Conveyancing Terms

Property Law and Conveyancing Glossary of Terms

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Term Definition
Lease Agreement

A contract whereby the landlord allows the tenant temporary use of a dwelling, in return for payment, known as rent. Afrikaans - Huurkontrak

Legal Entity

A company, close corporation or trust. Afrikaans - Regspersoon

Lessee

A person who occupies a property (also known as a tenant), but does not own it and pays rent in return. Afrikaans - Huurder

Lessor

The person who rents out a property to someone else. Afrikaans - Verhuurder

Levy

Levy is the owner of a sectional title unit’s proportionate share of the costs incurred by the complex for the month. Afrikaans - Heffing

Levy Clearance Certificate

Issued by the body corporate of a sectional title scheme stating that the levy has been paid to a future date in respect of the property. Afrikaans - Heffing Klaring Sertifikaat

Liabilities

A person's long-term and short-term financial obligations. Afrikaans - Aanspreeklikheid

Lien

Where a person has improved someone else’s property or has incurred certain expenses in respect thereof, he may retain possession of such property until the debt due to him has been discharged, it is the right to retain possession.

Limited Real Right

A registered right over someone else’s property, such as servitudes and mortgage bonds. Afrikaans - Beprekte Saaklike Reg

Loan

A sum of borrowed money (principal) that is generally repaid with interest. Afrikaans - Lening

Lodgement

The act of handing in the necessary documents at the Deeds Office for examination and registration of transfer. Afrikaans - Indiening

Mandate

An instruction, authority or agreement given to a realtor by a seller, to market their property. Afrikaans - Mandaat

Mark Value

The price that a willing and financially able buyer would pay, to a willing seller, for a property in a particular area at a given time. Afrikaans - Markwaarde

Married in Community of Property

Parties have a joint estate and any immovable property will be registered in both spouses’ names. Afrikaans - Getroud Binne Gemeenskap Van Goedere

Maturity

The date on which the principal balance of a loan becomes due and payable.

Memorandum

This document forms part of the constitution of a company and contains valuable information about the company.

Minor

A person who is unmarried and under the age of 21. Afrikaans - Minderjarige

Mortgage

An agreement between the customer and a bank in the form of a homeloan, whereby the property is used as the security for the loan. It is a legal document that pledges a property to the lender as security for payment of a debt. Afrikaans - Verband

Mortgage Originator

An individual or company that assist buyers in applying for a mortgage, homeloan or building loan, with the different banks. Afrikaans - Verband Skepper

Mortgagee

The lender usually a bank, that advances or lends money on the security of a property purchased.

Mortgagor

The borrower, who borrows from a lender by mortgaging his property to the lender as security. Afrikaans - Verbandgewer

Net Assets

What you own. Movable and immovable property plus investments such as shares; and all other belongings less total liabilities such as loans bonds etc.

Net Income

The borrower's gross income minus tax and other deductions. Afrikaans - Netto Inkomste

Nominee

The person nominated or appointed by another person for a specific purpose. Afrikaans - Genomineerde

Null and Void

A legal expression, meaning a final cancellation or lapse of an agreement without any legal effect.

Occupation

The date when the buyer is entitled to physically occupy the new property. Afrikaans - Beroep

Occupational Rent

An amount paid by the person occupying the property to the party in whose name the property is registered, if the registration of transfer does not take place at the same time as the occupation date. Afrikaans - Okkupasiehuur

Office To Purchase

See Agreement of Sale. Afrikaans - Koop Kontrak van Grond

Option

An offer made to a person coupled with an undertaking by the person making the offer not to revoke his offer for a specific period. Afrikaans - Opsie

Participation Quota

Participation Quota Used to calculate the individual owner’s monthly levy in a sectional title, it is determined by dividing the size of each section into the total floor area of all the sections. Afrikaans - Deelnemings Quota

Partnership

A contact between a minimum of two and a maximum of twenty persons, to carry on business in common. There are no formalities required to start a partnership and it is not a separate legal entity. Partners are personally liable for partnership debts. Afrikaans - Vennootskap

patent defect

A patent defect is a defect which is clearly visible on a normal property inspection and it is a purchaser’s duty to satisfy himself with regard to a property’s general condition prior to concluding a sale agreement.

Possession

It passes to the buyer on registration of transfer, with all obligations and rights to the property passed to the new owner. Afrikaans - Besitting

Power Of Attorney

A legal document authorizing one person to act on behalf of another. Afrikaans - Volmag

Pre-approval Certificate

Issued to you by a financial institution, it states the amount of the homeloan a person qualifies for.

Professional Fee

Remuneration paid to a realtor by their client. Afrikaans - Professionele Koste

Progress Payment

Payments made to the building contractor, by the bank, from the customer’s building loan account, as building work progresses. The assessor does an inspection and releases the retention accordingly. Afrikaans - Vordering Betaling

Qualifying Ratios

Calculations used to determine if a borrower can qualify for a mortgage. They consist of two separate calculations: a housing expense as a percent of income ratio and total debt obligations as a percent of income ratio.

Rates and Taxes

Taxes are levied on all property owners by the municipality. Rates are included in the levy if you buy Sectional Title. They are payable on a monthly basis and are calculated as a percentage of the value of the property. Afrikaans - Eiendomsbelasting

Rates Clearance Certificate

Issued by the local authority stating that the rates and taxes have been paid to a future date in respect of the property. Afrikaans - Munisipale Heffings Sertifikaat

Real Estate Agent

See realtor. Afrikaans - Eiendomsagent

Real Righ

A right over or in respect of immovable property and registered against the title deed of the property. Afrikaans - Saaklike Reg

Realtor

A person licensed to negotiate and transact the sale of real estate on behalf of the property owner. Afrikaans - Makelaar

Registering Attorney

This attorney attends to the registration of the new bond into the name of the buyer. Afrikaans - Registreerde Prokureur

Registration of Transfer

The process whereby ownership of property transfers from the seller to the buyer via a Deed of Transfer. Afrikaans - Registrasie Van Oordrag

Repo Rate

A credit management tool used by the South African Reserve Bank to regulate customer spending in the country. Afrikaans - Repo Koers

Repossession of Property

See foreclosure. Afrikaans - Terugneming van Eiendom

Resolutive Condition

The contract is immediately binding and will remain binding unless the condition is not fulfilled.

Risk Profile

A person’s credit worthiness. Afrikaans - Risikoprofiel

Second Bond or Mortgage

An additional loan on a home.

Sectional Title

A development made up of sections, whereby all section owners are members of a Body Corporate. Each section owner is responsible for their own section. Afrikaans - Deursnee Titel

Sectional Title Register

A register of sections in a sectional title scheme registered in the deeds office.

Security

Collateral for the bank that a client pledges in case they default on their mortgage payment. Afrikaans - Sekuriteit

Semi-detached House

Two separate homes, joined with one common dividing wall.

Sequestrated

When a creditor seizes assets to recover unpaid debt. Afrikaans - Gesekwestreer

Servitude

A registered right (as per the title deed) that a person has over the immovable property of another.

Shareblock

A buyer acquires a share in a company that owns the shareblock scheme, which entitles the buyer to use and occupy a specific unit. A shareblock buyer never receives the title to the unit. Afrikaans - Aandeleblok

Simplex

A sectional title unit on one level with no stairs. Afrikaans - Simpleks

Smallholding

A property of maximum 20 hectares situated within close to a built-up area. Afrikaans - Kleinhoewe

Stamp Duty

A tax imposed by the government.

Statutory Law

Written law of the country. Afrikaans - Statutêre Wet

Subdivision

Dividing of property into two or more portions, whereby a specific legal and technical procedure must be followed. Afrikaans - Onderverdeling

Subject-to Sale

A term used to describe that the sale will only become unconditional if and when the stipulated conditions are met.

Subsidy

A housing allowance. Afrikaans - Subsidie

Surety

A person who stands as guarantor for a loan for someone else. Afrikaans - Borg

Survey

A measurement of land, prepared by a registered land surveyor, showing the location of the land with reference to known points, its dimensions, and the location and dimensions of any buildings. Afrikaans - Opmeet

Surveyor General's Diagram

A diagram that shows sub-divisions, servitudes and expropriations.

Suspensive Conditions

Conditions written into the Offer to Purchase by either party that must be fulfilled for the agreement to become unconditional and legally binding. Afrikaans - Ontbindende Voorwaardes

Tax Certificate

A breakdown of how much interest and insurance was paid, as well as total repayments to the home loan account over a certain period. Afrikaans - Belastingsertifikaat

Tenant

A person who occupies a property, but does not own it and pays rent in return. Afrikaans - Huurder

Timeshare

A property development where occupancy time is sold.

Title Deed

A document that gives evidence of an individual's ownership of property. It includes the following information about the property: names of the current and previous owners; a full description including it’s square meterage; the purchase price paid by the existing owner; all conditions restricting the use; and all limited real rights registered. Afrikaans - Titelakte

Townhouse

A general term for either a simplex or a duplex. Afrikaans - Meenthuis

Transfer Cost

Costs payable for the registration of a property and include transfer duty, conveyancing fees, and registration fees. Afrikaans - Oordrag Koste

Transfer Duty

A tax levied by the government on the transfer of land. If the purchase price includes VAT no transfer duty is payable. Afrikaans - Hereregte

Transferring Attorney

Transferring Attorney

Appointed by the seller to attend to the transfer of the property into the name of the buyer. Afrikaans - Oordragprokureur

Trust

A contract between the founder and the trustee in terms of which the trustee is to administer the trust fund for the benefit of the beneficiaries.

Trust Account

The separate interest bearing accounts used when attorneys and/or realty companies hold money for people, until these monies and interest have to be paid out to whom they are owed.

Trustee

A person appointed to manage the affairs and assets of a trust. In terms of sectional title, the trustees attend to the day-to-day running of the scheme, which includes the collection of levies and the employment and management of staff.

Underwriting

The decision whether to make a loan to a potential home buyer based on credit, employment, assets, and other factors and the matching of this risk to an appropriate rate and term or loan amount. Afrikaans - Onderskrywing

Valuation Fee

The amount that a financial institution charges to assess the property prior to granting the finance that has applied for. Afrikaans - Waardasie Fooi

Value Added Tax

(VAT) Tax on goods that is levied on the value added that results from each exchange. If the seller is a "VAT Vendor", VAT may be payable and not transfer duty, or, if the Purchaser is a Vendor, transfer duty may be payable. Afrikaans - Belasting op Toegevoegde Waarde

Variable Rate

Fluctuates according to the Interest Rate. Afrikaans - Veranderlike Koers

voetstoots

The voetstoots clause absolves the seller from liability for any latent defects after the sale of a property; however, it only protects the seller if he was unaware of the latent defect at the time of the sale. If the seller fraudulently conceals or fails to disclose a latent defect of which he had knowledge, he may be liable towards the purchaser. (Note that in those instances where the Consumer Protection Act applies to a sale agreement, further considerations apply.)

Voetstoots

“To sell it as it stands” without any guarantees given by the seller as to the condition of the property, the seller therefore cannot be held responsible for latent or patent defects. The property is sold "as is".

Waiver of Lien

A legal document where a contractor waives his common law right to hold control over a property if he is not paid in full.

Zoning

The purpose for which your property may be used, for example, residential or business as deemed by your local authority. Afrikaans - Sonering