Property Law

  • Land e1487938207370

    Expropriation without Compensation: Part 2:

    We continue where we left off last week with a continuation of the interpretation of section 25 of the Constitution.

    Section 25 subsection 4 reads:

    “For the purposes of this subsection:-

    • (a) The public interest includes the nation’s commitment to land reform and to reforms to bring about equitable access to all South Africa’s natural resources; and
    • (b) Property is not limited to land.”
  •  dish moving 900 x 500

    A fixture is a moveable item that becomes a part of the immovable property by virtue of attachment.

    Yesterday; we had an inquiry from someone who wanted to know the answer to the above question.

    Can he?

  •  e sign morgage

    An electronic agreement for the purchase of a house is not currently valid in our law.

    We get many varied emails and queries from people all over the country on a daily basis.

    Some are straightforward; others really interesting.

    At The Legal Advice Office; we received the following query last week

     “I am in the process of purchasing a house in Pretoria, but live in Bloemfontein.

    I recently bought my motor vehicle by merely signing certain online documentation electronically, and it was so quick and easy to complete. I asked the estate agent in Pretoria who is acting for the seller if I can use the same technology to purchase the house, but she said that the contract won’t be valid if I sign it electronically. Is this true? Please, could you advise me?”

  • municipal debt 600x

    “No,” you cannot be held liable for payment of the property rates.

    Herewith the real question: Can a seller be held to ransom after selling his/her property and applying for a rates clearance certificate for future municipal debts which may occur to the property involved?

    Recently; we received the following query from a seller who had sold her house in Johannesburg. 

    “I have just sold my house and the conveyancers applied for a rates clearance certificate as it is required in the transfer process. The municipality has now requested me to pay the estimated rates until the end of their financial year, which will be months after my house has been transferred to the new owner; and they will not issue the rates clearance until I pay them the sum they want.

    How can I be held to ransom for these future rates just because I need a rates clearance certificate now?”

  •  gas compliance certificate

    Both sellers and Estate Agents should be made aware of this legal requirement.

    Last week we received this inquiry.

     “I am in the process of selling my house. I have a permanent gas oven in the house and the transferring attorney is now telling me that I need to get a gas compliance certificate for my gas oven. Is this necessary, and should the buyer not be responsible for this and the cost involved in getting one?”

  • The Consumer Protection Act No 68 of 2008 (CPA): The Expiry and Renewal of fixed-term contracts/agreements, especially Leases. Section 14 (2) continued.

    As stated in our previous blog; at The Legal Advice Office we get numerous enquiries from clients and consumers seeking our help in terminating lease agreements because of one reason or another.

    The CPA deals with the above subject and in our last blog we looked at section 14(1).

  • What grounds do I need to cancel a sale?

    What process must I follow?

  • In our last blog, we looked at a case study of the possible problems that can arise when buying a house.
    Let us look at the transfer process.

    The transfer process can be described in a step by step conveyancing process.

  • Fixed term contracts, in certain circumstances, can now be lawfully terminated in terms of the Consumer Protection Act No 68 of 2008 (CPA.)

    Prior to this Act; which came into effect on the 1st April 2011; the law of contract and the common law dealt exclusively with the issue of when, where and how fixed term agreements, including leases, expired or were renewed.

  • The ownership of our own home is a dream which all of us have; but not all of us will realise; and when the opportunity to own your own home knocks; do your homework! Get advice and in that way you will not make any mistakes.
    A recent unreported case of Hlabane and Another versus Sebotsa and Others is a lesson to be learned.

  • land expropriator

    What is expropriation? Part 1:

    The definition of the verb “expropriate” is usually couched as follows: “To take possession of (property), especially for public use, thus divesting the title of the private owner eg the government expropriated the owners land for a road, electricity pylons or for a public recreational area. In plain words, it means “to take something from one person’s possession for another one’s use and benefit.”

  • Legal advice and legal services related to all aspects of property law especially those related to offers to purchase/deeds of sale in respect of houses and immovable property, transfers, bonds etc.

    ------------------------------------      email legal advice     ------------------------------------

  • Divorce: Proprietary and Pension Fund Benefits:

    In our last blog, we looked at proprietary rights on divorce.

    Today we look specifically at pension benefits at divorce.

    To start with here is a quote from the actress Zsa Zsa Gabor: “I have learned that not diamonds; but divorce lawyers are a girl’s best friend.”

  • 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.

  •  landgrabbing

    What is Land Reform?

    A few weeks ago in March 2018; we did two blogs on the topic of Expropriation without Compensation. What is the background to this issue?”  In those first two blogs, we concentrated on our interpretation of section 25 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.

    Today we received this inquiry: “Could you please explain to me the background to the concept of Expropriation without compensation so that I can better understand the subject?”

    This blog, therefore, explains what expropriation is in terms of South African Law, with reference to the current political environment and a focus on the present dispensation’s renewed vigour to speed up and enhance land redistribution and amend the Constitution to permit expropriation without compensation.

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Legal Advice Office

South Africa

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Phone: +27 (028) 316 2832
Email: info@legaladviceoffice.co.za