Home Buyer loses R5.5m in Phishing Scam – Don’t Make the Same Mistake!

“[The buyer] must in the circumstances take responsibility for her failure to protect herself against a known risk” (extract from judgment below) Cybercriminals absolutely love targeting property transactions because they provide the perfect mix of large money deposits, heavy reliance on email communication from trusted parties like attorneys, banks and estate agencies, and deadlines creating […]

Why an Oral Estate Agency Mandate Isn’t Worth the Paper It’s Written On

“A verbal contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on” (Samuel Goldwyn) Perhaps you are a seller marketing your property through an estate agency, or a buyer asking an agent to find you one, or a landlord employing an agent to let out your property. Whatever the transaction involved, make sure that the agency mandate […]

Contracting with Trusts – Is a Majority Resolution Valid?

“Externally, trustees cannot disagree. In the external sphere the Trust functions by virtue of its resolutions, which have to be supported by the full complement of the Trust body.” (Extract from judgment below) A recent Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) judgment provides yet another reminder to tread carefully when contracting with trusts. Your agreements with […]

Rising Damp and Failed Waterproofing: How to Sue the Sellers

“[w]here a seller recklessly tells a half-truth or knows the facts but does not reveal them because he or she has not bothered to consider their significance, this may also amount to fraud” … “a willful abstention from establishing the true facts does not constitute a lack of knowledge” (Extracts from the judgment below) Consider […]

Property: Why Do You Need an Occupancy Certificate Before You Buy?

“…there is no obligation on the [seller] to obtain an occupancy certificate and to furnish it to the [buyers]” (Extract from judgment below) Imagine this – you buy your dream home, pay for it, take transfer into your name, and move in. But then disaster strikes. The Municipality tells you no occupancy certificate was ever […]

Why Buyers Should Ask for Building Plans (and Why Sellers Should Supply Them)

“No person shall without the prior approval in writing of the local authority in question, erect any building in respect of which plans and specifications are to be drawn and submitted in terms of this Act.” (National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act) Here’s a nightmare scenario for a buyer – you move into your […]

Can You Use Land Use Laws to Close Down a Neighbour’s Business?

“A bad neighbour is as great a calamity as a good one is a great advantage”. (Hesiod, poet of Ancient Greece) Your neighbour’s business is driving you to distraction. Perhaps it’s loud all-night music, or an invasion of your hard-earned privacy, or illegal parking in your driveway, but regardless of what the nuisance factor is, […]

Festive Season Sellers: Start Getting Your Compliance Certificates Ready

“If you don’t like where you are, move. You are not a tree” (Jim Rohn) It’s that time of year again – summer sunshine, happy holidaymakers in festive mode, and an upsurge in property sales. Whether seller or buyer, be aware of the various compliance certificates that may be required for your transfer to go […]