Can you appoint your own conveyancer?

2017-01-25 06:02

THE appointment of a conveyancer is a contractual matter to be negotiated between the purchaser and the seller like any other aspect of the sale agreement.

The seller is at liberty to stipulate that the appointment of a particular conveyancer is a non-negotiable term, in which event the purchaser will either have to abide by this term or alternatively will have to purchase a different property.

Likewise, a purchaser would be entitled to impose a similar term and, if the seller were not in agreement, then the seller will simply have to find another purchaser – or, if the seller is desperate for the sale to proceed, will have back down.

There is a common misconception that in KwaZulu-Natal that the purchaser has a “right” to appoint the conveyancer. This view is based on a misinterpretation of a Supreme Court case going back to 1920. The Court held that if the agreement was silent on the choice of conveyancer, and if the parties had not expressly or impliedly indicated their desire to appoint a particular conveyancer, then in that event, and in only that event, the purchaser, in KwaZulu-Natal, is entitled to nominate the conveyancer. This does not mean that the purchaser has an inviolable right.

For more advice on this topic, contact Christie at P O Box 297 Pietermaritzburg, 3201.

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