Answer to a question from a reader

I cannot afford conveyancing fees to transfer a property into my name. What can I do?

The short answer

You can approach a pro bono legal organisation for help.

The whole question

A relative passed away in 2005. A few months ago her surviving siblings encouraged me to transfer the house onto my name, since the title is still in my deceased relative's name. I proceeded to get a letter of authority from the court and a copy of the original title deed. I want to transfer the property into my name but I cannot afford the cost of a conveyancer as I am an unemployed single mother. Would there be any way for my local municipality to transfer the property into my name, seeing as this was a municipal house?

The long answer

The municipality does not itself transfer properties; only a conveyancing attorney can transfer properties, but it may be worth approaching them with the letter of authority and a copy of the original title deed, and asking what assistance they can give you as you cannot afford a conveyancer.

If the municipality cannot assist you, you could approach This is an NGO that has offices in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban, which instructs lawyers who are prepared to assist people who cannot afford a lawyer. Doing work Pro Bono means doing it for the public good rather than for payment.    

These are the contact details for

Cape Town:

Tel: 087 806 6070/1/2


Tel: 011 339 6080


Tel: (031) 301 6178
email projects:
email clinics:

If you are in Cape Town, there is a law firm called Simon Dippenaar and Associates which is known to do Pro Bono work as well as ordinary legal work. Their contact details are:

Phone0860 995 146 



You can also approach Legal Aid and ask if they can assist you with conveyancing. Legal Aid is a means-tested organisation. Their contact details are: (link sends email)

Legal Aid Advice Line (Toll-free): 0800 110 110

Please-Call-Me number: 079 835 7179.

Answered on July 22, 2020, 12:10 p.m.

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Please note. We are not lawyers or financial advisors. We do our best to make the answers accurate, but we cannot accept any legal liability if there are errors.