Check all paperwork in sectional title deals

One would assume when purchasing a sectional title unit with a garage that when it came to selling that unit, all the paperwork would be in order and transfer would go through without a hitch, but in a case dealt with recently by Meg Dugmore, who specialises in sectional title sales at Knight Frank Residential SA, it was found that the garage had not been transferred to the current owner from the previous one.

The failure to transfer the garage in this case was actually a conveyancing error. The section number of the garage was correctly recorded on the original sale agreement, but somehow it managed to fall through a legal crack and was overlooked.

Usually each part of a sectional title scheme is given a section number and these numbers will then be marked on a section plan of the development. The apartments and garages are given separate section numbers as these are usually sold separately to the buyers and sometimes kept by the body corporate (to be used as exclusive use areas) or by the developer (who might rent them out).

This is quite an unusual case in that the previous sale took place 18 years ago and in the transfer process, the section number which was the garage was left off the transfer documents and only the apartment was transferred, leaving the garage registered to the previous owner, she said. Thankfully, the seller of the property had kept all the paperwork pertaining to her purchase of the unit and it assisted in the process of finding the previous owner, who then had to be traced and contacted to sign documents before the garage could be transferred to the buyer.

Fortunately the previous owner was eventually found and transfer of the garage can now go through, but this could have caused a lengthy delay, had they been out of the country or deceased, said Dugmore.

Another fortunate thing is that the transfer of the apartment could go through separately and the buyer did not have to wait for these to be transferred simultaneously, she said.

There are often cases of incorrectly numbered sections or of misunderstandings as to what is actually owned in sectional title schemes, and buyers should always ask to check the section plan to be sure that the unit and garage they intend purchasing corresponds with what is filled in in the sales agreement, advises Dugmore.

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 20 Nov 2017
      Since 2012, sectional title complexes have been leading the South African property market, not only in terms of price growth, but sales volumes as well. Remaining relatively strong, even in the face of 2017’s political and economic turmoil, experts say this market segment could offer valuable insight into South Africans’ property purchase priorities.
    • 20 Nov 2017
      Regardless of whether you are purchasing your first start-up home, downsizing or moving in with roommates, finding ways to maximise small spaces can be a big advantage, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
    • 20 Nov 2017
      Property valued at approximately R1 billion is on High Street Auctions’ sales floor during the month of November, including the much-anticipated sale of the Tshwane Mayoral Residence and the land occupied by one of South Africa’s oldest operating gold mines.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      FWJK has announced the launch of its latest residential brand, the Lil’ Apple, which will be launched simultaneously in two developments in Cape Town and Umhlanga totaling 600 apartments. The Lil’ Apple is set to be a brand of FWJK’s New York style apartments which will be rolled out nationally.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      It’s been a tumultuous year on many fronts, with socio-political uncertainty setting the tone for much of South Africa’s economic activity yet despite this and seemingly counter-intuitively, the residential property market has held up well.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      The EAAB (the Estate Agency Affairs Board) recently claimed that around 50,000 illegal estate agents could currently be operating illegally.
    • 16 Nov 2017
      Penthouses are synonymous with New York – characterised by high-rise living that is decidedly luxurious and spacious. While exclusivity comes at a price, you can still create a “penthouse” look and feel in your existing apartment or even the upstairs bedroom of a double storey house with some clever design changes and styling touches.
    • 16 Nov 2017
      The area has long been popular with kite surfers and, with escalating property prices in Cape Town itself, is increasingly in demand with home owners who work in town, but are looking to invest in more affordable properties.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us