Answer to a question from a reader

Can my coworker sell half her RDP house to me?

The short answer

Yes, but only if she has owned the property for more than eight years.

The whole question

Dear Athalie

My colleague owns an RDP house. She suggested that we should have joint ownership of the property. We are not related and only have a professional relationship. Is it possible to have joint ownership? What documents would we need?

The long answer

Yes, it is possible to transfer a half share of the house to you if your work partner has already owned the RDP house for the eight years required before the house can be sold. Transferring a half share means selling a half share in the property. That means you and your work partner must sign a written sale agreement or the whole transaction would be invalid.

It also means that a conveyancing attorney would have to be hired to do the transfer. A conveyancing attorney, or conveyancer, is a lawyer that specialises in doing the work of transferring title deeds, which involves collecting and reconciling all the necessary payments and certificates and lodging them with the Deeds Office. Usually the seller (your work partner in this case) would appoint the conveyancing attorney, and the buyer (you in this case) would pay the conveyancer’s fees. The conveyancer’s fee would be based on half the value of the property as only half is being transferred, and the fee would have to be paid before the documents could be lodged in the Deeds Office and signed by the Deeds Registrar.

If the property is worth less than R900,000, you don’t have to pay transfer duty, which is a tax. If it is more, transfer duty must be paid to SARS by the conveyancer. The conveyancer must lodge the Transfer Duty Receipt or Transfer Duty Exemption Receipts with the Deeds Office. The conveyancer must also collect advance rates and municipal payments to get the clearance certificates from the municipality which must be lodged with the Deeds Office. 

When all these documents have been lodged with the Deeds Office, the conveyancer must see that the Registrar signs the new title deeds and that a copy is lodged in the Deeds Office.

So it can be quite a lengthy and complicated business…

Wishing you the best,

Answered on Oct. 26, 2021, 3:46 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.