What happens if a mistake is made during the transfer of a property?

It’s an unfortunate reality that mistakes do sometimes occur in deeds and documents during the transfer process. Fortunately, however, the Deeds Registries Act makes provision for mistakes of this nature to be rectified.Major errors Major errors are mistakes linked to the transfer of ownership and related dealings like the registration or cancellation of bonds. Let’s say, for example, a client purchases property A but instead receives property B, while another client purchases property B but instead receives property A. In this instance, a rectification transfer is required that must clearly

October 28, 2021

Major errors

Major errors are mistakes linked to the transfer of ownership and related dealings like the registration or cancellation of bonds. Let’s say, for example, a client purchases property A but instead receives property B, while another client purchases property B but instead receives property A. In this instance, a rectification transfer is required that must clearly state how the incorrect transfer occurred and how the error will be rectified.

Errors like this will inevitably have financial implications, so who bears the costs? The rule of thumb is that the negligent party – the party making the error – assumes responsibility for the cost of rectification. Given that these types of rectification actions can be very costly, it is paramount that any errors be anticipated and avoided at all cost.

Minor errors

These encompass errors of a less serious nature, for example, the misspelling of a person’s name or an incorrect property description in the deed of transfer. They can be rectified with an application to the Deeds Office.

It’s important to note that applications of this nature must be made by the owner of the property or the conveyancer authorised by a power of attorney. In the event that an affidavit is required for the application process, however, the application cannot be signed by a conveyancer on behalf of a deponent.  

Any errors that appear in more than one document must be addressed simultaneously.

Written by Wessel de Kock

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