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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.

This situation has all now changed since the commencement date of the CPA; and both consumers and service providers must now comply with the provisions of the CPA; when cancelling, renewing or renegotiating the terms of such contracts.

Prior to April 2011; both parties were pretty much bound by the terms of the specific agreement and this was very much weighted in favour of the supplier or landlord.

The solution now is to be found in the CPA, Chapter 2, Fundamental Consumer Rights, Part C: Consumer’s Right to Choose: Section 14 deals with the Expiry and Renewal of Fixed- Term Agreements; which is the heading to Section 14; which has 4 sub-sections.

You need to follow a formal set legal procedure properly and correctly in order to terminate an existing fixed term contract or lease.

You need to be a natural person in order to do so ie the lease must be an ordinary human being and cannot be a legal persona or company, trust or close corporation; as section 14 specifically does not apply to juristic persons.

When we are instructed to assist someone with this legal process we always ask for the landlords current contact details or those of the agent and also for a copy of the signed lease and an email instruction.

Usually this process takes us a few days and must be done properly, professionally and expeditiously in order to result in a legal and valid termination and cancellation of the lease agreement or fixed terms contract.

Once again our advice to all of you is to get professional legal assistance in dealing with this process.

In all these situations; you will need professional legal help and the first step will be an intervention and a letter of early termination.

There may also be certain legal consequences if you do not follow the process accurately and you will need professional help to negotiate your way through these possible ramifications; so again get a professional to assist you in this regard.

If you want to cancel a lease or fixed term contract early; contact us at The Legal Advice Office; at www.legaladviceoffice.co.za or send an email 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.

You can also phone us on 082-0932304 and then speak personally to our senior legal consultant.

Should you wish to comment on this or any other legal topic; just send us an e-mail; and we will respond within 48 hours; as stated above.

Thank you.

The Legal Advice Office Team.

Property Law South Africa

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Legal Advice Office

South Africa

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

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