Getting the keys to your new home

The contract is signed and sealed and you are making plans for the big move to your new home – but when does it actually become yours?

This question confuses many buyers, probably because the date of occupation does not always coincide with the date of possession, says Martin Schultheiss, CEO of the giant Homenet estate agency group.

“Your new home actually becomes your property on the day that the transfer is registered at the Deeds Office. “But, in many cases, buyers are given the right of occupation once their bank has supplied a ‘guarantee’ to the transferring attorney that the purchase price will be paid.

“This is often a practical solution for both buyer and seller, enabling them to make more exact arrangements for their respective relocations.”

In most such instances, the buyer will be obliged to pay occupational rent to the seller until the date of transfer. But the situation may be reversed if transfer goes through before the seller can vacate the home, in which case the seller will usually have to pay occupational rent to the buyer until he can move.

“Whatever the case,” says Schultheiss, “a lot of misunderstanding and acrimony can be avoided if the date of occupation and the amount of occupational rent payable are clearly written into the sales agreement.

“It is also a sound idea to stipulate that all the seller’s belongings are to be removed from the property by the agreed occupation date. It is also inadvisable for the buyer to store goods on the premises before this date, because issues such as liability, damages and insurance can really complicate an already stressful time.”

Article by: