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Month: January 2017

WHAT DOES THE DEEDS OFFICE DO?

WHAT DOES THE DEEDS OFFICE DO?

A2The Deeds Office is responsible for the registration, management and maintenance of the property registry of South Africa. If you are planning on buying a house, it can be useful knowing about the Deeds Office. However, you would use the services of a conveyancer when buying or selling a house. Your estate agent should be able to recommend a conveyancing attorney to register your home loan and transfer a property into your name.

What is conveyancing?

Conveyancing is the legal term for the process whereby a person, company, close corporation or trust becomes the registered and legal owner of immovable property and ensures that this ownership cannot be challenged. It also covers the process of the registration of mortgages.

Steps taken by the conveyancer:

  1. The conveyancer lodges your title deed and other documents in the Deeds Office for registration. These documents will be individually captured on the system. If there is a bond, the conveyancer dealing with the bond will lodge the bond documents with the Deeds Office at the same time as the transfer documents. The transfer, bond and cancellation documents must be lodged in the Deeds Office at the same time to ensure simultaneous registration. If different conveyancers are dealing with registering the purchaser’s bond and cancelling the seller’s bond, then they will need to collaborate.
  2. The Deeds Office examiners go through the documentation that has been submitted, and make sure that it complies with the relevant laws and legislations.
  3. The examiners then inform the conveyancer that the deeds are ready to be registered.
  4. Registration takes place with the conveyancer and Registrar of Deeds present. The transfer of the property is then registered in the purchaser’s name. If there is a bond, it is registered at the same time.
  5. Upon registration, the purchaser becomes the lawful owner of the property. The title deed that reflects this ownership is given to the conveyancer by the deeds office after the registration. Unless a bond has been registered as well, in which case the title deed is given to the bond holder.

The time taken to register a property at the Deeds Office depends on various factors and a number of parties. On average, registering a property transfer takes six to eight weeks, although unforeseen difficulties can cause the period to be extended.

References:

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

THE CONSEQUENCES OF DRINKING AND DRIVING

THE CONSEQUENCES OF DRINKING AND DRIVING

A3With the festive holidays fast approaching, it’s necessary to address the consequences of drinking and driving. Unfortunately, the holidays bring devastating road accidents, with families being injured and losing members due to drunk-driving related incidents.
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What does the law say?

According to the Road Traffic Act 93/96, which has been in effect since March 1998, no person shall on a public road:

  • Drive a vehicle; or
  • Occupy a driver’s seat of a motor vehicle, the engine of which is running, while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or a drug having a narcotic effect.
  1. No person shall on a public road:
  • Drive a vehicle; or
  • Occupy a driver’s seat of a motor vehicle, the engine of which is running, while the concentration of alcohol in any specimen of blood taken part of his or her body is not less than 0,05 grams per 100 millilitres.
  1. If, in any prosecution for a contravention of the provisions of subsection (2), it is proved that the concentration of alcohol in any specimen of blood taken from any part of the body of the person concerned was not less than 0,05 grams per 100 millilitres at any time within two hours after the alleged offence, it shall be presumed, until the contrary is proved, that such concentration was not less than 0,05 grams per 100 millilitres of blood at the time of the alleged offence.

What happens if you are caught?

  1. You will be arrested for being over the limit: If you are suspected of driving over the limit, you will be Breathalysed.
  2. Your blood will be taken: If the Breathalyser tests positive, you will be taken into custody and sent for further testing at an alcohol testing centre.
  3. You will be detained: Once you have been arrested you will be taken to a police station, where you will be detained in the holding cells for at least four hours to sober up.

After your release, a docket will be opened and you will be allocated an investigating officer who will follow up your blood test results.

Conclusion

Getting behind the wheel after drinking alcohol should not be an option. People should always use an alternative option, such as getting a lift with someone else, Uber, or using a taxi. Besides the fact that drinking and driving could cost you or someone else their life, it also has severe legal consequences.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

YOUR NEIGHBOUR’S LEAKING BATHTUB SHOULD NOT BE YOUR PROBLEM IN A SECTIONAL TITLE SCHEME

YOUR NEIGHBOUR’S LEAKING BATHTUB SHOULD NOT BE YOUR PROBLEM IN A SECTIONAL TITLE SCHEME

A4It is not uncommon to, at some point in your life, find yourself living in a sectional title scheme. Living in significantly closer proximity to your neighbours can mean fertile ground for disputes. At the very cusp of sectional title living is the responsibility on yourself or your landlord to take reasonable care of your unit so as to avoid being a nuisance to your neighbour and vice versa applies to your neighbour.In some cases efforts to resolve an issue with your neighbour or body corporate without formal or legal intervention leaves you high and dry and your bathroom moist (with mould and mildew accumulating by the day). Try as we may, certain matters are not within the scope of being resolved “neighbourly” or amicably, and it may further be aggravated by the fact that you are attempting to resolve an issue with an uncooperative neighbour or body corporate.

The previous lack of an effective dispute resolution mechanism served as a restraint in resolving community scheme disputes out of court. Certain changes in legislation have however seen the Community Schemes Ombud Service Act 9 of 2011 (“the Act”) give birth to one of your more user-friendly options in resolving a dispute, a welcome alternative to costly litigation.

The Act, central to its purpose, established a Community Schemes Ombud Service (“CSOS”) to provide a platform for dispute resolution specific to community schemes.

The services provided by the CSOS include dispute resolution between the body corporate, members, occupiers and managing agents ins a cost-effective and timely manner, without having to resort to the courts. In performing its functions the CSOS must promote and monitor good governance of community schemes.

Any person who are materially affected by a dispute may lodge an application with the CSOS in terms of section 38 of the Act. The relief that may be sought (and must be referred to in your application) is set out in section 39 of the Act.

Examples of orders that may be applied for are:

  1. Financial issues, for example an order declaring that a contribution levied on owners or occupiers, or the way it is to be paid, is incorrectly determined or unreasonable, and an order for the adjustment of the contribution to a correct or reasonable amount or an order for its payment in a different way;
  2. Behavioural issues, for example an order that particular behaviour or default constitutes a nuisance and requiring the relevant person to act, or refrain from acting in a specified way;
  3. Scheme governance, for example an order requiring the association to record a new scheme governance provision consistent with a provision approved by the association;
  4. Meetings, for example an order requiring the association to call a general meeting of its members to deal with specified business;
  5. Works pertaining to private areas and common areas, for example an order requiring the associating to have repairs and maintenance carried out.

The application must be submitted by physical delivery or submitted electronically. The e-mail addresses for electronic submission can be retrieved from the CSOS website for the province in which you wish to make application.

Once the application has been submitted you will be advised of the case manager assigned to your case who will, firstly consider whether there are any prospects of settlements and if so, the matter will be referred to conciliation. Similar to the CCMA, the conciliation phase of the enquiry will be purely held in an attempt to settle the matter on a more “informal” basis. If, however, these settlement negotiations fail, the matter must be referred to adjudication.

The functions of the adjudicator are to act swiftly, investigate the application and determine whether it would be appropriate for him/her to make an order. Legal representation is not allowed during the conciliation or adjudication unless the adjudicator and other parties agree thereto.

An adjudicator’s order is enforceable in a Magistrate’s or High Court. Once the adjudicator’s order has been lodged with the administrative staff of a court it must be registered as an order of court.

Despite the advent of new and improved sectional title legislation and the forums that came with it, some complex disputes are better left to the courts and it may prove to be a better idea to involve your legal representative to assert your rights in this regard.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

MHI GIVES BACK

MHI GIVES BACK

For the past few years we have been supporting MES Bellville and this year was no different.

MES Bellville offers programs to the residents of the Northern suburb streets in an attempt to restore their dignity and to secure a better future for them. In December they host the GROW “graduation” and year end function where they have an award ceremony and receive a special gift.

The MHI Team, their families, friends and colleagues all worked together to give each graduate a very special Christmas shoebox.

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One needs to remember the hands and feet that does this wonderful upliftment work at MES. We spoiled them a small gift to say “Thank you” for caring.

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In Blikkiesdorp in Delft about 300 children were smiling when they received a goodie bag and juice.

The MHI Team wishes all our clients and friends a prosperous 2017.