Category Archives: Property Law

Is the tenant or landlord responsible for the water leaks?

Questions, and sometimes disputes, often arise between landlords and tenants regarding where the responsibility lies with the maintenance of a property. The simple answer is that tenants can generally only be held responsible for repairs/replacement on the property if the damage was caused by the tenant’s actions, or items that have a short life span, such as light bulbs.

On the other hand, alarm systems, auto gates and doors, locks, fixtures and fittings, appliances, or anything provided to the tenant are generally the responsibility of the owner to repair, unless damaged by the tenant.

Fair wear and tear

Damage due to fair wear and tear is the owner’s responsibility to correct. This includes situations where the property has, over time, experienced wear due to its use or age.

Examples would include:

  1. Fireplace chimneys: The landlord should maintain the fireplace e.g. having the chimney cleaned at appropriate intervals. Gardens, however, would require the tenant to do general maintenance.
  1. Blocked drains: This is usually due to tenant usage making it the tenant’s responsibility, but if blockage is due to tree roots, it would be the landlord’s responsibility.

Regarding appliances, as with any fixture or fitting, the landlord is responsible for repairs to appliances provided under the tenancy agreement unless the damage was caused by the tenant’s deliberate actions or negligence.

Tenants should report any damage on the property. If they fail to do this, they could find themselves held liable for any further damage due to lack of immediate attention to the initial problem. Furthermore, tenants are obliged to provide access for contractors to effect repairs.

Conclusion

If there is a water leak on the property, it would most likely be the landlord’s responsibility to fix. It is advisable for tenants to read and understand the lease agreement fully and for landlords to list as much as possible that needs to be maintained by the tenant. For example, if the unit has a garden that the tenant is responsible for maintaining, this should be mentioned in the lease.

Reference:

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

Kapitaalwinsbelasting en die verkoop van ‘n eiendom

A1blKapitaalwinsbelasting het in werking getree op 1 Oktober 2001. Kapitaalwinsbelasting is betaalbaar op die wins wat ‘n verkoper maak wanneer sy eiendom verkoop word.

Wat beteken Kapitaalwins?

Die bedrag waarmee die opbrengs van ‘n verkoping van ‘n bate die basiskoste oorskry, staan bekend as die kapitaalwins.

Wat is basiskoste?

Die basiskoste van ‘n bate is die bedrag wat vir die bate betaal is plus uitgawes wat aangegaan is. By die berekening van basiskoste kan die volgende koste ingesluit word:

  1. Die koste vir die verkryging van die eiendom, wat insluit die koopsom, oordragkoste, hereregte en professionele fooie van o.a. die prokureurs, die landmeter en die afslaer. 
  1. Die koste van verbeterings, veranderinge en opknapping van die eiendom waarvoor daar fakture en/of kwitansies as bewys moet wees. 
  1. Die koste van vervreemding van die eiendom, o.a. advertensiekoste, die koste verbonde aan die verkryging van ‘n waardasie vir kapitaalwinsdoeleindes en eiendomsagente-kommissie. 

Hoe word die basiskoste bereken in gevalle waar die eiendom voor 1 Oktober 2001 verkry is?

Indien die eiendom voor 1 Oktober 2001 verkry is, kan een van die volgende metodes gebruik word om die waarde van die eiendom te bereken:

  1. 20% x (opbrengs minus uitgawes aangegaan op of na 1 Oktober 2001) 
  1. Die markwaarde van die eiendom soos op 1 Oktober 2001 welke waardasie bekom moes wees voor 30 September 2004. 
  1. Tydverdeling-basiskoste metode. Die oorspronklike koste + (opbrengs – oorspronklike koste) x aantal jare wat eiendom gehou is voor 1 Oktober 2001 gedeel deur die aantal jare gehou voor 1 Oktober 2001+ aantal jare gehou na 1 Oktober 2001). 

Hoe word Kapitaalwinsbelasting betaal?

Kapitaalwinsbelasting is nie ‘n belasting wat addisioneel tot inkomstebelasting betaalbaar is nie. ‘n Gedeelte van ‘n persoon se kapitaalwins word ingesluit in sy belasbare inkomste. Dit sal dan onderhewig wees aan die betaling van normale inkomstebelasting. ‘n Gedeelte van ‘n belastingbetaler se kapitaalwins minus sy kapitaalverliese vir ‘n spesifieke jaar word ingesluit in die belastingbetaler se belasbare inkomste en is as belasting betaalbaar volgens die normale inkomstebelastingtabelle.

Hoe word kapitaalwins bereken?

In geval van ‘n individu word die eerste R30 000 van die totale kapitaalwins buite rekening gelaat. Daarna moet 33.3% van die kapitaalwins wat verkry is by die vervreemding van ‘n eiendom, ingesluit word in die belasbare inkomste van die persoon vir die jaar waarin die eiendom vervreem is. Waar ‘n maatskappy of beslote korporasie of ‘n gewone trust ‘n eiendom besit, word 66.6% van die kapitaalwins ingesluit by die belasbare inkomste.

Primêre eiendom en Kapitaalwinsbelasting

Vanaf 1 Maart 2012 is die eerste R2 miljoen kapitaalwins op die vervreemding van ‘n primêre eiendom uitgesluit van die betaling van kapitaalwinsbelasting. Hierdie uitsluiting is net van toepassing indien die eiendom geregistreer is in die naam van ‘n individu of ‘n spesiale trust. Die grootte van die eiendom moet ook nie 2 hektaar oorskry nie. As die eiendom gedeeltelik vir woondoeleindes en gedeeltelik vir werksdoeleindes gebruik word moet ‘n proporsionele  verdeling gedoen word.

Wanneer verskillende individue aandele in ‘n primêre eiendom besit, sal die uitsluiting proporsioneel wees tot die aandeel wat elkeen besit. Byvoorbeeld wanneer eggenote wat getroud is buite gemeenskap van goedere saam die primêre eiendom besit, sal elkeen kwalifiseer vir die uitsluiting van R1 miljoen. Elke eggenoot sal verder geregtig wees op die jaarlikse uitsluiting wat tans R30 000 beloop.

Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies.

Estate agents commission

A2blSelling a home is one of the biggest financial decisions a person can make and an estate agent, to whom commission will be payable, is usually involved in this process.

A problem that frequently occurs in practice and which is not easy to solve is whether an agent was in fact instrumental in bringing about the sale of the property. It could happen that an agent introduces a prospective buyer, that negotiations for the sale do not succeed and that another agent succeeds in concluding the agreement. It is common practice for more than one agent to be instructed to find a purchaser. It could even happen that a seller is held responsible for paying commission to two agents.

An estate agent is not an agent in the strict sense of the word.  His “mandate” is normally to find a suitable purchaser for the seller’s property and not to sell on behalf of the seller. This is, however, not a contract in the usual sense where parties undertake reciprocal obligations. In fact, the agent is not obliged to perform his mandate. An estate agent will only be entitled to commission if he has a mandate from the seller; without the mandate he is not entitled to commission, even though he might have been the effective cause of the transaction.

An estate agent will be considered to be the effective cause of the transaction when:

  • he has introduced a willing and financially able buyer to the seller;
  • a binding contract has been concluded between the parties; and
  • the transaction takes place at the stipulated price or at a price acceptable to the seller. 

When several estate agents are involved in introducing the buyer to the seller it might be difficult for the court to determine which agent was the effective cause. For instance, when estate agent A introduces the buyer to the seller but the buyer later purchases the property through estate agent B after B has persuaded the seller to drop the price. Or estate agent A may have a sole mandate, but estate agent B introduced a willing and able buyer. The seller could then be liable for both estate agents’ commission. A sole mandate usually stipulates that the agent is entitled to commission if the property is sold during the currency of the agreement, even if another agent introduced the buyer.

In another matter a prospective buyer was introduced and the house was inspected. The price was considered too high. A few months later the purchaser noticed that the house was still in the market. He then bought the property without intervention from the agent at a slightly lower price than the earlier rejected price. The estate agent was held to be entitled to his commission.

How much commission is an estate agent entitled to? The average commission ranges up to 7.5%, but there are no regulations as to how much commission an estate agent should be paid per sale. The commission should be discussed by the parties when negotiating the mandate.

Sole mandates that are given to estate agents are regulated by the Consumer Protection Act. The duration of the agreement may not exceed 24 months. The seller has the right to cancel the agreement by giving 20 business days’ notice in writing. If the mandate is not terminated by the seller on the expiry date it will automatically continue on a month-to-month basis.

Seller, be wary of these pitfalls when selling your property – they could be very costly.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice.

Eiendomsagente-kommissie

A2blDie verkoop van ‘n huis is een van die grootste finansiële besluite wat ‘n mens kan neem en ‘n eiendomsagent, aan wie kommissie betaalbaar sal wees, is gewoonlik betrokke in hierdie proses.

‘n Probleem wat dikwels in die praktyk voorkom en nie maklik is om op te los nie, is die vraag of ‘n eiendomsagent in werklikheid ‘n instrumentele rol gespeel het in die verkoop van die eiendom. Dit kan gebeur dat ‘n eiendomsagent ‘n voornemende koper bekendstel, dat onderhandelinge vir die verkoop nie slaag nie en dat ‘n ander eiendomsagent dan daarin slaag om ‘n ooreenkoms te sluit. Dit is algemene praktyk dat daar aan meer as een eiendomsagent opdrag gegee word om ‘n koper te vind. Dit kan selfs gebeur dat ‘n verkoper verantwoordelik gehou word vir die betaling van kommissie aan twee eiendomsagente.

‘n Eiendomsagent is nie ‘n agent in die streng sin van die woord nie. Sy “mandaat” is gewoonlik om ‘n geskikte koper vir die verkoper se eiendom te vind en nie om die eiendom namens die verkoper te verkoop nie. Dit is egter nie ‘n kontrak in die gewone sin waar partye onderneem om wedersydse verpligtinge na te kom nie. Die eiendomsagent is nie verplig om sy mandaat uit te voer nie. ‘n Eiendomsagent sal slegs geregtig wees op kommissie as hy ‘n mandaat het van die verkoper; sonder die mandaat is hy nie geregtig op kommissie nie, selfs al was hy die effektiewe oorsaak van die transaksie.

‘n Eiendomsagent word beskou die effektiewe oorsaak van ‘n transaksie te wees wanneer:

  • hy ‘n koper bekendstel wat gewillig en finansieël daartoe in staat is om die eiendom van die verkoper te koop;
  • ‘n bindende kontrak tussen die partye gesluit word; en
  • die transaksie plaasvind teen die vasgestelde prys of ‘n prys wat vir die verkoper aanvaarbaar is. 

Wanneer meerdere eiendomsagente betrokke is by die bekendstelling van die koper aan die verkoper kan dit moeilik wees vir die hof om te bepaal watter agent die effektiewe oorsaak van die transaksie was. Byvoorbeeld, in die geval waar eiendomsagent A die koper aan die verkoper bekendstel, maar die koper later die eiendom koop deur bemiddeling van eiendomsagent B, nadat B die verkoper oorreed het om die koopprys te verminder. Of eiendomsagent A kan ‘n alleenmandaat hê, maar eiendomsagent B het ‘n koper wat gewillig en finansieel in staat is om te koop. Die verkoper kan dan verantwoordelik wees vir altwee eiendomsagente se kommissie. ‘n Alleenmandaat bepaal gewoonlik dat ‘n eiendomsagent  geregtig is op kommissie indien die eiendom verkoop word tydens die duur van die ooreenkoms, selfs al het ‘n ander eiendomsagent die geskikte koper gevind.

In ‘n ander geval is ‘n voornemende koper bekend gestel en die huis besigtig, maar was die prys te hoog. ‘n Paar maande later het die koper gesien dat die huis nog in die mark is. Hy het die eiendom gekoop, sonder enige bydrae van die agent, teen ‘n effens laer prys as die vroeëre prys. Daar is deur die hof bevind dat die eiendomsagent geregtig is op sy kommissie.

Op hoeveel kommissie is ‘n eiendomsagent geregtig? Die gemiddelde kommissie is gewoonlik 7.5%, maar daar is geen regulasies wat bepaal hoeveel kommissie ‘n eiendomsagent per transaksie betaal moet word nie. Die partye moet die kommissie bespreek tydens die onderhandelinge oor die mandaat.

Alleenmandate wat aan eiendomsagente gegee word, word gereguleer deur die Wet op Verbruikersbeskerming. Die ooreenkoms mag nie langer as 24 maande duur nie. Die verkoper het die reg om die ooreenkoms te kanselleer deur 20 werksdae skriftelike kennis te gee. As die mandaat nie op die vervaldatum deur die verkoper beëindig word nie, sal die mandaat outomaties voortgaan op ‘n maand-tot-maand basis.

Verkoper, wees versigtig vir hierdie slaggate wanneer jy jou eiendom verkoop – hulle kan jou duur te staan kom.

Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies.

Fixtures and fittings

A1blMany transfer attorneys have heard the question from a seller: “May I remove the stove or the curtain rails or the shelves or the..?”

The most common dispute that arises between a seller and a purchaser is a dispute as to what is regarded as fixtures and  fittings. The simple answer is that this would be what the seller and purchaser agreed on in the offer to purchase, as the law leaves it to the seller and purchaser to make their own arrangements.

Usually the offer to purchase only states that the sale is “voetstoots and includes all improvements and all fixtures and fittings of a permanent nature”. It could also be that the offer to purchase does not refer to fixtures and fittings at all. If this is the case there are three factors that have to be  considered to determine whether a movable item is a fixture or a fitting.

1. The nature and the purpose of the item

The item should be of a permanent nature and intended to always serve the immovable property. In other words it must be attached to the land or the structure erected on the land. Examples of this are a carport, steel security gates welded to door frames, and an irrigation system. 

2. The manner and the degree of attachment

The question is whether the item loses its own identity and becomes an integral part of the immovable property or if the attachment is so secure that separation would involve substantial damage to either the immovable property or to the item itself. One must also take into account the method, time and costs involved in removing the item and whether the item could be used elsewhere. 

3. The intention of the owner

One should look at the intention of the owner at the time when the attachment was made.

It is therefore important to address this issue in the offer to purchase and draft a comprehensive list of what is included in the sale. This could save both parties a lot of time and frustration.

The following is a list of items that are usually considered to be permanent fixtures:

Built-in extractor fans; built-in kitchen cupboards; fitted bookshelves; fitted curtain rails; wall mirrors; stoves; existing garden, trees, shrubs, plants; pool filter, pool pump and pool cleaning equipment; fitted carpets; light fittings; towel racks; tap fittings; tennis court net; fireplace; awnings; post box;  alarm system; television aerial (but not satellite dishes) and door keys.

Some estate agents have amended their fixtures and fittings clause since the CPA came into operation, to read as follows: “The property is sold with all fixtures and fittings, including the following… which shall be in good working order on date of transfer.” The words “in good working order” are a very subjective assessment and opens the door to debate. The effect hereof is that the seller will be seen to have promised that all the fixtures and fittings will be in good working order, and to a large extent it will be eroding the protection of the voetstoots clause. Sellers should therefore take caution when signing the fixtures and fittings clause.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice.

Aanhegtings en toebehore

A1blBaie oordragprokureurs het al hierdie vraag van ‘n verkoper gehoor: “Kan ek die stoof of die gordynrelings of die rakke of die… verwyder?”

Die mees algemene dispuut wat ​​tussen ‘n verkoper en ‘n koper ontstaan, gaan oor die vraag wat as aanhegtings en wat as toebehore beskou word. Die eenvoudige antwoord sou wees dat dit is waarop die verkoper en die koper in die aanbod om te koop, ooreengekom het. Die reg laat dit aan die verkoper en die koper oor om hul eie reëlings hieroor te tref.

Gewoonlik sal die volgende klousule in die aanbod om te koop, voorkom: die koop is “voetstoots en sluit alle aanhegtings en toebehore van ‘n permanente aard in”. Dit kan ook wees dat die aanbod om te koop glad nie verwys na aanhegtings en toebehore nie. As dit die geval is, is daar drie faktore wat oorweeg moet word om te bepaal of ‘n roerende item beskou word as ‘n aanhegting of ‘n toebehoorsel.

1. Die aard en die doel van die item

Die item moet van ‘n permanente aard wees en die bedoeling moet wees om die onroerende eiendom te dien. Met ander woorde dit moet aangeheg wees aan die grond of die struktuur wat op die grond opgerig is. Voorbeelde hiervan is ‘n motorafdak, staalveiligheidshekke wat aan deurrame vasgesweis is, en ‘n besproeiingstelsel.

2. Die wyse en die mate van aanhegting

Dit gaan hier oor die manier waarop die item met die grond of gebou verbind is. Die vraag is of die item sy eie identiteit verloor en ‘n integrale deel van die onroerende eiendom word en of  verwydering daarvan aansienlike skade aan die onroerende eiendom of aan die aanhegting self sou veroorsaak. ‘n Mens moet ook die metode, tyd en koste verbonde aan die verwydering van die item in ag neem en die vraag vra of die item elders gebruik kan word.

3. Die bedoeling van die eienaar

Daar moet gekyk word na die bedoeling van die eienaar toe die aanhegting gemaak is.

Dit is daarom belangrik om hierdie kwessie aan te roer in die koop-aanbod en ‘n volledige lys te maak van wat ingesluit word in die verkoop. Dit kan albei partye baie tyd en frustrasie spaar.

Hiermee ‘n lys van items wat gewoonlik beskou word as permanent van aard:

Ingeboude suigwaaiers; ingeboude kombuiskaste; ingeboude boekrakke; gordynrelings; muurspieëls; stowe; die bestaande tuin, bome, struike, plante; swembadfilter, -pomp en    -skoonmaaktoerusting; volvloermatte; ligte en ligskerms; handdoekrelings; krane; tennisbaannet; kaggel; sonskerms; posbus; alarmstelsel; televisie-antenna (maar nie satellietskottels nie) en sleutels van alle deure.

Sedert die inwerkingtreding van die Wet op Verbruikersbeskerming het sommige eiendoms-agente die aanhegtings- en toebehoreklousule gewysig om soos volg te lees: “Die eiendom word verkoop met alle aanhegtings en toebehore wat die volgende insluit… welke items in ‘n goeie werkende toestand sal wees op datum van transport”.  Die woorde “goeie werkende toestand” is ‘n baie subjektiewe waardebepaling en laat veel ruimte vir debat. Die sienswyse kan dus gehuldig word dat die verkoper bevestig dat alle aanhegtings en toebehore in ‘n goeie werkende toestand is, wat die beskerming van die voetstootsklousule in ‘n groot mate  sou verwater. Derhalwe moet verkopers die klousule wat handel oor aanhegtings en toebehore deeglik bestudeer voordat hulle dit onderteken.

Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies.

Co-ownership of land

A2blThe word “co-ownership” in relation to land means that two or more persons own land simultaneously in undivided shares. A share in land does not represent, and may not be held to represent a defined portion of land.

A co-owner who holds a share in land does not hold title to a defined piece of land even if by arrangement with his co-owners they might have agreed to give him occupation of a specific portion of land.

The title he has is to an undivided share only, in the whole of the land, held in joint ownership. The portion he occupies is owned jointly by him and his co-owners in the whole thereof. If he should build a house on the portion he occupies, the house will be owned jointly.

When X, Y and Z are co-owners of a farm, they are not each entitled to a physical part of the farm but each of them has an undivided share in the whole of the farm. The shares will not always be equal. One person can have half a share while the other two can each have a twenty five percent share. However, co-ownership unfortunately often leads to disputes among the owners. 

Co-operation between the co-owners

It is advisable that co-owners enter into an agreement which regulates the relationship between them. Unfortunately this agreement will have no bearing against third parties. The consent of all the co-owners is required when administrative decisions have to be made. No owner is entitled to change or improve the property without the consent of the other owners. All the owners have to agree to the use of the property, e.g. they have to agree to the chopping down of trees, the erection of a storage facility/building, or to let cattle graze in the field. If co-owners are not consulted they may request an interdict from the court. The court may even order that buildings that have been erected, be removed. However, in instances where the aim is to preserve the property, it is not always necessary to obtain the consent of the co-owners. 

The profits and losses

All the co-owners must contribute proportionally to necessary and also useful expenses for the preservation of the property. Such expenses include taxes and expenses to maintain the property in good condition, but do not include luxury expenses. Losses and charges must be shared by the co-owners, except those attributable to negligence of one of the owners. As with expenses, fruits and profits must be divided amongst the co-owners according to each owner’s shareholding. 

Alienation of a share

A co-owner may alienate his share or even bequeath it to his heirs, without the consent of the other owners, even against their will. A co-owner’s share may also be attached by the sheriff. 

Use of the property

Each co-owner may use the property in accordance with his undivided share. He must, however, use it with due regard to the rights of the other co-owners. Each co-owner, his employees and guests are entitled to free entry to any part of the property, except if the co-owners have agreed that a portion of the property is reserved for the exclusive use of one co-owner. 

Partition

Co-owners may decide to partition the property, usually if they cannot agree on the utilisation of the property. The property will then be divided physically in accordance with the value of the property and each owner’s share in it. When this is uneconomic, which is usually the case with a farm, the property can be awarded to one co-owner, but he must then compensate the other co-owners. The court may also order that the property be sold by public auction and the proceeds divided amongst the co-owners. There is strict statutory control over the subdivision of land and also the actual physical division and use of land, so that partition may not always be possible.

Co-ownership is an excellent vehicle to becoming an owner of a property that one otherwise might not be able to afford. However, be aware of the pitfalls, choose your co-owners wisely, and draw up an agreement to regulate payment of the bond and rates, the day-to-day expenses and house rules.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice.

Mede-eienaarskap van grond

A2blDie woord “mede-eienaarskap” met betrekking tot grond beteken dat twee of meer persone ‘n stuk grond gelyktydig in onverdeelde aandele besit. ‘n Aandeel in die grond beteken nie dat  ‘n bepaalde gedeelte van die grond besit word nie.

‘n Mede-eienaar wat ‘n aandeel in grond hou, kan nie aanspraak maak op ‘n bepaalde stuk grond nie, selfs al het sy mede-eienaars by wyse van ‘n ooreenkoms ingestem om okkupasie of gebruik van ‘n bepaalde stuk grond aan hom te gee.

Die reg wat hy het, is op ‘n onverdeelde aandeel in die geheel van die grond wat in gesamentlike eienaarskap gehou word. Die gedeelte wat hy okkupeer, word gesamentlik besit deur hom en sy mede-eienaars in die grond. Indien hy ‘n huis bou op die gedeelte wat hy okkupeer, sal die huis gesamentlik besit word deur al die eienaars.

Wanneer X, Y en Z  mede-eienaars van ‘n plaas is, is hulle nie geregtig op ‘n fisiese deel van die plaas nie, maar elkeen van hulle het ‘n onverdeelde aandeel in die geheel van die plaas. Die aandeelhouding sal nie noodwendig altyd gelyk wees nie. Een persoon kan ‘n halwe aandeelhouding besit, terwyl die ander twee eienaars elk ‘n vyf en twintig persent aandeel kan hou. Mede-eienaarskap kan ongelukkig soms tot geskille tussen die eienaars lei.

Samewerking tussen die mede-eienaars

Dit is raadsaam dat die mede-eienaars ‘n ooreenkoms aangaan wat die verhouding tussen hulle reguleer. Ongelukkig is hierdie ooreenkoms nie afdwingbaar teenoor derde partye nie. Die toestemming van al die mede-eienaars word vereis wanneer administratiewe besluite geneem moet word. Geen eienaar is geregtig om veranderings of verbeterings op die eiendom aan te bring sonder die toestemming van die ander eienaars nie. Al die eienaars moet saamstem oor die gebruik van die eiendom, byvoorbeeld indien hulle bome wil afkap, ’n stoorfasiliteit of -gebou wil oprig of beeste in die veld wil laat wei. As mede-eienaars nie in besluite geraadpleeg word nie kan hulle die hof nader om ‘n interdik toe te staan. Die hof kan selfs gelas dat geboue wat opgerig is, verwyder word. In gevalle waar die doel is om die eiendom te bewaar, is dit egter nie altyd nodig om die toestemming van die mede-eienaars te verkry nie.

Die winste en verliese

Al die mede-eienaars moet proporsioneel bydra tot noodsaaklike en ook nuttige uitgawes vir die bewaring van die eiendom. Dié uitgawes sluit in belasting en uitgawes om die eiendom in ‘n goeie toestand te hou, maar sluit nie luukse uitgawes in nie. Verliese en koste moet deur die mede-eienaars gedeel word, behalwe waar dit toegeskryf kan word aan nalatigheid van een van die eienaars. Soos met uitgawes, moet vrugte en winste verdeel word onder die mede-eienaars volgens elke eienaar se aandeelhouding. 

Vervreemding van ‘n aandeel

‘n Mede-eienaar kan sy aandeel vervreem of selfs aan sy erfgename bemaak, sonder die toestemming van die ander eienaars, selfs teen hulle wil. Die balju kan ook beslag lê op ‘n mede-eienaar se aandeel. 

Gebruik van die eiendom

Elke mede-eienaar kan die eiendom  gebruik in ooreenstemming met sy onverdeelde aandeel. Hy moet dit egter gebruik met inagneming van die regte van die ander mede-eienaars. Elke mede-eienaar, sy werknemers en gaste, is geregtig op vrye toegang tot enige deel van die eiendom, behalwe as die mede-eienaars ooreengekom het dat ‘n gedeelte van die eiendom vir die uitsluitlike gebruik van ‘n mede-eienaar gereserveer word. 

Fisiese verdeling

Mede-eienaars kan besluit om die eiendom te verdeel, wat gewoonlik gebeur as hulle nie oor die benutting van die eiendom kan saamstem nie. Die eiendom sal dan fisies verdeel word in ooreenstemming met die waarde van die eiendom en elke mede-eienaar se aandeel daarin. Wanneer dit egter nie ekonomies is nie, wat gewoonlik die geval is met ‘n plaas, kan die eiendom toegeken word aan ‘n mede-eienaar, maar hy moet dan die ander mede-eienaars vergoed. Die hof kan ook beveel dat die eiendom op ‘n openbare veiling verkoop word en die opbrengs onder die mede-eienaars verdeel word. Daar is streng statutêre beheer oor die onderverdeling van grond en die gebruik daarvan, wat die onderverdeling nie altyd moontlik maak nie.

Mede-eienaarskap is een van die maniere hoe mens eienaar kan word van ‘n eiendom wat andersins nie bekostig kan word nie. Wees egter bewus van die slaggate, kies jou mede-eienaars oordeelkundig en stel ‘n ooreenkoms op om die onderlinge verhouding tussen die partye te reël ten opsigte van onder andere die betaling van die verband en erfbelasting, die dag-tot-dag uitgawes, asook die huisreëls.

Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies.

Opskortende voorwaardes in ‘n koopkontrak: Weet wat jou verpligtinge is

A2blStel jou voor dat jy ‘n koopkontrak onderteken om jou droomhuis te koop en later uitvind dat die kontrak verval het, omdat jou verband een dag te laat goedgekeur is. Die situasie kan verder vererger word indien die Verkoper ‘n beter aanbod vir sy eiendom ontvang en die beter aanbod aanvaar.

Indien ‘n koopkontrak onderhewig gemaak word aan die vervulling van ‘n opskortende voorwaarde sal sodanige kontrak verval indien daar nie betyds aan die voorwaarde voldoen word nie. Dit is bevestig in die saak van Marais v Kovacs Investments 724 (Pty) Ltd [2009] 1 All SA 174 (C) (hierna “die Marais-saak” genoem). Daar is dan geen kontrak tussen die partye vir die koop van die eiendom nie en die Verkoper is vry om die eiendom aan ‘n derde party te verkoop.

Voorbeelde van ‘n opskortende voorwaarde is die verkryging van verbandgoedkeuring of die verkoop van die Koper se bestaande eiendom voor ‘n sekere datum. Dit is baie belangrik vir sowel die Koper as die Verkoper om te let op die bewoording van hierdie klousules en seker te maak dat albei partye hulle verpligtinge verstaan.

Die volgende is ‘n voorbeeld van die bewoording van ‘n opskortende voorwaarde met betrekking tot die goedkeuring van ‘n verband, soms ook na verwys as die “verbandvoorwaarde”- klousule: 

Hierdie Koopkontrak is onderhewig daaraan dat die Koper verbandgoedkeuring van ‘n finansiële instansie bekom ten bedrae van  R1 500 000 voor 2 Desember 2013, by gebreke waarvan hierdie ooreenkoms sal verval.

Sou, in die bogenoemde voorbeeld, ‘n verband vir die bedrag van R1 400 000, met ander woorde R100 000 minder as die vereiste bedrag, goedgekeur word voor 2 Desember 2013, sal daar nie aan die voorwaarde voldoen word nie en sal die kontrak dus verval. Net so, indien ‘n verband ten bedrae van R1 500 000 eers op 5 Desember 2013 goedgekeur word, sal daar nie betyds aan die voorwaarde voldoen word nie, en sal die kontrak ook verval, soos bevestig in die saak van Meyer v Barnardo and another 1984 (2) SA 580 (N).

Die partye kan egter ooreenkom om die tyd waarbinne die opskortende voorwaarde vervul moet word, te verleng. Sodanige verlenging moet op skrif gestel en onderteken word deur beide die Verkoper en die  Koper, soos per die vereistes van die Wet op Vervreemding van Grond 68 van 1981. Dit moet ook gedoen word voordat die tydperk waarvoor voorsiening gemaak word in die opskortende voorwaarde, verstryk het. In die bogenoemde voorbeeld sou dit beteken dat die partye die verlengingsdokument voor 2 Desember 2013 sal moet onderteken om te voorkom dat die koopkontrak verval. In die Marais-saak het die hof bevind dat selfs indien die opskortende voorwaarde in die koopkontrak gevoeg was tot die uitsluitlike voordeel van die Koper, die Koper sy voorneme om van die vereistes van die klousule afstand te doen, aan die Verkoper moes meedeel voordat die tydperk waarvoor voorsiening gemaak is, verval het.

In die Marais-saak het die partye ‘n skriftelike koopkontrak aangegaan met ‘n opskortende voorwaarde dat ‘n verband ten bedrae van R10 149 072 teen 15 Augustus 2005 verkry moes word. Die Koper het egter slegs ‘n verband ten bedrae van R9 650 000 verkry, welke verband op 2 Augustus 2005 toegestaan is. Die respondent se prokureurs het aangevoer dat die opskortende voorwaarde wesenlik vervul is omdat die tekort na hul mening net ‘n “klein tekort” en dus ‘n onbeduidende bedrag in vergelyking met die koopprys was. Die hof het nie saamgestem met hierdie stelling nie en bevind dat daar nie gesê kan word dat dit die partye se bedoeling was dat daar aan die opskortende voorwaarde voldoen is op enige ander manier as dit wat uitdruklik in die koopkontrak gestipuleer is nie. Die hof het bevind dat die kontrak dus verval het.

As ‘n opskortende voorwaarde nie vervul gaan word in die periode wat daaraan toegeken word in die koopkontrak nie, is dit raadsaam om eerder die nodige voorsorgmaatreëls te tref en sodoende te vermy dat die koopkontrak verval. Ons stel voor dat u ‘n professionele persoon raadpleeg vir advies in hierdie verband.

Verwysings: 

  • Kontraktereg, UNISA 2004
  • Selfstudie Aktekursus vir Prokureurs, Gawie le Roux
  • Alienation of Land Act 68 of 1981
  • Marais v Kovacs Investments 724 (Pty) Ltd [2009] 1 All SA 174 (C)
  • Meyer v Barnardo and another 1984 (2) SA 580 (N)

Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies. 

Suspensive conditions in a deed of sale: Know your obligations

A2blImagine signing a deed of sale for your dream house and later discovering that the contract lapsed because you obtained bond approval one day too late. The situation could be worsened if the Seller receives a better offer for the house and accepts that better offer.

If a deed of sale is made subject to a suspensive condition it will lapse if such condition is not fulfilled in time. This was confirmed in the case of Marais v Kovacs Investments 724 (Pty) Ltd [2009] 1 All SA 174 (C) (hereinafter referred to as “the Marais case”). There is then no contract for the sale of the property between the two parties and the Seller can sell the property to another purchaser.

Examples of suspensive conditions are obtaining bond approval before a certain date, or the sale of the Purchaser’s current property before a certain date. It is very important for both the Seller and Purchaser to take note of the wording of these conditions and ensure that they understand them.

The following is an example of the wording of a suspensive condition relating to a bond, also sometimes referred to as a “bond condition”: 

This Deed of Sale is subject to the Purchaser obtaining bond approval from a financial institution for the amount of R1 500 000 before 2 December 2013, failing which this agreement will lapse.

In the above example, if only R1 400 000 is approved before 2 December 2013, in other words R100 000 less than the required amount, then the condition is not met and the contract will lapse. Similarly, if a bond is approved for R1 500 000 but only on 5 December 2013, then the condition is not met in time and the contract will lapse, as was decided in the case of Meyer v Barnardo and another 1984 (2) SA 580 (N).

The parties can however agree to extend the time during which the suspensive condition must be fulfilled. Such extension must be in writing and signed by both the Seller and Purchaser as per the requirements of the Alienation of Land Act 68 of 1981. It must also be done before the time limit of the suspensive condition expires. In the above “bond condition” clause example, this would mean that the parties would have to sign the extension before 2 December 2013 to prevent the Deed of Sale from lapsing. In the Marais case the court held that even if the suspensive condition had been inserted in the contract for the exclusive benefit of the Purchaser, the Purchaser would have had to communicate his intention to waive the requirement before it lapsed.

In the Marais case the parties entered into a written agreement of sale with a suspensive condition that a bond in the amount of R10 149 072 needed to be obtained by 15 August 2005.  The Purchaser, however, only obtained a mortgage bond in the amount of R9 650 000, which was granted on 2 August 2005. The respondent’s attorneys argued that the suspensive condition had been substantially fulfilled because the shortfall was, in their opinion, only a “minor shortfall” and therefore an insignificant amount compared to the purchase price. The court did not agree with this and found that it could not be said that the parties intended the suspensive condition to be fulfilled in any way other than what was expressly stipulated in the Deed of Sale. The court found that the contract had therefore lapsed.

If a suspensive condition will not be fulfilled in time, rather take the necessary precautions beforehand to avoid a lapsed Deed of Sale. We advise that you contact a professional for advice in this regard. 

References:  

  • Kontraktereg, UNISA 2004
  • Self Study Conveyancing Course for Attorneys, Gawie le Roux, 2013
  • Alienation of Land Act 68 of 1981
  • Marais v Kovacs Investments 724 (Pty) Ltd [2009] 1 All SA 174 (C)
  • Meyer v Barnardo and another 1984 (2) SA 580 (N)

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice.