A Title Deed is a document that proves you are the legal owner of a property and is of utmost importance when you need to transfer the property. Once the purchaser’s bond has been approved when you sell your house, the Conveyancer will request the original Title Deed.
If this document has been lost, misplaced or damaged, you, as the Property Owner, have a means available to you through Regulation 68(1) of the Deeds Registries Act 47 of 1937, which allows you to apply for a certified copy to be issued by the Registrar of Deeds.
How to Obtain a Copy of Your Title Deed
For this process, you will need to sign an affidavit in front of a Notary Public, a specialist Attorney with knowledge of specific acts and processes, and legally empowered to witness signatures officially. Most attorney firms, such as AED Attorneys, employ the services of a Notary Public.
This affidavit must state the following:
- Details of the lost Deed;
- How it came to be lost, damaged or misplaced;
- That a thorough search for it has been done;
- Assurance that no one has detained it as a security for a debt;
- That, should the original be found at a later stage, it will be provided to the Registrar of Deeds;
Missing Title Deed of Bonded Property
Should there still be a bond on the property, the bank that holds the bond will need to provide a letter stating that they were not in possession of the Title Deed and have no objection to you applying for a certified copy of another one.
Application Open for Public Comment
As an additional measure to minimise fraud, a further requirement was implemented in a Regulation amendment in 2019, stating that the application must first be advertised in the Government Gazette and a local newspaper where the property is located. For two weeks after that, the application will have to lie open for inspection by the public at the Deeds Office.
During this period, any person with a vested interest may object, in writing to the Registrar of Deeds, to this certified copy being issued.
Who May Apply For a Copy of the Missing Title Deed?
Only the owner/s of the property may apply for the certified copy. If there is more than one owner, then all signatures must be on the application document. Should the owner be deceased, as happens in many cases, only the Executor of the Estate who the Master of the High Court has appointed may make the application.
Once the process has been followed and completed, with no objections having been filed in the two weeks, the application for the issue of a certified copy can be lodged at the Deeds Office.
The copy will be printed with an endorsement stating, “Certified a true copy of the registry duplicate in terms of Regulation 68 of Act 47 of 1937 and is issued to take the place of the original“. The Deeds office will also record that a copy was issued.
In the event that you misplaced your Title Deed, contact AED Attorneys for assistance. We will provide you with further information on how to start this application process. We have a dedicated and efficient conveyancing team who can provide informed and professional advice on this matter, as well as many other property-related legal issues. In addition, our efficient in-house Master Consultant will attend to any other Master’s Office work required by the client.
AED Attorneys offers a personal touch and treat all our clients with patience and respect, no matter the size of the estate. Our staff are passionate, reliable and devoted to their work, placing emphasis on continuity and quality.
AED Attorneys understands that every situation is unique, and although they strive to ensure that the information contained herein is accurate at the time of publishing, it cannot be guaranteed to be without errors or omissions. As a result, AED Attorneys, its employees, independent contractors, associates or third parties will under no circumstances accept liability or be held liable for any innocent or negligent actions or omissions in this article, which may result in any harm or liability flowing from the use of or the inability to use the information provided.