Every now and then a query is raised by the residential sector as to why apparently uncomplicated conveyancing documents have to be drawn by a fully qualified (and therefore more expensive) conveyancer rather than a trained clerk.
Why do I need a conveyancer? The reasons
The reason is this: The sums at stake here are often so large that it is essential to have someone with professional insurance of the kind carried by all conveyancers to protect the client in the event of a serious mistake being made or some member of the attorney staff misappropriating the cash.
It is also wise to have as the supervisor of these transactions someone qualified to spot the possible pitfalls in property deals of which there are many.
Mistakes in documentation do crop up, but they arise in many cases from mistakes made not on the latest deal but two or three transfers previously, i.e. perhaps 20 to 50 years ago, and then not picked up by the Deeds Office. The wrong information can be transferred from one Deed of Sale to the next until the mistake is eventually spotted. As the conveyancer does not have the earlier documents in front of him, he will in most cases work on the information available, assuming it to be correct.
Why do I need a conveyancer? The cases
In one case with which we were involved, the number on the Transfer Deed was wrong and had been on at least two previous transfers. They may have been due to the Surveyor General’s office not spotting the mistake originally.
In another case, the owner of a property he was about to buy was delighted, on the matter being investigated by the conveyancer, to discover that, in fact, his erf included a small pan handle along a riverbank which had not been demarcated on the documents to hand.
In a third case, the seller’s name was misspelt on later documents as a result of a mistake made by Home Affairs. This very small error resulted in the Deeds Office rejecting the latest transfer application until the matter was rectified.
The take home point
The point to be grasped from these and other cases is that it does take a highly qualified person to see a property deal through without problems from start to finish. We can assure you that many conveyancers have clients who are permanently grateful to them for helping them to avoid quite serious errors.
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