Newsletters 2015


BEWARE PRESCRIPTION: THE TALE OF THE “WATERTIGHT CASE” THAT DIED A SAD AND SUDDEN DEATH

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January 2015


“Sad is the day when a party with a watertight case comes to court and he is stopped in his tracks by a sudden death due to a fatal blow from a watertight defence of prescription. The present matter is a classic case of this nature” (extract from judgment below)

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BUREAUCRATS
AND BRICK WALLS – FIGHT BACK!

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February 2015


"Bureaucracies are inherently antidemocratic. Bureaucrats derive their power from their position in the structure, not from their relations with the people they are supposed to serve" (Alan Keyes, American politician)

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“WHEN
THE EMAIL IS DEADLIER THAN THE MAIL”

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March 2015

"The email of the species is deadlier than the mail." (Stephen Fry)

Last month we discussed the need for a “non-variation” clause in every agreement you sign, and the dangers of not having one. 

This month we turn to the related danger of inadvertently concluding, amending and/or cancelling agreements by email or other electronic (“data”) messaging.

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THE NEW TRANSFER DUTY RATES: WILL YOU PAY LESS, OR MORE?

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April 2015


In a nutshell, the transfer duty tax breaks announced in Budget 2015 will reduce costs for most middle-income households but will increase costs of property transactions above about R2,65m (with maximum savings at about the R2m to R2,3m level).

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YOUR
HOUSE IN A FAMILY TRUST – WHAT HAPPENS TO IT ON DIVORCE?

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May 2015


What happens if your home is registered in the name of a trust and you get divorced?  Do you get a share of the house’s value?


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LANDLORDS: CAN YOU SWITCH OFF YOUR DEFAULTING TENANT’S LIGHTS?

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June 2015

Your tenant isn’t paying rent and refuses to move out – can you turn the electricity off?

First - commercial or residential?

The judgment discussed in this article relates to a commercial occupier and as is noted below, residential occupiers enjoy additional protections to commercial occupants. There will no doubt be much debate in legal circles as to what extent this new decision might or might not assist landlords of residential premises. As always, take advice upfront!

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SELLING YOUR HOUSE?  CHOOSE YOUR OWN CONVEYANCER

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July 2015

For most people, your house is your most important asset.  So when you sell it (or any other property for that matter), it is absolutely critical to entrust the process to a conveyancer you can trust to act with both speed and integrity.

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BOUNDARY WARS: WHAT TO DO WITH AN ENCROACHING NEIGHBOUR

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August 2015

You find out that the fence/wall/house your neighbour is building, or has built, is actually on your land – what can you do about it?

No problem of course if you are happy to sell the land in question to your neighbour at an agreed price, or if your neighbour voluntarily removes the encroachment.  But if instead you come to blows and end up in court, what will the outcome be?

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WRITE YOUR WILL TODAY!  FOUR GOOD REASONS TO DO IT NOW

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September 2015

“We used to terrorize our babysitters when I was little, except for my grandfather because he used to read to us from his will” (comic Janine Ditullio)

Whether you are young or old, healthy or ailing, wealthy or not-so-wealthy, married or single – you must have a will.

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PROPERTY OWNERS: MANAGE YOUR RISK OF BEING SUED

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October 2015

What happens if someone is injured or killed, or suffers some other form of loss on your property?  Three recent court cases highlight your risk of liability for any potential dangers that you don’t take reasonable steps to avoid.

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"DEMOLISH OR GO TO JAIL":  DEVELOPER IN THE DOGHOUSE                        

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November 2015

"...a lenient approach...would also lead to an open invitation to members of the public to follow the course adopted by the [developer] and to continue with the construction of buildings and structures in circumstances where the authority therefor has not been obtained from the relevant municipality" (From judgment below)

30 days – that’s how long a property developer will spend in the local lock-up unless he demolishes illegal building works.

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YOUR HOLIDAY SEASON GUIDE TO HOME BUYING AND SELLING

“Buy land – they’ve stopped making it” (Mark Twain)

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December 2015

Selling or buying a house can seem like a complicated and confusing process but help is at hand! Have a look at this simple overview: "Buying or Selling a House – What You Need to Know" from the Law Society of South Africa on its website at http://www.lssa.org.za/legal-practitioners/resources-for-attorneys/misc/public-information-brochures/misc/buying-and-selling-a-house.

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