Consumer Law

  • The Consumer Protection Act No 68 of 2008: (CPA): Warranty Protection: Second Hand Cars

     

    The Consumer Protection Act No 68 of 2008 (CPA) came into operation at midnight on the 31st March 2011; and has been the law since that date.

    It changed Consumer Law irrevocably and the entire intention of the Act is to protect Consumers against unfair business practices which had become rife.

  • We are all aware by now the implied statutory warranty on the quality of goods guaranteed by the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) and more particularly sections 55 & 56) of that Act.

    There is still, however, a lot of confusion about the Consumer’s Right to choose a Repair, Replacement or Refund in respect of Damaged or Defective Goods as guaranteed by these sections of the Act.

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    Because of the number of queries we receive on literally a daily basis from our clients we are once again going to look at what to do in the situation where you have bought a “lemon” from a motor vehicle dealer.

    One of the most important decisions a consumer makes during their lifetime from time to time in his or her life is the purchase of a motor vehicle.

  • Because of the number of queries we receive on a weekly basis from our clients with regard to damaged and defective vehicle that they have bought; we are once again going to look at what to do in the situation where you have bought a “lemon” from a motor vehicle dealer.

  • Perhaps somebody owes you money and will not pay it back?

    Maybe someone damaged your property; your car or other property and refuses to fix it at their cost?

    You could always sue them in a court, but that takes time and normally costs a lot of money

  • What do the Common Law and the Consumer Protection Act No 68 of 2008 (CPA) mean for tenants when the landlord sells the property?

    When a property is sold with tenants in occupation of the premises; what rights do the tenants have when it comes to staying on, cancelling the lease or indeed enforcing its terms?

    Landlords are within their rights to sell their properties at any time, even without notifying the tenant of their intention to do so; but the tenant’s rights remain in place before any of the rights of the buyer of the property. “Huur gaat voor koop” is an old Roman Dutch axiom which covers this situation. In effect this means that the tenants can remain in the property until their lease expires.

    If a property is sold by the owner; the lease terms and conditions are passed from the one landlord to another being the buyer; and they do NOT fall away. If the lease has not been cancelled, both the tenants and the new landlord buyer are both bound by its terms and conditions until the lease is either renegotiated or expires. The deposit held by the previous landlord must be transferred to the new owner and as with the previous landlord it must be held in an interest bearing account for the benefit and interest of the tenant as its remains the tenant’s money at all times. At the end of the lease it must be refunded to the tenants with interest earned on it; unless the landlord has a legal rights to retain the whole or a portion of the deposit in terms of the terms of the lease agreement.

    However if the tenants decide that they would no longer wish to stay on in the property if there is a new owner and landlord; the terms and conditions of the lease itself mat also prevent the tenants from leaving the new landlord in the lurch and cancelling the lease. They have no automatic right to do so; and the lease terms and conditions will still be binding on them. If the tenants try to cancel the lease in these circumstances; they may well find that there is a penalty for doing so.

    The above is all based in common law and the law of contract.

    Although the CPA allows tenants to give early notice of termination of a lease in certain cases by formally giving 20 business day’s notice; if the landlord is a supplier according to the CPA and lets the property in the ordinary course of business; there is still the possibility of a “reasonable penalty” which the landlord may be entitled to depending on the circumstances of each case.

    In short; if for any reason the landlord or the tenants cancel the lease once the property has been sold and taken over by the new owner; it would be best if it was done by mutual consent.

    The first course of action would be to have an open discussion and communication between the two parties and through this process hopefully reach an agreement without either party being put financially of legally at risk.

    Landlords and agents usually work on a “reasonable penalty: equivalent to the cost of finding a new tenant plus one month’s rent; but this is not the law and this is not and can never be a once size fits all scenario. The rationale behind this approach is that it takes about one month for the landlord or his agent to find a new tenant.

    Each case however should be judged on its own unique facts.

    If on the other hand the new owner landlord wishes to cancel the lease; there should be no penalty and the tenants should always be given enough time to find alternative premises.

    Once again; we must stress that it is always advisable  for both landlords and tenants to seek proper, professional legal advice and legal services when dealing with complex factual and legal issues as we reiterate once again that both the common law and the CPA and its contents can sometimes can be confusing and complicated, especially if you want its correct interpretation in the circumstances of your particular case; and it needs a trained experienced and legal mind to interpret it correctly and as accurately as possible in any given circumstances.

    Please visit  The Legal Advice Office’s website at www.legaladviceoffice.co.za or write to one of our email addresses; either This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will respond within 48 hours.

    Thank you.

    The Legal Advice Office Team.

  • Tens of thousands of motor vehicles are bought every month for both new and second-hand

    motor car dealerships and there are many complaints for the purchasers about the quality of the vehicle bought by them.

    Motor vehicles are high-value items and also at the same time a depreciating asset.

  • How does the Common Law protect you in these circumstances and

    How does the Consumer Protection Act No 68 of 2008 (CPA) protect you?

    What do you need to do and what are the guidelines in this situation?

  • When are you as a consumer entitled to a refund?  The Consumer Protection Act: No 68 of 2008 (CPA): Refunds:

    We often get asked about refunds due to consumers in terms of the CPA or the common law.

    As a result of yet another two enquiries today; which both dealt with a refund in respect of a defective and danged motor vehicle bought by a client, we believe that we need to explain this issue again today.

  • At The Legal Advice Office; we get many enquiries every single week from clients and consumers about whether, when and how they can go about returning faulty or damages goods that they have bought from a supplier.

  • In our last blog, we looked at then are entitled to a refund in respect of defective or damaged goods.

    If the item you purchased is defective or damaged you are generally speaking entitled to either a repair, as a replacement or a refund.

    The situation is however entirely different if there is nothing wrong with the item purchased from the supplier; as with an enquiry we had this morning from a lady who had purchased items online and then found that they were not exactly what she had intended to buy. There was however nothing wrong with the items themselves.

  • Consumer Protection

    The answer to this question is found in The Consumer Protection Act: No 68 of 2008(CPA): Section 55: Consumer’s rights to safe, good quality goods:

    “Quality is everyone’s responsibility” is a quote by W. Edward Deming; and should be aspired to by all of us.

    In our previous blog we looked at what you can do if you buy a defective item.

    Now we look at why it is that we enjoy that protection.

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Legal Advice Office

South Africa

Kandelaar Street, Vermont, Hermanus
Phone: +27 (028) 316 2832
Email: info@legaladviceoffice.co.za