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Title Deed lost? Act without delay. by Cleo Cupido

From 1 January 2020 the process of obtaining a certified copy of a lost or destroyed title deed, conferring title to land, a registered lease or sub-lease or a mortgage/notarial bond, will become considerably more onerous and costly. On this date an amendment to Regulation 68 of the Deeds Registries Act 47 of 1937, approved by the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development on 1 November 2019, comes into effect.

The amended Regulation requires that an application for a certified copy of the lost deed must be brought and provides that the Registrar of Deeds will only issue the certified copy if satisfied that the deed has indeed been lost, destroyed, defaced or damaged.

The applicant must publish a prescribed notice in a newspaper that circulates within the area in which the property is situated, setting out the intention to apply for a certified copy.

A copy of the Deed applied for must lie open for inspection in the Deeds Registry for a period of two weeks from the date of publication of the notice. Any interested party may inspect the copy during this period. Objections to the issuing of the copy must be submitted in writing to the Registrar of Deeds within this two week period.

1 January 2020 is around the corner – we suggest that you make sure that you know where the originals of all your important property documents are. If a deed is lost, apply now for a certified copy thereof, to avoid the cumbersome process that will be required in the near future.

Cluver Markotter Inc offers a document safekeeping service at no charge to our clients. You are welcome to contact any attorney in our Property Law department in case of queries about this service or lost deeds.