The year that was - 2016

Casting my eye over the 370 or so articles published in the GhostDigest during 2016, a number of newsworthy and interesting ones spring to prominence and are worthy of a revisit before PCs are switched off, offices shut and holidays embarked upon. They are in no particular order the following:

At last
The culmination of a series of cases in which it was ruled that holding new owners of properties for municipal debts older than two years under the provisions of Section 118(3) of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act No 32 of 2000 is unconstitutional and amounts to an improper and arbitrary deprivation of a property right. While in,

Taming Medusa
Chantelle Gladwin and Gary Boruchowitz highlight and summarise the most important legal principles to come out of the abovementioned and other cases dealing with the impact of section 118(3) on arrear rates.

Tables of Costs
By far the most used resource on the GhostDigest. A number of changes were made this year to reflect changes in Transfer Duty, Deeds Office fees and Recommended Conveyancing fees.

In A question
Donald Moore’s question addressed to conveyancers about their responsibility to adjust rates and service charges between purchaser and seller, gave rise to quite a few answers and comments.

Illegal buildings
Has Chantelle Gladwin and Tenielle Combrinck examining the legal rights of property owners and occupiers when dealing with illegal buildings (which are buildings that are built contrary to the approved plans on file at the municipality, or buildings that are built in contravention of any zoning, town planning, or title deed condition or restrictive covenant).

Marketing and rabbits
Here Jack Crook in the latest of his articles about useful simple, low-cost, effective marketing strategies, discusses the importance of and necessary steps towards getting the marketing rabbit to the top of your priority list if you own a small law firm.

CRTs and leases
Gave rise to a lively debate about whether a Certificate of Registered Title can be issued as a mortgage to a lessee over its interest in a portion of a registered lease.

Registrar of Deeds autonomy
Allen West discusses the autonomy of the Registrar of Deeds with regard to CRCs, Registrar's Conference Resolutions and Chief Registrar's legal opinions.

In The unsigned sale agreement
Jack Crook examines the strange case of a falling out between a buyer and a developer after transfer, over a plot and plan in which the sale agreement had only been signed by the buyer.

Get Strong
Gives tips about how to prevent fraud with strong passwords, as the security of every platform/application ultimately depends on the user's password.

Property and trusts
Jack Crook considers the judgment of Smith v ABSA Bank Limited which yet again demonstrates the need to be careful and to use attorneys when dealing with a trust.

e-Deeds bill published
Saw the publication on the 4th of March for public comment of the Deeds Registries Amendment Bill, 2016 and Explanatory Memorandum.

While in Identify the property
Diane Snyman suggests how property forming part of a divorce settlement should be described, thereby avoiding a note being raised asking for it to be identified.

And finally, the results of our GhostConvey 2016 survey are in and will be published in January.

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