Proposed legislative reforms impacting on the property industry
The following bills were recently published for comment and impact on the property industry:
Proposed Regulation of Farm Sales
The Regulation of Agricultural Land Holdings Bill once enacted will apply in respect of all agricultural land as defined in the Bill, and to all transactions whereby agricultural land is acquired or disposed of.
Any such agreement entered into after the commencement of the Bill will be void in so far as it excludes, or limits, any provision of the Bill. Any acquisition of land which is inconsistent with or contrary to the Bill will be unlawful and may be forfeited to the State.
Some of the requirements in terms of this proposed legislation are:
- No foreigner (including a juristic person in which a natural foreign person or a foreign juristic person holds a controlling interest) may buy agricultural land;
- A foreigner may however enter into a long lease of such land for a period of not less than 30 years and not more than 50 years;
- If a foreigner sells agricultural land the land must first be offered to the Minister who has a right of first refusal.
The proposed legislation also has implications for resident owners of agricultural land. Within 12 months from the commencement of the Bill a resident owner of private agricultural land is required to:
- Notify the Commission of his or her ownership, details about the owner’s gender, race and the size and use of the land; and
- Identify the portion of such land that constitutes redistribution agricultural land in terms of the Bill and notify the Commission thereof.
A failure to provide the required notification will be an offence.
Electronic Deeds Registration Systems Bill
A fully electronic deeds registration process is proposed to decentralise the current processes and to consolidate the diverse procedures that are currently in place at the different deeds registries.
Property Practitioners Bill
The replacement of the current legislation that regulates estate agents is proposed.
Home Loan and Mortgage Disclosure Amendment Bill
Proposals in this Bill include the extension of the powers of the Office of Disclosures to investigate complaints by the public relating to home loans.
The above Bills can be accessed at www.gov.co.za.
At Goldberg & de Villiers Inc, our Property Law Department - namely Adri Ludorf, Tracey Watson-Gill and Nicolas Mitchell, assisted by Bardine Hall, will gladly assist you with any of your Property Law related needs.
For more information visit www.goldbergdevilliers.co.za today!
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