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Property Ownership and Minors

Minors involved with Property transactions

MINORS
  • ·        When a minor is selling the property, both guardians must assist in signing the Offer to Purchase and transfer documents.
  • ·        When a minor is buying cash, only one guardian needs to sign the Offer to
  • ·        Purchase and transfer documents but when a bond is taken up, both guardians must sign the bond documents.
  • ·        The Master of the High Court must consent to the alienation of a minor’s property less than R100 000.00 and if more, the High Court must consent.
  • ·        Majority status is attained at 18.


   Advantages
  • There is no legal impediment to registering property in the name of a minor. 
  • Minors under the age of 7 have no contractual capacity
  • Minors aged 7 to 18 years can sign the contract with their parents  assistance or alternatively the parents can sign the contract on behalf of the minor.
   
Disadvantages

  • The parents  financial position and the purpose for which the property is being purchased.
  • Once property has been registered in the name of a minor it may not be sold  or mortgaged (bonded) without the:
  • Authorisation of the Master of the High Court  (value of the property not  exceed R100 000)
  • High Court itself (where the value exceeds R100 000.).
  • If bond is needed  - authorisation of either Master or the High Court is required.
  • If property purchased for cash in the minor's name and the parents at a later date wish to register a bond the Master  or the High Court must authorise the registration of the bond. Authorisation  will only be granted if the mortgage is necessary for the preservation or improvement of the property or for the maintenance, education or other benefit of the minor.
  • Similarly if one wishes to sell property belonging to a minor the Master or the High Court will only authorise the sale if they are satisfied that the sale will be to the advantage of and in the interests of the minor.
  • To obtain the necessary authorisation formal application must be submitted to the Master or the High Court. These applications, particularly the application to the High Court, are costly. The Master or the High Court will not grant authorisation unless it is proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the sale or mortgage of the property is in the interests of the minor.