This office had to close on three occasions during the month of November 2020, in comparison to the previous two months when there were no closures, and now once again in December 2020 due to a conveyancer testing positive and being in the deeds office.
The Western Cape is a hotspot and the Premier has intimated as per a newspaper report that there may be the possibility of a mini lockdown in the Western Cape.
Given the above and the resurgence in infections with the Covid – 19 virus, conveyancers are urged and advised to ensure that: deeds are correct upon lodgement; rejections and withdrawals are avoided; trial runs are stopped; deeds are link correctly; certificates are valid for at least 10 days ; that timeous arrangements for registration of bonds; fee payments; and purchase price payments are resolved, to avoid the possibility of being negatively impacted due to possible closures. Any further closure this month given the circumstances would set all of us back very badly.
We are still experiencing re-lodgements of 20% of daily lodgements, which gives a very negative perception of the lack of effort of many conveyancers during this crisis. Unfortunately, good conveyancing and clients suffer as a result, and deeds office avoiding rejecting deeds seems to encourage these conveyancers to at best continue as in the past and take a chance.
Furthermore, we would recommend that banks and clients be advised that it is more important to register deeds rather than delaying registrations by focusing on ancillary issues such as arranging occupation.
We have managed to reduce the impact of closures, but that may not be the case in future as any re-opening after closure is dependent on many factors, such as service providers and stakeholders working together and being available.
N.B Subject to any further Notices, please take note of the following, if the Deeds Office Re-opens 02 December 2020:
1. There will be, NO lodgements.
2. The focus will be on Registrations and Hand In’s.
Mr K Pillay
Registrar of Deeds
01 December 2020