The year that was 2009

Of the 360 or so stories published in the GhostDigest during 2009, a number of newsworthy stories which immediately spring to prominence will be highlighted by category.

Transactions in terms of s9(20) of the Transfer Duty Act - transfers from Companies or trusts, and the memorandum which Antoinne van Deventer of SARS provided in Section 9(20) Exemption and Moratorium questions answered proved popular and helpful. As did George Tsotetsi's discussion of twenty two of the seventy resolutions taken at the 2008 Registrars Conference - see Conference Resolutions 08(1). Alan West's valuable articles included the in depth discussion of the qualification of conditions in deeds of transfer and certificates of title of land starting with Qualifications of conditions - 1.

Attendees at a mortgage fraud seminar hosted by Korbitec Property Division heard that there has been a 1000% increase in conveyancing fraud in South Africa since 2003. In Turf battle Wiseman Bhuqa explored the legal position between executors and fideicommissary heirs vis-a-vis lease contracts.

A list of the most common causes for deeds being rejected by the Deeds Office, and Contracts and the NCA in which Allen West asks, "Is a 'contract' as defined in the Alienation of Land Act deemed to be a credit agreement for purposes of the NCA?", also proved popular reads, as did an explanation as to why an EUA is an incorporeal immovable thing by A G Farndell.

The GhostDigest has helped enhance the web presence of over 140 legal firms, with hyperlinks to their web sites.

In Radical Change it was argued that English conveyancers had to enact 'radical' change to survive, while the Law Society of England published a consultation paper seeking the views of solicitors on how the conveyancing process can be improved.

IT and the Lawyer
Timothy Hill urged conveyancers to move toward technological change ... or else in Move to technology.

It looks as if Australia is getting its act together as regards e-conveyancing after its planned national E-Conveyancing system was thrown an Au$2m lifeline, while in South Africa Streamline allowed GhostConvey customers in the City of Cape Town to switch rates enquiries and clearance certificates directly through Streamline Solutions.

People and News
In Enforcement Bobby Bertrand writes that new electrical compliance regulations could make criminals of a great many South Africans.

Tables of Costs
In July we updated the ever popular Conveyancing Tables to reflect the fees for conveyancing as recommended by the Law Society of South Africa come into effect from the 1st of July.

Law Reports
Here three cases are worth noting -
Dolphin Whisper Trading where a developer's real right to extend, and section 25(13) of the Sectional Titles Act was at issue, Sewpersadh where the termination of agreement of sale - as a result of the conduct of the parties after valid cancellation thereof was tantamount to a revival of the agreement was at issue and Obey (Van Rensburg NO) - where the importance of obeying restrictive title conditions at the risk the court ordering you to demolish offending parts, was dealt with.

Sectional Titles
Here the many issues of Paddocks Press stand out as does Allen West's explanation of what fractional ownership is, what it involves and what the various agreements, rights, expenses and tax implications of it are. In Fractional ownership - 2 Roelie Rossouw agreed with him and had a number of pertinent points to add about fractional ownership schemes.

Practice Management
In this section Matthew Spagnoletti's continued to write some top class articles on inter alia The science of billing, Getting the most from trust audits, Earning fees and billing clients and Document automation and management.

In conclusion, as what has been a difficult year for many, we can take heart from the many economic indicators which show that business conditions are indeed improving on the back of declining inflation and interest rates, and with it, the residential property market, where real price growth is set to turn positive in 2010.

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