Removal of Title Deed Restrictions on Immovable Property
Immovable property in the form of land is normally held legally by means of a title deed. This is a legal document which is registered at the Deeds Office and describes the particulars of specific property, such as its extent (size), ownership and the rights and restrictions pertaining to it. When property is sold and transferred to a new owner, a Deed of Transfer is drawn up to describe such transfer of the property to its subsequent owner.
Many title deeds also contain detailed conditions that set out and regulate the way and extent to which a property may be used or developed by its owner, as well as restrictions in this regard. In addition to describing the rights, privileges and obligations in respect of owing a property, the purpose of such title deed conditions and restrictions are to protect the local amenity and character of the area for the benefit of surrounding property owners and the general public at large.
Such title deed restrictions and conditions may regulate various matters and are usually imposed when the property is created through subdivision or a township establishment process. In other words, either by an owner subdividing a piece of land or by the local authority. Amongst others, they may include:
- The purpose for which a property may be used;
- The extent, height or bulk of buildings that may be erected on it;
- The applicable building lines;
- The appearance of structure that may be erected (e.g. building material colours etc.);
- The provision of public service infrastructure to and across the premises (e.g. pipelines);
- Restrictions with respect to individual rights in the premises (e.g. a right of way or servitude);
- Conditions regarding the disposal or sale of the property (e.g. notarial tie).
Often, especially when a new use (subdivision) or development is proposed, title deed conditions may restrict or even prevent a development from being implemented. In this instance the owner can apply to have the restrictions amended, suspended or even removed entirely from the title deed.
In order to attend to the amendment, suspension or removal of title deed restrictions, we are able to assist by approaching the High Court on an owner’s behalf, in order to obtain a court order for the expungement (removal) of restrictive title deed conditions. This will allow the owner full and unfettered use and entitlement to a property, to do with as he/she pleases.