POWER OF ATTORNEY: The Deeds Office Checklist To Comply With The Deeds Office Legislation

Did you know that practically all powers of attorney, received by conveyancers, will not be accepted by the Deeds Office? The reason is that there are very specific regulations that govern what the Deeds Office can accept and what it cannot accept.

Powers of Attorney are popular because owners are often not available to sign further documents whilst they are travelling. So they appoint a trusted person to legally sign documents in their place.

So, if the owner unwittingly signed a defective Power, before he left to go travelling, the transaction could be rejected in his absence and of course, he is not present to sign a corrected Power of Attorney, resulting in much delay and frustration.

How do you make sure that your Power of Attorney will be accepted by the Deeds Office?

We are referring to a Special Power of Attorney and not to a General Powers of Attorney.

The difference between the two is that, whereas Special Power of Attorney must disclose a specifically described immovable property, a General Power of Attorney would not refer to any specific immovable property.

To be accepted by the Deeds Office, the following is required:

  • It must specifically and fully describe the immovable property involved.
  • It must be signed in Black Ink.
  • An original of the Power of Attorney document, signed in “wet” black Ink, must be handed into the Deeds Office.
  • Photocopies, scanned copies and PDF’s will not be accepted.
  • Double-sided printing will not be accepted. Only one side of the page may be used and the other side thereof must be left blank.
  • It must reflect the owner’s identification number and his marital status.
  • A Conveyancer will have to counter-sign the document.
  • It must reflect the Conveyancer’s “licence to practice” number.
  • It cannot be validly signed overseas, unless it was signed in the presence of a SA Consular Official, Government Official or accredited Notary Public, in terms of Rule 63 of the High Court Rules.
  • It has to be signed by two witnesses over the age of 14 years.
  • If the owner is married in community of property, the other spouse will have to counter-sign.
  • If the owner is married according to the laws of a foreign country, her spouse will also have to counter-sign the Power of Attorney: also in “wet Black Ink”.

As you will note there are many technical requirements – which if not complied with – will result in a rejection by the Deeds Office.

Recently a Financial Advisor was surprised that his drafting of a Power of Attorney would not be accepted by the Deeds Office.

The bottom line is that if you want a “watertight” Special Power of Attorney, which will be accepted by the Deeds Office, request a Conveyancer to prepare the document.

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