The responsible conveyancers at Squire Smith & Laurie Inc are Mr Kobus Burger, Mr Chris Fick, Mr Andrew Buhagiar and Ms Ateeqa Hoosain, and the staff members in this section are Belinda, Carol, Nicky and Evette.
A file is opened upon receipt of a new instruction, and a note made of the simultaneous matters (simuls) as indicated in the instruction letter. The lodging conveyancers who are lodging simuls are contacted to advise them that we are ready to lodge, to enquire whether they are ready to lodge, and to confirm all the simuls to be lodged.
A lodgement cover is then completed for all the transactions we are to lodge, indicating the linking of all the simuls, original deeds lodged, the firm lodgement numbers(Squire Smith & Laurie's number is 9), the erf number, a description of the transaction and our reference number. A rejection of "simuls not lodged" may be caused by a failure to lodge a simuls or a matter being omitted from the lodgement cover.
A white lodgement cover is used for conventional transfers, bonds, applications for certificates of registered and consolidated title, applications in terms of Section 45 and notarial deeds. A biscuit colour lodgement cover is used for cancellations and releases of bonds, antenuptial contracts, applications (eg, in terms of Regulations 68(1), 68(11) and Section 4(1)(b) etc), general powers of attorney and general plans. A green lodgement cover is used for all sectional matters, including bond cancellations and notarial deeds in respect of sectional property.
The conveyancer checks each lodgement on the morning of lodgement, for the following:
- That the necessary documents are being lodged;
- That the parties and the property are correctly described;
- That the relevant conditions have been brought forward;
- That the preparer and all the signatories have signed and initialled where required; and
- That the Rates Clearance Certificate has not yet lapsed.
The non-material errors that are detected are changed prior to lodgement, whereas in the case of material errors, the lodging conveyancer will contact the instructing conveyancer, and documents are often returned for amendment.
"Prep" and Registration
The Deeds Office distributes deeds for examination the day after lodgement. The minimum number of days that a lodgement will be examined by the Deeds Office is 4 (four) days, after which the matter will either come up on "prep" or be rejected. Deeds are held over on examination by the Deeds Office where they are not able to examine all the lodgements of a particular day, and these deeds are then only distributed to examiners the next or following day, which will result in delays in the matter coming up on "prep". Each lodging firm receives its deeds on "prep" in the morning, and must attend to the notes before 12h00 that same day.
A note will remain "open" if it is not satisfactorily answered or not answered at all. The deed will then remain on "prep" and may not be registered on the following day. All the notes raised by the Deeds Office must first be removed before the deeds may be registered. Each instructing conveyancer is advised of its matters that have come up on "prep" for the day. Registrations take place between 10h00 and 10h30. Deeds may be held over on "prep" for a maximum of 3 days, and on registration for a maximum of 3 days, after which they will be rejected.
How to speed up the lodgment and registration process
- Ensure that the documents are in order before sending them for lodgement.
- Ensure that all the required documents are forwarded for lodgement - the King William's Town Deeds Office has advised that it will enforce its ruling prohibiting the "slipping in" of pages or documents.
- It is advisable in unusual and complicated matters, to contact the lodging conveyancer before you prepare your documents for assistance. Alternatively, when you forward your instruction to lodge, request that the documents be checked before lodgement. The documents will then be checked on receipt of the instruction as opposed to only being checked on the morning of lodgement.
- The instruction letter must contain at least the following information: the name of the conveyancer and the conveyancer's secretary who will deal with queries; a list of all the documents attached to the letter, including reference to original documents like title deeds and bonds; and a complete list of all the simuls and who will attend to lodging these. It is vital that the simuls be correctly reflected, as it may cause delays, and may also lead to rejections or erroneous registrations.
- Request a copy of the holding title, the general plan and the consent to the opening of the township if you are transferring off a general plan, in order that you are able to bring the correct conditions forward.
- Request the pivot deed and general plan numbers for transfers of upgraded Mdantsane erven, before forwarding your documents for lodgement.
- Conveyancers who do not ordinarily lodge in the King William's Town Deeds Office should contact the lodging conveyancer prior to drafting their documents, to confirm the correct property description.
- Where there are discrepancies in your documents as to the names, identity numbers and marital status of the parties, advise the lodging conveyancer in your instruction letter, indicating the correct details and where possible, provide proof thereof.
The Deeds Office team as Squire Smith & Laurie Inc
Back row: Chris Fick, Belinda Peter, Kobus Burger, Andrew Buhagiar
Front row: Carol Schreiber, Ateeqa Hoosain, Evette Smith, Nicky Buss