Conveyancing – Transfer Fee
What Am I Paying For?
The fees charged by conveyancers for transfers of immovable property are based on the recommended fee guidelines issued by the Law Society of South Africa from time to time.
These recommended fees are designed to compensate the conveyancer for his/her legal expertise, general conveyancing duties in procuring the due and proper execution and registration of the relevant deed or document, as well as the responsibility placed on him/her for the accuracy of the facts mentioned in deeds or documents or which are relevant in connection with the registration or filing thereof.
A conveyancer must specifically ensure that:
1. Copies of any deeds and documents are identical as at the date of lodgement;
2. All applicable particulars and conditions of title, including endorsements and township conditions, have been correctly brought forward in any deed of transfer or certificate of title;
3. Any person signing a document as principal or representative has been properly appointed and has the necessary authority to sign the relevant document on behalf of the party in question;
4. Parties to deeds are correctly reflected;
5. The transaction in question is authorised by and in accordance with the constitution, regulations, founding statement or trust instrument of a trust, church, association, close corporation, society, or other body of persons being a party to such document;
6. The purchase price is properly secured and that the seller is paid on registration of transfer.
What Is Included in the Recommended Transfer Fee?
1. Taking instructions;
2. All correspondence, including the perusal of completed deeds of sale;
3. Preparing and attending on signature of all powers of attorney, declarations, affidavits, resolutions, status affidavits, company certificates, exchange control certificates and other necessary preliminary and ancillary documents as well as attendances in connection with the obtaining, preparation and signature of FICA documents;
4. The payment of transfer duty or VAT and of all rates and levies charged by any lawful authority, the obtaining and making of all clearance and other certificates;
5. The obtaining of endorsements or copies of documents from the Office of the Master or the High Court or other public office (except where otherwise provided);
6. The perusal of memoranda and articles of association and trust deeds, the making of all necessary financial arrangements, including the provision and checking of guarantees and attending payment in terms thereof;
7. The drawing and preparation of any document, including all copies thereof, required for execution or registration at a deeds registry;
8. The drawing and preparation of any document, including all copies thereof, required for execution or registration at a deeds registry
9. The obtaining of registration thereof, arranging simultaneous lodgement and registration with another conveyancer or other conveyancers, where necessary;
10. The giving of all references required by the deeds registry for examination purposes; and
11. All attendances at the deeds registry.
What Is Not Included in the Recommended Transfer Fee?
1. The drawing and execution of deeds of sale, deeds of donation, deeds of exchange, preliminary partition agreements, deeds of suretyship and acknowledgements of debt and documents of a similar nature;
2. Any separate act of registration of any other document which may be necessary before or in connection with the first-mentioned act of registration;
3. Work done in connection with the resolution of a dispute between the transferor and the transferee;
4. Any attendance arising from negotiations between the parties, resulting in a further agreement or addendum or amendment to an existing agreement;
5. Any attendance on the issue of letters of undertaking or guarantees (other than in favour of or for bondholders, the seller or transferring attorney).
6. Any attendance on investments in trust in terms of Section 78 (2A) of the Attorneys Act of 1979.
7. Any attendance or disbursement paid to a computer software supplier for purposes of receiving or drafting instructions electronically.
What Items Are Usually Set Out in a Fee Account?
1. Our fee is based on the recommended fee guidelines which are calculated using the value of the property being transferred.
2. Transfer duty (if applicable) is a tax payable to SARS for the acquisition of the property and is based on the value of the property.
3. Postage and petties relates to various administrative costs and expenses such as stationery, printing, telephone calls, fax charges, copies, etc.
4. Rates are required to be paid to obtain a rates clearance certificate for the property. The local authority will advise us what amount is required to be paid which amount will include a four month’s provision , some of which may be refunded after transfer.
5. Levies – a similar approach is applied as for rates (see point 4 above).
6. Correspondents’ postages and sundry disbursements if we have to use a correspondent attorney in another jurisdiction.
7. Deeds Office charges are fees charged by the Deeds Office for registering documents and are based on a tariff.
8. FICA fee – we are required in terms of section 29 of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (“FICA”) to verify all parties to a transaction. For an individual, these documents include ID, proof of residence, proof of marital status, and proof of income tax number.
9. Investment Fee relates to all transactions concerning monies which we invest on your behalf in terms of section 78(2A) of the Attorneys Act and includes the opening of an investment account, the procuring of guarantees (if required), the rendering of statements (if required), the closing of the account on the date of registration of transfer, and the accounting to you for the interest.
Obviously this fee won’t apply if we don’t invest money for you but simply keep it in trust.
10. Electronic document generation fees and application fees – Rates and SARS applications are required to be done online, and the software developer charges us a fee for requesting rates and tax clearance, which we pass onto you.