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

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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

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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.

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