Deal with the real prop­erty owner

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

BEFOREyou sign an of­fer to pur­chase, you should make sure that the per­son sell­ing the prop­erty you are about to buy is re­ally the le­gal owner of the prop­erty.

“This may sound pe­cu­liar,” says Shaun Rade­meyer, chief ex­ec­u­tive of mort­gage orig­i­na­tor, Bet­terLife Home Loans, “but we have heard of sev­eral in­stances, for ex­am­ple, in which a bo­gus owner sold stands to un­sus­pect­ing buy­ers, took the de­posits on these sales and then just dis­ap­peared.

“Then when it comes to built prop­erty, it quite of­ten hap­pens that el­derly par­ents who have moved to a re­tire­ment home will leave the sale of the fam­ily home to an adult child, or that an owner who has been trans­ferred across the coun­try will ask a friend to han­dle the sale.”

But if these peo­ple sign ac­cep­tance of your of­fer to pur­chase in­stead of the real own­ers, he says, it can lead to un­ex­pected de­lays in the trans­fer of the prop­erty – or even to can­cel­la­tion of the trans­ac­tion if at the last minute the real own­ers de­cide to make a counter-of­fer, or sim­ply change their minds about sell­ing. And that could prove to be very costly, as well as dis­ap­point­ing.

“It would be ter­ri­ble if you had spent months find­ing just the right new home and sev­eral weeks more ex­cit­edly wait­ing to move in, only to learn that you can’t take trans­fer be­cause the real own­ers have de­cided to keep the prop­erty after all.

“Even worse, you might then miss out on ac­quir­ing another prop­erty at a good price while wait­ing for the le­gal tan­gle to be cleared and your de­posit to be re­funded. And you might even have to in­cur the ad­di­tional costs of rent­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion while you go back to the search for a new home.”

The prob­lem is that the law does not stip­u­late that the seller of an im­mov­able prop­erty such as a house or flat or piece of land must be the ac­tual owner of that prop­erty. It does, how­ever, stip­u­late that the reg­is­tered owner is the only per­son legally en­ti­tled to sign off on the trans­fer of the prop­erty to a buyer.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.