The year that was 2010

Casting my eye over the 360 or so articles published in the GhostDigest during 2010, a number of newsworthy ones immediately spring to prominence and are worthy of a revisit before PCs are switched off and holidays embarked upon.

Graphs and Stats
The long awaited Conveyancing Survey of 2010 into conveyancing matters received almost 1000 responses and yielded some fascinating and illuminating results, which were presented at the very successful annual Roadshow held around the country in October.

The close association between the GhostDigest and Property24 prompted the addition of this new section. This weekly round-up of the ten best or so stories from South Africa's leading property website, has been welcomed in allowing us to broadening our coverage of property related news.

Without a doubt the story which caused the most stir this year was the coming into effect and the practical implications of the exemptions allowed for transferring a residence from a company or trust to a natural person in terms of section 9(20) of the Transfer Duty Act. Insights given by Antoinné van Deventer of Sars to queries by conveyancers proved very useful - see Two more, More s9(20) thoughts, Tax window causa and Effecting causae.

Dudley Lee's article Subject to ties on the consolidation of agricultural land subject to tie conditions also initiated some lively debate between himself and Thabo Nqhome, see Subject to ties - V.

Allen West provided us with very many helpful and though provoking articles such as Reversionary rights, Redistribution agreements - legality, the amendment of Antenuptial contracts in Before and after and The Plotting of servitudes. Note should also be made of the Registrar's Conference Resolutions passed recently.

It seems that 37% of people in England are Confused over conveyancing while conveyancers must diversify their business to combat pressure over fees and competition from online conveyancers - see Calls to diversify.

IT & the Lawyer
A market leader highlighted GhostConvey as the most cost effective and wide ranging conveyancing solution in the South African market.

Two stories here of note. Combined platform saw the successful merging of Korbitec and resulting in a truly comprehensive and industry neutral e-commerce property portal for property professionals and consumers. While the course of the Electronic Deeds Registration Bill will be closely watched this year.

People and News
Definitely GhostConvey's 2010 national road show which brought together industry leaders from across the country to discuss Conveyancing 2015 the market, the players and the technology, was the lead story. Dawie Verryne, Mari van Wyk and Steuart Pennington shared enlightening and informative insights about the future of conveyancing and the property industry.

Law Reports
Here two cases are worth highlighting. In A duty to protect it was held that a conveyancer has a duty to reasonably protect the interests of both the buyer and seller even though he is instructed by one of them. While in Zoning - be warned a warning was sounded to developers not to rely on the local authority to know the correct zoning of one's property.

Sectional Titles
The lead story here was the debate started by Roelie Rossouw when he argued that Conference Resolution No. 2/2009 should be recalled as it will lead to time delays, increased legal costs and slow the building of affordable housing.

See Total Recall , Total Recall - a response 1, Total Recall - a response 2, Total Recall - a response 3, Total Recall - a response 4 and Total Recall - a response - 5 for the opinions voiced.

In Conversion, Allen West discusses the different documentation required when converting a share block scheme into a sectional title ownership scheme.

Practice management
A number of articles by Kuben Naidoo, including Continuous learning - in which he writes that Attorney firms must encourage staff members to learn continuously otherwise they risk being left behind; Show me the money in which he considers the importance of having a defined debtor management process that works and is properly managed to collect money from your debtors and Paying your clients bills? in which a combination of a practice management system like GhostPractice when used properly with a cost recovery solution like Sofltog will save revenue, are worthy of a re-read.

As a Christmas stocking filler The Law of Neighbours by A J Van der Walt can't be too highly recommended.

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