Casting my eye over the 360 or so articles published in the GhostDigest during 2011, a number of newsworthy ones immediately spring to prominence and are worthy of a revisit before PCs are switched off and holidays embarked upon.
Graphs and Stats
This year we ran two surveys, the first, Conveyancing Ethics was keenly responded to as was the Conveyancing 2011 survey into conveyancing. Both surveys yielded some fascinating and illuminating results, which were presented at the very successful Tipping Point Roadshow held around the country in October.
The close association between the GhostDigest and Property24 continues with this weekly round-up of the ten best or so stories from South Africa's leading property website, which has been welcomed in allowing us to broaden our coverage of property related news.
A number of stories initiated some lively responses and debate amongst conveyancers this year, the most recent being the conversion of customary marriages into civil marriages, see Change of marriage, Change of marriage II and the subsequent responses. A furore ensued after the public's attention was brought to the possible implications of the Property Rates Amendment Bill - see Urgent alert and Defusing a furore while Meyer de Waal's method of purchasing property via the instalment, or lease to own methods - see No bond response and No bond purchase II also stimulated debate. A Final response brought an end to the debate between Dudley Lee and Thabo Nqhome regarding the powers of the Master of the High Court and his role in supervising the process of companies in liquidation. Deceased developer response III also saw Dudley Lee and Thabo Nqhome differ over the capacity of executors to open a sectional title register in a deceased estate. Three aspects - concerning CRC 4/2011 caused surprise while Allen West provided us with many informative and thought provoking articles such as Notarial tie agreements, Did you know?, Effect of sequestration, Execution sales and Unregistered foreign companies to highlight a few. Note should also be made of this year's Registrars Conference Resolutions which were passed recently.
Articles here include Highly rated which explained how RatesClearance.com assists municipalities in issuing rates clearance certificates, the launch of REASA and a series of articles about a Comparative study of e-conveyancing, while we published a diagram showing the processes of preparing draft deeds and receiving them in the system as proposed by the E-DRS Bill.
People and News
Definitely GhostConvey's Tipping Point Roadshow held across the country in October at which Gustav Radloff, Mari van Wyk and David Gibbons discussed Ethics, Profitability and Community in the conveyancing practice. The conveyancer and ethics is well worth a re-read.
Three cases are worth highlighting. In Wakefields real estate the court ruled on when an estate agent is the effective cause of a sale and therefore entitled to commission; in Netshituka clear direction was given to the validity or non-validity of civil marriages and the necessary proof thereof for conveyancers; while Tiffski laid bare the effects of non-compliance with the requirements of Section 34 of the Insolvency Act.
Of interest here are Sectional title encroachments and the irksome problems they could cause, in Risk of mortgaging Allen West submitted that registrars must enforce, by disallowing bond registration, the mortgaging of exclusive use areas when their section is mortgaged, and in Destruction of a scheme he highlighted the need for holders and bondholders of real rights of extension to be aware of the implications for them when owners agree to the destruction of a building comprising a sectional title scheme.
A number of articles by Kuben Naidoo, including Expense or investment?, in which he analyses and unpacks the role of a Practice Manager in the law firm in answering the question: Are Practice Managers an expense or an investment? and in Audits a waste of money? he unpacks what audits are, what they are not, how the process works and the value of active management tools. Last month Sabinet in conjunction with the profession's Law Library offered small law firms free access to South African legislation.
As a Christmas stocking filler The Practitioners Guide to Conveyancing and Notarial Practice -2012 update by Allen West can't be too highly recommended.