NGL Attorneys | Commercial, Business and Property Law

Before transfer of a property takes place, the original Title Deed must be provided to the Conveyancer. If the Seller has a Bond over their Property, the Bank will hold this title deed. If there is no Bond, the Seller will be obliged to provide the Title Deed. It sometimes does happen that the original Title Deed has been lost, misplaced, or has become damaged or destroyed. In such case, the Conveyancer must apply for a replacement, often terms a “VA Copy” from the Deeds Office.

The Seller makes a written application to the registrar of deeds, requesting a Copy in terms of Regulation 68(1) of the Deeds Registries Act 47 of 1937. The application must be accompanied by an affidavit attested to by the owner of the property as well as “Form JJJ” published under the Deeds Registries Act regulations.

Upon receipt of the application and affidavit, the applicant must publish a notice that he/she intends to issue the copy. The notice must be published in an ordinary issue of the Government Gazette and an issue of a newspaper printed in the area where the property is situated. The owner of the property is responsible for the expenses related to the publishing of the notice in the Government Gazette, the newspapers, and the attorney’s costs in drafting the application and affidavit on behalf of the owner.

The intended copy must lie open for inspection at the Deeds Office for a period of two weeks. Should the registrar not receive any objections from the public or any interested party regarding the issuing of the copy, the registrar will issue the copy of title subject to all conditions, servitudes, leases, and any other encumbrances that may exist in respect of the property.

The issued VA copy would now serve as the title deed of this property; thus, the transfer process of the property may proceed.

In terms of Regulation 68, the above application may further be used when the original title deed is either destroyed, incomplete or unserviceable, for example, if a page/pages are missing, illegible, or torn.

Documents relating to properties are very important and thus need to be safely kept and protected from any harmful elements that may destroy the document or render it unserviceable.

If you are in the process of selling your property and the property is not mortgaged, it is good practice to make sure that you are in possession of the Original Title Deed as same will be required during the Transfer Process. If you have lost the Title Deed, contact your Transferring Attorney early on so that the Attorney can draft and submit the necessary applications as soon as possible. If not, a minimum of a two-week delay can be expected in the Transfer Process.


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)

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