Deeds Registries Act amendments

The amended regulations published in Government Gazette No. 26800 dated September 2004, which came into operation on 25 October, 2004, have the following effect on the practice and procedure pertaining to conveyancing.

Lodgement of carbon copies (Regulation 20)
Although regulation 20(3) has been repealed, this does not permit practitioners to lodge carbon copies of deeds and documents. Regulation 20(1) endows the registrar of deeds with the authority to reject deeds and documents that are not suitable for filing or recording.

Lodgement of title deeds (Regulation 51(2))
Regulation 51(2) now provides that the title deed of land or real rights in land need not be lodged in the following instances:

  • Transfers/cessions pursuant to a sale in execution;
  • Transfers/cessions pursuant to a sale by a trustee in an insolvent estate;
  • Transfers/cessions pursuant to a sale by an executor in a deceased insolvent estate, administered in terms of section 34(2) of the Administration of Estates Act 66 of 1965;
  • Transfers/cessions pursuant to a sale by the liquidator of a company, close corporation or association.
However, where the title is not lodged, the trustee, liquidator or executor must certify in writing that he or she has been unable to obtain possession of such title deed.

Where the office copy of the title has been lost or destroyed, the provisions of section 38 of the Deeds Registries Act 47 of 1937 will have to be complied with, before the said transfer can be affected.

However, the lodgement of the title deed will be a prerequisite when the transfer is affected by virtue of an endorsement.

Advertisements (Regulation 68)
Regulation 68(1) provides for the advertisements that must be obtained before a certified copy may be issued. In the following instances no advertisements are required:
  • Where it can be proven that the registry duplicate of a title has been lost or destroyed, defaced or damaged through the negligence of the registrar of deeds (regulation 68(1B)).

    In the above instance the provisions of Regulation 68(2) need not be complied with.

  • Where a title deed has, for any reason, become unserviceable (Regulation 68(1C)).

    Similarly, the provisions of Regulation 68(2) need not be complied with.

  • Where a title deed is in respect of land which is held by the Minister of Land Affairs -
    - in trust for any person or persons;
    - for any nominee or nominees;
    - for or on behalf of any other person or persons, and where the land is registered in the name of the State, a Minister or any official of the State;
    - for land which is administered by the Minister of Land affairs (Regulation 68(1D)).
Correspondence (Regulation 71)
The amendment to this regulation clearly provides that no preparation, lodgement or registration of any deed or document shall be done in a deeds registry by means of correspondence.

For a full exposition of the amendments, readers are kindly requested to read the Act and CRC 12 of 2004.

Proposed new amendments
The Deeds Regulation Board has decided to repeal the provisions of the Regulation 68(1A) - (D) as the advertisements merely place an onerous burden on the owners of property. Statistics have shown that the advertisements do not significantly contribute to the reduction of copies being issued. Readers are advised to be on the look out for a future amendment to the Deeds Registries Act 47 of 1937, which will hopefully be enacted during the course of the year.

NB: For the latest changes in connection with Regulation 68 see Chief Registrar's Circular No. 10 of 2005

Published with permission from the SA Deeds Journal

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