Newsletters 2017

Starting a Business in 2017: The Private Company Option


January 2017

"My best entrepreneurial advice is to start" (Dave Morin, entrepreneur, angel investor, CEO and co-founder of social network Path)

In our last article in the series “Choosing the right legal entity for your business” we looked at the partnership option.  Let’s move on to the private company option, where your business is owned and operated, not by you as an individual or by a group of individuals, but by a “(Pty) Ltd”.


Barking Dogs Driving You Batty? Noisy Neighbours and the Interdict Option


February 2017

“Nuisance usually involves repeated infringement of the Plaintiff's property rights. An objective weighing up of the interests of the various parties, taking into account all the relevant circumstances is required in these matters” (from judgment below)

If the dog-next-door’s incessant barking is destroying your quality of life, read on.  A recent High Court case illustrates our law’s approach to protecting you from noisy neighbours generally.


Property: Do You Have Automatic Rights to Views and Privacy?


April 2017

“Diligence is the mother of good fortune” (Miguel de Cervantes)

Another warning to do your homework before you buy or develop property comes from a recent High Court decision to set aside a municipality’s approval of building plans.


Collecting Arrear Levies: A New Risk for Your Body Corporate


May 2017

"...the difficulty experienced by bodies corporate in collecting arrear levies is not a novel one. It is part of a 'socio-economic problem'" (extract from judgment below)

Levy collections are the life blood of sectional title schemes, and collecting them is likely to get harder with the economic fallout from our downgrade to junk status.


What is an Occupancy Certificate? Why Do You Need It?


June 2017

"Cheops' Law: Nothing ever gets built on schedule or within budget" (Robert A. Heinlein)

Hopefully you won’t have to wait 20 years for your new dream home to be built - that's how long Cheops (ancient Egyptian pharaoh) had to hang around twiddling his thumbs whilst his Great Pyramid of Giza was going up - but you will no doubt be keen to move in as soon as you can.

But before you do so you must obtain a "Certificate of Occupancy" from your local municipality. This applies whether you are moving in yourself or putting in a tenant. It also applies both to building from scratch and to carrying out any "alteration, conversion, extension, rebuilding, re-erection, subdivision of or addition to, or repair of any part of the structural system of, any building".


Your Property Sale Agreement: Be Careful How It's Worded!


July 2017

"In war and litigation, both sides suffer" (old Roman proverb)

Here's yet another reminder from our courts on how important it is – if you want to avoid the trials of litigation - for you to have your property sale agreement drawn up professionally.  One thing it must do, as the case in question clearly shows, is record the terms of your agreement precisely and without any room for argument.


Verbal Agreements – The Property Perspective


August 2017

"A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's written on" (Samuel Goldwyn)

A recent High Court judgment is yet another reminder of how essential it is to comply with all necessary formalities when entering into any sort of agreement, particularly when dealing with the sale of property.


7 Myths about Making a Will


September 2017

"Let's choose executors and talk of wills" (Shakespeare)

If you haven't made your will yet, get it done now.  Why is that so important and how should you go about it?

To answer that let's debunk a few of the more pervasive myths and misconceptions around those questions 

How the "Historical Rates" Judgment Affects You

October 2017

"It is declared that, upon transfer of a property, a new owner is not liable for debts arising before transfer from the charge upon the property..." (Constitutional Court Order)

How does the recent Constitutional Court decision on "historical rates" affect you in practice?
Closing Down the Guesthouse Next Door: Notes for Owners and Neighbours
November 2017

Are you planning to open a guesthouse?  Or perhaps you live next door to an existing guesthouse and for some reason want to have it shut down?

Either way, you need to know what your rights are, and what you will have to prove if you end up in a court battle.  By way of illustration we discuss an attempt by residents of a quiet suburb to shut down a guesthouse amidst allegations of noise, wild parties and nuisance guests.

It's Wedding Season! Here's Why You Need an ANC (Whether You Marry Here or Overseas)

December 2017

Wedding Season is in full swing, and it is essential that you start off on the right foot by sorting out all the legalities beforehand.  

Upfront legal advice and assistance is essential here. We’ll look by way of example at the “international wedding” scenario - at which country’s “marital regime” will apply to you