home buyer gets raw deal

The misery endured by Friday Ukhurebor for the past eight months after buying a house is almost coming to an end.

The misery endured by Friday Ukhurebor for the past eight months after buying a house is almost coming to an end.

Ukhurebor bought the house through Jawitz Properties in June last year, but the property could not be registered in his name.

He said that since then he had been struggling to get a refund. Unless the seller signs an agreement to free Ukhurebor from the deal, he would obtain a court order to compel the seller to give him a refund.

Charles Mhlongo sold the house for R800000, which Ukhurebor, a father of six children, paid in full.

But Ukhurebor said the transferring attorneys, Zulberg and Frank Munnik could not transfer the property to his name because Mhlongo owed the bank more money than the purchase price.

Naturally no property can be transferred without the existing bond holder being paid, so the attorneys could not get the title deed to facilitate the transfer.

The 51-year-old divorced Ukhurebor, who wanted to buy the house for his children, said the attorneys advised him to wait because there was still a chance to register the house in his name.

But eight months later the attorneys had still not done so, he said.

Ukhurebor said he had, therefore, cancelled the contract and asked for a refund including interest. But the attorneys refused to free him from the contract.

"I have run out of patience and, worse still, Gap management has offered to sell the house I bought to any prospective buyer," Ukhurebor said.

He could not stop thinking about his money, which was in the attorneys' trust account, accruing interest.

"I never thought I would have to sweat to get my money back from the attorneys after they were unable to register the house in my name.

Ukhurebor said the R800000 he had deposited in the attorneys' trust account through Jawitz Properties was the amount he received after he sold his other house in Observatory, Johannesburg. He said his intention was to renovate it and rent it out.

"In that way I would make a good investment for my children's future," said Ukhurebor.

Zulberg and Frank Munnik Attorneys said they were representing Mhlongo and confirmed that they could not transfer the property in Ukhurebor's name due to circumstances beyond their control.

They also confirmed that Ukhurebor's purchase price was held by them in a trust investment account. They said the interest it was accruing could be paid to Ukhurebor's money.

"We are in effect stakeholders and will only be able to refund the purchase price to Ukhurebor on agreement between the parties or on the court stipulating that we so," said Zulberg Frank and Munnik & Attorneys.

Charles Mhlongo said he was not aware that there was an agreement he had to sign to free Ukhurebor from the deal.

"He does not need to obtain a court order to get his money back. I am not the one holding on to his money and I will sign the agreement once the attorneys fax it to me," said Mhlongo.


In terms of the agreement of sale, the deposit must be paid once your offer has been approved.

l It must be paid either to the agent or transferring attorney or whoever is designated in the agreement.

Either way, you are protected as the deposit is held in trust until the transfer is registered;

l Remember its your legal obligation to pay the deposit. Failure to do so could result in your being in breach of the agreement;

l There can be as many as three attorneys involved in your purchase, depending on circumstances;

l Once your bond is approved, the bank will ask you to call the attorney to sign acceptance;

l Read the letter carefully and act promptly on the instruction for two reasons: Firstly, prompt action may speed up the transfer, minimising the occupational interest you may have to pay and, secondly, the bondholder may cancel any loan not taken up fairly quickly.

l Once your bond is granted, you will be called by the conveyancer to sign the transfer papers, again act promptly. Doing this promptly expedites the transfer.

l Once you have signed the transfer and bond documents, paid the costs and the documents lodged with the Deeds Registry Office, by the conveyancer, you must then wait to be advised that the property is being registered in your name.

l When signing the bond acceptance, you will have to pay, among others, the registration fees, stamp duty, and inspection fee and interim interest.