Property Registration

The conveyancer prepares the deed of sale and the transfer cost statement

Agency: Conveyancer

The conveyancer needs to obtain the title deed and the Memorandum, Articles of Association of the company, Board Resolution and Form J from the seller. The title deed is held by the bank for security reasons if there is a debt due to the bank. The title deed is needed as proof of ownership and to get a property description to be included in the deed of sale. The conveyancer prepares the deed of sale and transfer cost statement. In Eswatini, it is legally mandatory for the conveyancer to conduct the property transfer process. The transfer cost statement is a document where all the fees and cost for transferring the property are listed. It includes the fees by the registry, the municipality, the accountant general and the conveyancer. The deed of sale is a resolution by both parties (sale and purchase agreement). The seller and the buyer state that they allow the transaction to occur.

Time and cost: 1 day, SZL 9,622.03 (Conveyancer fees according to fee schedule: RAND 2,028 for the first RAND 200,000 of property value and 0.3% for excees value over RAND 200,000)

The conveyancer conducts a deeds search

Agency: Registrar of Deeds

The conveyancer conducts a deed search at the Registrar of Deeds to check ownership information and that there no interdicts or encumbrances on the property that may impede the transfer, which is part of the preparation of the deed of sale. They ensure that all conditions of the property are properly reflected in the transfer deed. They ask for a deed copy when they do the search, and which would have been revised to reflect the mortgage.

Time and cost: 1 day, no charge

Obtain rates clearance certificate and certificate of payment of dues from the town council

Agency: Town Council

This Procedure is related to the municipal land rate that the new owner will have to pay annually on the property (property tax). Before transferring the land, the buyer needs to have cleared all the property related taxes with the Municipality. Without this certificate, the property cannot be registered.

Time and cost: 1 day, SZL 37

Obtain tax clearance from the tax authority

Agency: Eswatini Revenue Authority

The tax clearance is obtained from the Income Tax Department requested by the owner of the property or their agent.

Time and cost: 1 day, no charge

Pay the transfer duty

Agency: Treasury Department

The transfer duty must be paid within 6 months of signing the deed of sale. Failure to affect a sale within 6 months will lead to penalties being paid invariably by the purchaser. The transfer duty is paid to the treasury department and the parties must fill in a form. The treasury department then sends them a receipt. It takes 1 – 3 days.

Time and cost: 2 days, SZL 161,880.67 (2% of property price for the first 40,000 rand + 4% for the next 20,000 rand + 6% to remainder above 60,000)

Obtain land board exemption certificates

Agency: Land Board Control

The 1973 Land Speculation Control Act and the 2005 Constitution restrict the transfer of property to non-Swazi citizens. The constitution barred the ownership by foreigner for any purposes other than investments. A board was created in front of which one must prove the Swazi citizenship by providing an affidavit that you are a Swazi citizen. It applies to both Swazi citizens and foreigners. After the hearing at the Board, it takes about a week until the certificate is issued. There is a cost for the application for foreigners, but not for Swazi citizens. Citizens are requested to attach a copy of their national identity card. Their conveyancers deposit an exemption certificate for the Land Control Secretary’s signature. Only non-citizens appear before this board.

Time and cost: 5 days, no charge

The conveyancer prepares the deed of transfer

Agency: Conveyancer

The conveyancer prepares a power of attorney to act on behalf of the companies. The conveyancer is responsible for ensuring that all supporting documents for the transfer are in place. The conveyancer is also responsible for ensuring that the purchase price is secured before the transfer is completed. The deed of transfer and the original deed are submitted together with supporting documents between 9 a.m. and 12 a.m. at the deeds’ office.

Time and cost: 1 day, included in Procedure 1

The deed of transfer is submitted to the registrar of deeds

Agency: Registrar of Deeds

The registration fee and the stamp duty are paid to the registrar of deeds. The deed of transfer and other documents (land board exemption certificate, transfer duty receipt, the two tax clearances) are submitted to the registrar of deeds. In case the buyer (seller) is a company, the company resolution to buy (sell) must be presented at the registrar. An attorney normally drafts the company resolution. The registrar checks the deed several times (within one submission) and suggests necessary corrections. It takes one day for the conveyancer to make the corrections. Once the deed of transfer is submitted, the signing of the document is made within 2 days.

Time and cost: 2 days, SZL 28,805; (Stamp duty + registration levy (E 20) + registration fee (E15)

The Stamp duty

  • If property valued at E300, 000 or less, E95 per every E10, 000 in the purchase price;
  • If property valued at between E300, 001 and E1, 000,000, E100 per every E10, 000 in the purchase price;
  • If property valued at E1, 000,001 or above, E105 per every E10, 000 in the purchase price.)

Sign the deed of transfer at the registrar of deeds

Agency: Registrar of Deeds

The deed of transfer is signed in front of the registrar. Commonly the conveyancer uses a power of attorney to sign for the seller. The power of attorney is prepared at the time of the deed of transfer. The conveyancer needs to endorse a guarantee which is usually issued with the instructions to register a mortgage bond in favour of the bank. This endorsement happens once the transfer and bond documents are executed before the registrar of deeds. The bank wants a mortgage bond assigned to the property at the same time. (It does not apply to our case study assumption because there will be no bank loans).

At the time of the signing, the buyer gets a “for information only” copy to obtain loans on the property. This copy is accepted by banks. The final title deed must be collected by the conveyancer to sign for it. The conveyancer will then give the title deed to the buyer, who will usually deposit it at the bank for security purposes.

Sales tax on property sales must be paid if the transfer is between companies.

Time and cost: 7 days, included in Procedure 1