Newsletters 2016



STARTING A BUSINESS IN 2016?  3 STEPS TO GET YOU GOING


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January 2016


“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity" (Albert Einstein)

 It seems as though 2016 has a rough ride in store for us but as the wise old saying has it: “Fortune favours the brave”.  Just remember to mix a good dose of realism in with the bravery.

 That said, if you’ve been sitting on a brilliant business idea, and if you’ve ever dreamt of leaving your 9 to 5 job and starting up on your own, this could well be your year!

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RATES UP AFTER A PROPERTY REVALUATION? OBJECT, BUT DO IT PROPERLY!

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April 2016

“The mere lodging of an objection, however ill-founded, does not trigger an obligation to furnish detailed reasons for the underlying decision relating to the valuation of the property”

Your local municipality is entitled to revalue your property (with reference to recent sales of similar properties in your area) at regular intervals. 

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PROPERTY AND TRUSTS - BE CAREFUL!

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May 2016

“This case yet again demonstrates the need to be careful when dealing with a trust”

For most of us, business dealings with trusts are most likely to happen when selling a property to, or buying a property from, a trust.  But no matter why or how it happens, have your lawyer check that whoever signs for the trust is fully authorised to do so.

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Property Agreements – An Alteration Could Sink Your Sale!



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June 2016

“Agreement makes law” (Old legal maxim)

Although in our law most verbal contracts are binding, property sale agreements are an exception.   They must be in writing and signed by the parties to be valid, the reason being that it greatly reduces the risk of confusion or dispute as to what the buyer and seller have actually agreed.

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Neighbours Behaving Badly: Nip Illegal Building In The Bud!

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July 2016

Bad neighbours don’t just impinge on your enjoyment of your property; they can also cause serious harm to its value.  So if you notice illegal building activity next door, move quickly to nip the problem in the bud.  
 
Your hand in this regard has just been strengthened.  An important new decision by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) confirms that you aren’t limited to trying to compel the municipality to enforce its own building and zoning laws – you can apply for demolition directly.

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Meter Wars: A Consumer Strikes Back

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August 2016


   
“You can’t fight city hall” (old idiom decrying the futility of trying to fight a bureaucracy)



You challenge the accuracy of a services account from your local municipality, thus:  “Your meter must be wrong, no way was my consumption that high”.  The reply:  “We’ve tested the meter and it works fine. Pay up or face disconnection”.

Off to court you go.  Can you “fight city hall” and who has to prove what?

There’s good news here for consumers in a recent High Court decision dealing with just such a situation.


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Your Will And A Practical Plan For Your Loved Ones



September 2016

Whether you are young or old, healthy or ill, single or attached, you should have a Will.  Without one, you die “intestate”, which means you forfeit your right to decide who inherits what, who administers and distributes your estate, and who looks after your children and their money.  You owe it to your loved ones to spare them the inevitable financial and personal risks.

So if you don’t yet have a Will get one drawn up immediately.  

Here’s a practical guide to making sure that it will protect and provide for your loved ones properly.

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Lost Views and Rising Damp - Lessons for Home Buyers

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October 2016

"Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself." (Eleanor Roosevelt)

Here's the story of yet another bitter dispute between neighbours over the loss of a treasured view. The setting this time is a group housing development which was specifically designed to give each and every house views of both the sea-shore and of Table Mountain.

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Bad Tenants: Can You Lock Them Out?
"I'll answer him by law" (Shakespeare)

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November 2016

It's very tempting, when you have a bad tenant who doesn't pay his/her rentals or otherwise remains consistently and unapologetically in breach of the lease, to slap the biggest and strongest padlock you can find onto the front door/driveway gate.

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Buy That House! You’re off the Hook for the Seller’s Municipal Debts

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December 2016

“Why should a municipality be entitled to visit the sins of a predecessor in title upon innocent third parties when there is no relationship or connection between that party and the debts in question?” (Extract from judgment below)

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