This glossary is a useful guide to conveyancing terminology you might encounter when buying or selling property.



When the bank lends money to a buyer to purchase a property, a bond document is lodged and noted against the title of a property in the deeds office to provide the bank security.


Bond Attorney

Prepares the Buyer’s bond documents for signature and registration.


Cancellation Attorney

The term used in conveyancing for the attorney canceling the seller's bond.


Cancellation Figures

The amount still owing on the Seller’s bond account that needs to be paid to the Seller’s bank to cancel the bond.


Compliance Certificates

Sellers are required to obtain certificates from certified service providers, stating that the property’s electrical, plumbing, gas, beetle, and electric fence (if applicable) are all in good working order.


Consent Fee

A fee charged by an authority or party for granting permission or approval in a specific transaction or activity. It covers administrative costs associated with reviewing and processing consent applications and may vary depending on the circumstances and entity involved.


Conveyancing Tariff Fee (vatable)

This covers the professional fees charged by the conveyancer for their services in facilitating the transfer of property ownership. These fees can vary based on factors such as the complexity of the transaction and the value of the property.


Deeds Office

The Deeds Office is responsible for the registration, recording, management and maintenance of the property register of South Africa.


Deeds Office Fee

A fee charged by the government for the registration and processing of property-related documents and transactions. It covers administrative costs and helps maintain accurate property records.


Deeds Office Searches

The process of examining official records at the Deeds Office to gather information about a property's ownership, legal status, and any encumbrances or restrictions.



These are costs incurred by the conveyancer on behalf of the buyer or seller, such as property searches, land registry fees, registration fees, and other necessary expenses related to the transfer process.


Electronic Charges

Fees or costs related to electronic payment methods or transactions, such as credit card processing fees or online payment system charges.


FICA compliance

The Financial Intelligence Center Act compels accountable institutions, such as banks and attorneys, to physically identify and verify the identities and existence of their clients as a preventative measure against fraud.


FICA Identification & Verification Fee

The FICA Identification and Verification Fee covers the costs associated with implementing robust customer identification and verification processes.



The Buyer’s bank will issue guarantees to the Seller’s bank stating that the outstanding amount due on the Seller’s bond will be paid upon registration of the property in the Buyer’s name.


Initiation Fee

An initiation fee is a one-time charge or fee imposed by an organization or institution when a new member or customer joins a service or program.



When all documents are prepared and costs paid, the transfer-, bond- and bond cancellation documents are lodged at Deeds Office for simultaneous examining and registration.



The agreed date at which the Buyer gains full access to the property and the Seller will have vacated the property. It may be before, after or on date of registration of transfer.


Postages & Petties

Expenses incurred by a lodging agent for postage and petty items related to their duties.


Pro rata rates & Taxes

The portion of property taxes and municipal charges divided between the buyer and seller during a property transfer, based on the period of ownership. It ensures a fair sharing of expenses by calculating the proportionate amount each party owes based on the number of days they owned the property during the rates and taxes period. These calculations are typically included in the settlement statement prepared by the conveyancer or solicitor.


Rate Clearance Certificate

The Seller is responsible for settling all rates and municipal debt on a property, including a projected amount up until a future date (usually 3 - 4 months). Once settled, a certificate confirming payment has been made is generated by the relevant municipality.


Rate Clearance Figures

The amount the Seller owes to the municipality for rates and services.


Suspensive Conditions

Any conditions specified in the Sale Agreement that need to be met in order for the deal to proceed, such as bond approval or the sale of an existing property.


Title Deeds

The legal document which provides proof of registration and states ownership of a property. The Title Deed is filed at the Deeds Office and contains details of the property etc.


Transfer Attorney

Transfers the property from one party to another.


Transfer Duty (non-vatable)

Transfer duty or taxes: In some jurisdictions, the transfer of property ownership may be subject to government taxes or duties. These taxes are typically calculated based on the value of the property being transferred and are payable by the buyer or seller, depending on the local regulations.


Transfer Duty Receipts

The Receiver of Revenue will issue a transfer duty receipt to the Conveyancer once transfer duty has been paid. This transfer duty receipt must be lodged as part of the property transfer documentation at the Deeds Office.


Transfer Fees

Transfer fees refer to the costs associated with the legal transfer of property ownership from one person or entity to another. This include Transfer duty, disbursements and conveyancing fees. These fees are typically paid to a conveyancer or solicitor who handles the legal aspects of the property transfer process.


Vendor Costs

Expenses incurred by a firm when purchasing goods or services from a supplier or vendor, including the purchase price and any additional charges or fees associated with the transaction.