for further transactions in the real estate industry.

A more tenable approach, though cumbersome, is to invoke section 6 of the Deeds Registries Act 47 of 1937 (the Act) and apply to court for an order cancelling the most recent title deed and consequently reviving the title issued prior to the one to be cancelled, (section 6(2)). This scenario is more prevalent in registrations of transfers involving the State’s integrated residential development plan (IRDP).

With a transaction lodged at the Pretoria deeds registry an application was made for a certificate of registered title in terms of section 39(1) the Act to remedy the error described above. It is submitted that reliance on section 39(1) is incorrect given that section 39(1) provides that it can only be invoked “if ... the same land has been registered in the names of different persons . .“. The section further provides that the registrar may issue the certificate of registered title “upon transfer of the land being given to one of them ...“. In this transaction the same land is registered in the name of one person under two title deeds by reason of an error. The maxim “inclusio unius est exclusio alterius” (inclusion of the one means the exclusion of the other) finds relevance in the application of section 39(1)of the Act.

The registrar of deeds being a creature of statute deriving all his/her powers from a statutory framework should exercise circumspection and avoid any interpretation which extends beyond his/her duties particularly conferred by the statutory provisions.

As a postscript, the situation above can best be addressed through legislative intervention, with the amendment of section 39(1) to read “if by reason of an error the same land been registered in the names of different persons or the same land has been registered more than once in the name of the same person …”.

Nkuba Ngoasheng
Assistant Law Lecturer,
Deeds Training

Your thoughts on this matter will be appreciated - Editor

Reader Comments:

Marelize 24/07/2014:

Ons het instruksie ontvang om toe te sien tot ‘n regstellings transport, waar daar ook ‘n verband oor die eiendom geregistreer is. Klient is woonagtig in ERF 1, (die eiendom wat hy dan ook aangekoop het en wat deur die waardeerders geinspekteer is) maar in koopkontrak en al die ondersteunende dokumente is verwys na ERF 2, ERF 2 is dus aan hom getransporteer, vanaf die munisipaliteit. Daar is gelyktydig daarmee ‘n verband geregistreer oor vermelde eiendom.

Dit het eers vroeg in die jaar (2014) aan die lig gekom dat die verkeerde erf aan klient getransporteer is, toe die tweede erf verkoop word. Ons is in besit van ‘n regstellings ooreenkoms, maar kom die probleem in met die finansiele instelling, wie bloot ‘n skrywe aan hul paneel prokureurs gestuur het waarin hulle toegestem gee het tot die regstellingstransport. Hoe hanteer ons dit? Is daar een of ander toestemming in terme waarvan die bank bloot ‘n endossement kan aanbring op hul verbandakte? Volgens ons moet die huidige verband wat op die foutiewe erf is, mos gekanselleer word en ‘n nuwe verband geregistreer word?

U hulp hierin sal opreg waardeer word

Allen West 24/07/2014:

The provisions of section 56 of the DRA is clear in that the bond must be lodged for disposal. The only way out is to cancel the existing bond and register a substituted bond. Beware there are insolvency implications!

Allen West 21/08/2014:

A question begging an answer is the validity of deeds or documents registered in a deeds registry not having the jurisdiction to have registered such deed. A lease, for example is registered in Pretoria instead of Nelspruit. Is such registration void and must the matter be referred to court ? Readers views will be appreciated.

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