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Wednesday Oct 31, 2012

Incompetence delays property title deeds for 3 years

In June this year, in this column, we looked at the tardiness of the eThekwini Municipality's officials that resulted in years of inconvenience for the Kings of Sydenham Lodge body corporate in Durban.

The municipality converted its rental stock into sectional titles ownership by refurbishing each flat or unit and writing off tenants' arrears.

The upgrade of the 360 flats as well as three buildings in Sydenham was commendable.

As tenants opted for taking ownership of their dwellings, the process of transfer of them into their own names began.

It started with tenants signing the purchase and sales agreements (deed of sale) and the attorney with special expertise (conveyancer) lodging documents with the deeds office to have the property registered in the name of the new owners.

In July 2009, Feranah King and her husband, Charles, signed the agreement and ought to have become owners. It took three years because of incompetence of officials and after many interventions to have the property transferred.

The Kings were sent from one official to another and then to the conveyancing attorney, Kruger Ngcobo Incorporated.

Enquiries directed to Wakefields in the second week of May 2012 led to confusion about whether it was Sydenham Lodge, since Sydenham Manor did not appear on their system.

According to Wakefields, the person in charge was on leave, but it appeared that it referred to the same sectional title scheme. This, of course, was not the case.

Pressed for answers from Wakefields, a Jean Visser from Propell then entered the fray.

Propell was the levy financier for the body corporate appointed by Wakefields.

Visser said Bonita Flink from their office was in contact with Balungile Ntshangase, senior housing officer at eThekwini Municipality, to assist in obtaining clearance figures.

After June's article, there were still delays on the part of officials, with one chiding Feranah King for enquiring about the delay. Brune, on the other hand, worked relentlessly to make sure that the Kings received their title deed.

It was handed over to the couple two weeks ago.

Sayed Iqbal Mohamed
Chairman of the Organisation of Civic Rights
Tenant Issues
Daily News

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