What is a Title Deed?

A Title Deed is documentary proof of ownership in terms of the Deeds Registries Act 47 of 1937. Each property has its own separate Title Deed. It is an important document containing all the details pertaining to a particular property.

These details are:

  • The name of the existing owner as well as the previous owners.
  • A detailed property description which includes size.
  • The purchase price of the property paid by the existing owner.
  • Conditions applicable to the zoning, use and sale of the land.
  • All real rights registered in respect of the property.

The above affect the value of the land. They protect the owner where, for example, you may not build over a building line or the property in front of yours may not block your view with buildings higher than two storeys.

The owner will normally have the Title Deed or a copy thereof in his possession. Before signing an offer to purchase carefully scrutinize the Title Deed.

What are The Deeds Office and The Deeds Registry?
There are numerous Deeds Offices throughout South Africa. Each Deeds Office holds a Deeds Registry, containing filed Title Deeds of all the properties in its particular jurisdiction. All the Deeds Registries are linked to a computer network. Your estate agent can, via a computer-linked facility from his office, examine any Title Deed (registered from 1980) in the country's combined Deeds Registry.

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