Regulation 68 of the Deeds Registries Act 47 of 1937 has been amended. This regulation is used to apply for new title deeds, registered leases or cessions and bonds, amongst other things, when the original has been lost or destroyed. This amendment will come in to force on 2 January 2020.

The implications of the amendment are the following:

  1. Written application must be brought by the registered holder or their duly authorised agent, which application sets out, in affidavit format, the deed description, that is has not been pledged or detained by anyone as security for a debt or otherwise and that is has been actually lost or destroyed and cannot be located despite a diligent search;
  2. The Registrar of the Deeds must satisfy himself that the deed has in fact been inadvertently lost, destroyed, defaced or damaged;
  3. The applicant must publish a prescribed notice in a newspaper that circulates within the area in which the property is situated, setting out the intention to apply for a new deed;
  4. A copy of the deed applied for must lie for inspection for a period of two weeks at the Deeds Office from the date of publication of such notice;
  5. During this time frame, any interested parties may inspect the copy and submit any written objection they may have to the issuing of the new deed to the Registrar of Deeds.
  6. Only after this two-week period has expired, free from objection, may the new deed be registered.

Points 1 and 2 above form part of the current process in which to apply for a new deed. Points 3 – 6 are the amendments that will come into effect on 2 January 2020. These amendments will mean that the application for new copies will take longer and be more expensive. The possible knock on effect will be the delay of transfers and bond cancellations, amongst other things. It must be noted that having an original copy of your deed is a requirement for all processes within the Deeds Office, otherwise the transaction will be rejected.

Given the above and the fact that the Deeds Office will close over the Christmas period, we strongly suggest that you ensure your deeds are safe. If not, please contact us as a matter of urgency to apply for you new copies before the amendment comes into effect.