Title Deeds: Proof of Property Ownership

Description:

If you are planning to buy a new property, you will need to get the title deed transferred into your name to prove that you are the owner of the property. You will need the assistance of a lawyer specialising in property transfers (also known as a conveyancer) to help you transfer the title deed into your name. 

What You Need to Know about Title Deeds

You will only become the owner of the property when the Registrar of Deeds signs the transfer. After it has been signed, a copy of the title deed is kept at the Deeds Office  closest to you.

The deeds registry is open to any member of the public to also access information about:

  • The registered owner of a property
  • The rules surrounding a particular property
  • Interdicts and contracts involving the property
  • The purchase price of the property
  • Rules of a sectional title scheme
  • A copy of an antenuptial contract, deeds of servitude, mortgage bonds, etc.
  • A copy of a sectional title plan or the rules of a Sectional Title Scheme (note: this is not a certified copy, merely a copy for information purposes)
  • Township establishment conditions
  • Information relating to a property or deed
  • Information relating to the tracking of a deed through the registration process

Before you can obtain information from the deeds registry, have the following ready:

  • The full names and/or identity number of the owner of property, or at least his or her date of birth.
    • In the case of a community or an association of people, the name and registration number, if available, is necessary.
       
  • The correct erf number and township or farm name and number, not the street address.
    • In the case of a sectional title scheme, the section and the scheme name are required.

To obtain a copy of a deed or document from a deeds registry, you must: 

  • Go to any deeds office (deeds registries may not give out information acting on a letter or a telephone call).
  • Go to the information desk, where an official will help you complete a prescribed form and explain the procedure.
  • Request a data typist to do a search on the property, pay the required fee at the cashier's office and take the receipt back to the official at the information desk. 
    Before you can get the keys to your new house, you need a title deed
  • The receipt number will be allocated to your copy of title.
     
  • Note: Online searches for title deeds are also possible, via DeedsWeb, which is the National Department of Rural Development and Land Reform's official site for the supply of deeds registration information.

How long does it take? 

A search may take 30 to 60 minutes. In some of the larger offices, the copy of a deed is posted or it must be collected after a certain period of time.

How much does it cost?

  • Copy of antenuptial contract or deed for information purposes: R58
  • Copy of a document: R8 per page.
  • Copy of township's establishment conditions: R8 per page.
  • For an enquiry relating to a person, property or deed: R8 per enquiry (this is supplied in the form of a computer printout)
  • For the supply of registration information in respect of a series of properties: R8 per property.
  • For a deeds office tracking system enquiry: R8 per enquiry (this is supplied in the form of a computer printout).
  • For any unattended continuous search for information for each hour or part thereof: R20
  • For any enquiry not specially provided for, a fee to be fixed by the registrar, provided the minimum fee shall be R8

    Note: Cash payments only.

For more information, please contact:

You will need to obtain a title deed even if you buy an apartment
Tania Smidt 
  • Tel: 021 464 7600
  • Fax: 021 464 7725/27 

Physical Address:

New Revenue Building
90 Plein Street
Cape Town
8001

Postal Address:

Registrar of Deeds, Cape Town
Private Bag X9073
Cape Town
8000

Provided by:
Government Body: (The Government of South Africa)
The content on this page was last updated on 27 January 2015