Last month we covered getting the person/company or property details pertaining to property ownership in the Durban Ethekwini area. This month we look at the City of Johannesburg area, with help from John Webber of Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr Incorporated.
John mentions, "You can start your search at the phone book section of the Yellow pages online (http://phonebook.yellowpages.co.za). This site allows one to search for the telephone number of a person which then also displays their street address. With the street address one can log onto a service such as Windeed (www.windeed.co.za) or Searchworks (www.searchworks.co.za), both of which are pay as you go services. An alternative is DeedsWeb (www.deeds.gov.za). While this service is also a pay as you go service, I find that the user interface is unfriendly and prefer to use one of the first mentioned sites. All the pay as you go sites make use of public information and charge you for the sorting and retrieval of that information.
With the street address one can do a street to erf conversion and then do a search on the property which will include details such as registered bonds and servitudes.
The City of Johannesburg has a service which can also provide property details within the boundaries of the City of Johannesburg (http://ims.joburg.org.za/joburg/disclaimer.aspx). Here one selects the appropriate theme for your search, e.g. Property. This in turn allows one to find a property based on various search criteria."
Thanks for the information John, I did notice a few things to consider when using the City of Johannesburg site:
- The site requires Internet Explorer 6 - I noticed that Firefox 3 would not allow me to click on the "Accept" for the terms and conditions.!
I tried Internet Explorer 7, which works but noticed that the cursor did not change when hovering over clickable links, so you have to click and hope they work. I would imagine that when they say Internet Explorer 6, they really mean _just_ IE6.
- It would be nice if you could get the details from a list like that of Ethekwini.
- The satellite picture is not clear - but they do say the resolution is better if you pay for their corporate service.
If you click on the little page icon in the "Results:" section on the left, you will get the details including the owner's details in the "Display Report" view. By using the "Layers" section you will be able to turn on other layers of information or images, like satellite images.
If you started your search looking for the person or company's contact details, and did not find it in the Yellow Pages, then you could use your search application to do a "Contact Information" or "Consumer Profile" search to get the contact details. Also note that there are other providers like LexisNexis (www.deedsearch.co.za), MarisIT (www.marisit.co.za), and AfriDeed (www.afrideed.co.za) - and still more, but these are the main vendors in the legal market at the moment.