Dear Valued Client,
We trust that you are healthy and well!
We confirm that we have re-opened our offices in line with the regulations issued in terms of Level 4 of the national Covid-19 lockdown. Our office hours are still 8:00 – 16:30 on weekdays. Visitors to the offices will only be by appointment and will be restricted in the number of attendees. All visitors are required to wear masks and to adhere to all social distancing practises and health protocols.
In order to comply with the limitations on the movement of staff members and to ensure adherence to social distancing practices, our staff will work on a rotational basis, at the office, each week. Our staff will however also remain fully equipped to work remotely from home, when not in the office. We confirm that our switchboard is fully operational, and you can accordingly contact us on our office number, alternatively, continue to contact us on our cell phone numbers, as previously provided.
Kindly note that in terms of the latest Court Directives, we are able to issue High Court processes/pleadings, such as Summonses and Applications, by way of Caselines. The sheriffs are also now permitted to serve Court processes during the level 4 lockdown period. We can accordingly start instituting new actions and launch applications and the litigation process can continue on legal matters. We however point out that no Warrants of Executions will be issued by the Court during the level 4 lock down period. We are currently awaiting guidance from the various district and regional magistrates’ courts regarding the practices they will adopt during Level 4 but in terms of the promulgated regulations, pending processes in the lower courts are also permitted to continue. It is however likely that the relevant practices will differ from one magistrates court to the next.
At this stage the relevant Deeds Registries still remain closed, whilst property professionals (such as agents) are also not yet allowed to resume work in the normal scope of their business activities from their offices. We will however continue to prepare all pending transactions and to obtain all relevant clearances in so far as we will be permitted by the current restrictions under Level 4. Although it is not “all systems go” as yet, we believe that it is important to advance the transactions as far we are able at this level to ensure the most expeditious registration times that we can achieve once the lockdown is eased even further.
The functions of the Masters’ offices have also been expanded slightly under the Level 4 regulations. We can now obtain the issue of Letters of Executorship although it is not yet clear if this applies to estates that had already been reported prior to the lockdown, or to new estates as well. The regulations also permit the scrutiny and approval of Liquidation and Distribution Accounts which will have to be submitted by email. The registration and issuing of Letters of Authority in respect of trusts is at this stage however confined to public interest or charitable trusts.
The BMV-team looks forward to being of assistance to you in due course.