Home / Legal  / Ask a lawyer – The deeds office ‘lost’ my deed

Ask a lawyer – The deeds office ‘lost’ my deed


What happens when the deeds office has lost your deed? How do you prove the house you’ve sold is actually yours? Is there a trail that can be followed?


The deeds registry system is one of public record and thus there will always be a trail. All deeds are given a tracking number on lodgement which confirms the progress thereof up to registration. After registration the deeds are numbered and scanned before the originals are returned to the relevant registering attorney. Should your title deed be lost you will be able to ascertain ownership by searching the deeds office records (a deeds search) which is a summary of owners’ details, endorsements and the history of any particular property. In addition to a deeds search any member of the public can obtain an information copy of the scanned original title deed, and an official replacement copy can be applied for by a conveyancer to substitute the lost copy.

A deeds search will not cost more than R20 and an application for a replacement copy will cost the client approximately R3,000.

Do you have a burning legal query? Email david@hometimes and we’ll be sure to help you get it sorted out

Sonja du Toit, director at MC van der Berg Incorporated.

Sonja du Toit, director at MC van der Berg Incorporated.

Words: Sonja du Toit, director at MC van der Berg Incorporated



David A Steynberg, managing editor and director of HomeTimes, has more than 10 years of experience as both a journalist and editor, having headed up Business Day’s HomeFront supplement, SAPOA’s range of four printed titles, digimags Asset in Africa and the South African Planning Institute’s official title, Planning Africa, as well as B2B titles, Building Africa and Water, Sewage & Effluent magazines. He began his career at Farmer’s Weekly magazine before moving on to People Magazine where he was awarded two Excellence Awards for Best Real Life feature as well as Writer of the Year runner-up. He is also a past fellow of the International Women’s Media Foundation.

Review overview
  • Nicholas 16th March 2019

    Good day sir/madam
    My family is in trouble on the deed.To break it down.My mom and my aunts were 5 biological kids to my grandmom,so my grandmom had all her kids on the deed.Naming them (zodwa,judith,grace,lepi and nomvula) judith got married have her kids and own house,grace got married with one kid and her own house,lepi got married with ger own kids and own house,nomvula never married but got her own house and kids and zodwa never married and has her own kids and stayed behind on the family house as the guardian of the family house.Lepi passed on and her name was removed from the family house deed,Nomvula passed on and was removed from the family house deed,grace passed on and for sum reason her name was never removed from the family house deed.It happend that grace’s daughter who is married and have her own house and her mothers house (which she sold) found out that her mothers name still appears on the family house deed.She went and borrowed the house deed from my aunt and insisted she gives her an original deed(which my aunt gave)Then we resently found that the deed has been changed graces name was removed by her daughter and the daughter and her husbands name included on the deed without the knowledge of the two alive biological kids of my grandmom.Tge question is,is this process legal and what are the criminal implications to such an effect and what powers are the two remaing biological kids have on this new deed and can the daughter of grace and her husband face criminal charges for their actions or sell the property or do they have the power and right to change the deed (due to graces name on the deed ) without the concernt of the other two names appearing on the deed.