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Legal Advice Office in South Africa

The Legal Advice Office in South Africa

The Legal Advice Office offers affordable Legal Advice as well as Legal and Paralegal Services throughout South Africa.

Our legal advice and services are based on 40 years of experience in the professional legal field.  As a purely internet based legal consultancy business, we pride ourselves in personal, professional and efficient service at affordable rates and undertake to revert to our clients within 48 hours of their query being received by us.

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

Today we look specifically at pension benefits at divorce.

One needs to be very careful about how retirement benefits are divided between spouses at the time of a divorce. Many people including their own attorneys get it wrong and leave non-member spouses, in particular, financially vulnerable as a result. And some of those getting it wrong are the so-called experts including divorce lawyers and retirement fund trustees and advisors.

It is a sad fact of life that many of our marriages end up in a divorce; and as the statistics imply that up to two-thirds of all marriages, depending on where you live and into what social bracket you fall, end in a divorce; it is advisable to know your rights.

A divorce order should cover the dissolution of the marriage, custody, guardianship and care of children, maintenance for the spouse (if applicable) and the division of/or be awarding of assets and liabilities acquired before, during and at the end of the marriage relationship.

We get asked both telephonically and by e-mail a number of questions on Labour Law which come up time and time again and so we thought we would just answer certain of these questions in this short blog so that the answers are there for all to see.

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.

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.

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.

If you have been injured in an accident; whether it is a motor vehicle accident or some other type of accident; you may well have a civil claim for damages.

This claim could be against the driver of the other vehicle or his/her third party insurer, in the case of a motor car accident.

In other circumstances; you could have a claim for injuries sustained by you against the person who caused those injuries through their negligent or intentional actions.

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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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