The deeds office is ready to transfer, but the seller has not secured COC,

what can the buyer do?

A Property24 Reader purchased a property and finally lodged the title deed on Friday 5 August. However, the seller has not yet received certificates of compliance because she feels it is too expensive, which has now delayed the transfer process.

The reader says the seller is seeking more quotes so she does not have to pay what was initially quoted.

“What rights do we have as buyers when the deeds office is ready to transfer and the seller has not yet secured the certificates of compliance? We signed our contract in June. It is now August and we were supposed to transfer 1st August, simultaneously with our property which we sold,” asks the reader.

Linda Jordaan, attorney and conveyancer at Herold Gie Attorneys shares the following advice:

Most sale agreements record the Seller’s obligation to provide compliance certificates prior to the transfer of the property and it is the duty of the appointed conveyancer (property attorney) to ensure that those certificates are obtained before putting the documents forward for registration at the Deeds Office. If all the required compliance certificates are not available by the time registration is to take place, the transaction will be rejected from the Deeds Office system for non-registration and will have to be re-lodged.

Jordaan says a seller is quite entitled to obtain more than one quotation for the issue of such certificates, but this process should not be left to the last minute, as repairs may be needed prior to the issue of a valid compliance certificate.

“If the Seller is not cooperating, and is unnecessarily delaying the transfer, a Purchaser may appoint an attorney to act for him/her and to put the Seller to terms to comply with his/her contractual obligations.

“This would usually be a last resort, as a Purchaser whose transaction is close to being finalized, is unlikely to want to cancel the sale for breach by the Seller of his/her contractual obligations, more particularly where it is linked to another transaction. Depending on the terms of the sale agreement, a Purchaser may be able to rely on the terms of a mora (penalty) interest clause,” says Jordaan.

Abrahams & Gross attorney and conveyancer, Farzanah Mugjenkar replies: The COC’s are ordinarily a condition in the agreement of sale and must be provided by the Seller to the purchaser/conveyancer prior to registration taking place.

“It would be best to advise the Conveyancers that you do not consent to transfer taking place prior to receiving the compliance certificates. In this instance, your transfer will have to be relodged at the deeds office at a later stage which may cause delays,” says Mugjenkar.

Article courtesy of property24