The Conveyancing Department’s professional team comprises 6 attorneys and over 20 experienced paralegals.  A paralegal is assigned to the day to day running of a matter and works closely in conjunction with a member of the professional team. The Conveyancers are always available to assist in queries relating to any transaction dealt with by our offices and any other legal issues.

Our offices attend to the transfer of immovable property throughout South Africa.  Similarly, our offices attend to mortgage bond registrations on behalf of First National Bank, Nedbank, Standard Bank and Investec.

Our location in Melrose Arch renders our office convenient and easily accessible to clients from most areas around Johannesburg.  Our offices are close to the M1 and all linked highways, and we offer secure, free parking in our building.   We have another office at Aspen Office Park, Aspen Lakes near Mall of the South which caters for clients in and around the Johannesburg South area.

Our Conveyancing Department advocates an approach where sellers and estate agents are encouraged to attend to a property due diligence before marketing and selling immovable property.  In doing so, the parties are paving the way to a smooth conveyancing transfer process by preparing for this during the marketing phase of the process.


What is a Notary Public?

A Notary Public, also referred to as a Notary, is an admitted attorney who has acquired specialised expertise and written a specific notarial practice admission exam.  Resultantly, they have been given statutory and common law powers to prepare and attest certain specialized legal documents, administer oaths and perform other wide-ranging administrative functions of a national and international nature.

What do Notaries do?

In terms of the Deeds Registries Act, certain documents are required to be drawn up and attested to by a notary, for example, antenuptial contracts, personal and praedial servitudes, long-term leases, cession of leases and subleases, as well as cancellations and releases of long-term leases and notarial bonds (general and special).

In terms of the Sectional Titles Act, Notaries are required to draw up notarial tie agreement, servitudes, deeds to extend sectional schemes and real right of exclusive us areas.

Services provided by Schindlers Attorneys

In addition to drafting the above listed documents, our Notaries can assist you with drafting the following:

  • Power of Attorney (General and Special Power of Attorney)
  • Usufructs
  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Shipping protests
  • Long and short term lease agreements
  • Apostille certificates

Below, we elaborate on certain specific services which our Notaries can assist you with:

  1. Authentication of South African Documents for use abroad

Documents executed in one country and intended for use in another country must be authenticated/legalised in order to be recognised as valid in the foreign country.

Our Notaries will assist you to authenticate documents and guide you in relation to the correct process to follow, whether by means of The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents or by the so-called common law legalisation process through the relevant diplomatic channels.

  1. Authentication of documents outside South Africa for use in South Africa

In the event that you intend to sign and execute documents abroad which will be used in South Africa, the document will also require authentication. This may include powers of attorney or other legal documents which are required for litigation and court proceedings in South Africa.

It is important to note that foreign countries may have specific rules relating to authentication which may differ from South Africa. In light thereof, when you intend to execute a document either in South Africa for the use in a foreign country or vice versa, it is important that you contact a person in the relevant country and verify what is required for the authentication of the document at hand.

  1. Antenuptial Contracts

An antenuptial contract (“ANC”) is concluded between two parties prior to the conclusion of their marriage. In addition to excluding the community of property and profit and loss, the most notable purpose of an ANC is to include or exclude the accrual system from the marriage.

  1. Wills

A will, also referred to as a “last will and testament”, is a written document which stipulates how your property (including your possessions, money and other assets) will be distributed after your death. You, as the testator are free to leave your property to whomever you please.

In order for a will to be valid, it must have been:

          i) executed in accordance with the formalities prescribed by law; and

          ii) made freely and voluntarily.

       5.  Long-term leases

A long-term lease is a lease agreement of property –

          i) for a period of not less than 10 years; or

          ii) for the natural life of the lessee or any other person mentioned in the lease; or

          iii) which is renewable from time to time at the will of the lessee, indefinitely or for periods which, together with the first

              period, amount in all to not less than 10 years.

       6. Trusts

A trust exists when property (immovable or movable) is held by a person, known as the trustee, for the benefit of another person, the beneficiary. The trustee is obliged to hold and administer such property for the benefit of the beneficiary. The trust is governed by a trust document and in terms of the Trust Property Control Act 57 of 1988.

  1. Notarial Bonds

A lesser known form of security is the notarial bond, which functions in a similar way to mortgage bonds but is registered over the movable property of the mortgagor.

The security which forms the subject matter under the notarial bond must be movable, either in the form of corporeal or incorporeal movable property. Examples of corporeal movable property include furniture, vehicles, jewellery, artworks, Krugerrands, goods or equipment/machinery of a business, animals, stock-in-trade, including the subsequent replacements thereof.

Examples of incorporeal movable property include, unregistered long-term lease or sublease of immovable property, short term-lease or sublease of immovable property, liquor licence, water use licence, site permit, shares in a company, book debt, goodwill of a business.

As the mortgagor (i.e. debtor/borrower), you have a choice to grant either a special notarial bond over specific identifiable movable assets or a general notarial bond over all the movable assets (these two forms of bonds may be incorporated into a single bond document, if necessary, to reduce costs).

Benefits of notarial bonds

  • The mortgagee’s (i.e. creditor/lender) right to claim from the mortgagor, in terms of a special notarial bond, persists for a period of 30 years and does not prescribe within the normal 3-year period, as with an ordinary debt.
  • Notarial bonds may also include the fruits of the movable property, for example, the future offspring of an animal may be encumbered in the same bond thereby providing additional security to the mortgagee.
  • Debtors generally have easier access to movable property, as opposed to immovable property, and are likely in a better position to provide the requisite security over their movable assets.
  • Debtors are able to keep their property safe, by virtue of the property remaining within their possession, whilst simultaneously repaying their debt.
  • Credit providers and lenders in South Africa are encouraged take security in the form of a special or general notarial bond over movables because it creates real rights in security similar to a mortgage bond over immovable property.

It is important to note that the information provided herein is brief and general in nature and comprises a summary of the services Notaries may render. In order to ensure that you receive the correct and most comprehensive advice about your personal, business, or financial circumstances, please consult with a Notary Public.