the deal is signed and sealed, there are bound to be a few questions
from either the buyer or the seller. A good real estate agent should
be able to answer these questions for you. However, should you have
any other questions, please send them to us and we will respond as
soon as possible.
What is a latent defect?
In brief, a latent defect is a defect pertaining to the property
being sold which is known to the Seller and that the Seller
purposely fails to disclose to the Purchaser.
What does “voetstoots” mean?
It is an agreement between the parties to the Deed of Sale in terms
of whereof it is agreed that the Seller shall not be liable for the
defects of the property. However, if the Seller is aware of the
defect and deliberately, and in bad faith, fails to disclose it to
the Purchaser, the “voetstoots” clause will not afford the Seller
What are postages and petties?
These are charges levied by the Attorneys, such as stamps on
letters, correspondence not included in the tariff, extra telephone
calls, messenger services, cell phone charges and other similar
The Geyser in the house I bought is leaking. What should I do?
The house is normally bought “voetstoots”. That means that the house
is bought “as it is”. The Purchaser is deemed to have inspected the
house and bought it with whatever defects there are. If transfer has
not yet been registered, the Seller could possibly recover the
repair costs from the Seller’s Home Owners Insurance. If the
transfer has been registered, it would be up to the Purchaser to
prove that the faulty geyser was a latent defect.
The swimming pool is green. What can I do?
If the pool was blue and sparkling at the time it was purchased and
was handed over in a green and dirty condition, it would be
incumbent upon the Seller to restore it to the condition it was at
the time of the sale.
The Seller removed the DSTV Aerial. Can I claim it back?
One must look carefully at the terms of the contract dealing with
this item. If no mention is made of the aerial, it will be regarded
as a fixture that the Seller is not entitled to remove.
The light fittings are not the same. Can I claim to have the
In the event of the Seller changing the light fittings after
conclusion of the Agreement of Sale, the Seller shall be liable for
the cost of replacing the fittings unless the contract provides
otherwise. Light fittings are also regarded as fixtures unless
otherwise agreed to by the parties.
The stove is not working. Can I get the Seller to repair it?
It is the duty of the agent to inspect the working condition of such
item. If the Purchaser bought “voetstoots” there would be very
little you can do unless it can be proved that the faulty stove was
a latent defect.
How long will transfer take?
The transfer of a property is complex. The registration time is
influenced by many factors such as the registration being linked to
the registration of another property, or the property having to be
transferred from the deceased estate. Attorneys on bank panels are
encouraged, however, to register a transfer within 45 days.
How does occupational rent work upon registration of transfer?
Occupational rent is usually paid monthly in advance. If the
transfer is registered, for example on the 10th day of a month
comprising 30 days, the Purchaser will be entitled to a pro rata
refund of 20 days, or two-thirds of the occupational rent paid.
Who is liable for the payment of a special levy?
In the majority of transfers of Sectional Title properties, the risk
passes on registration of transfer of the property. Should a special
levy be imposed prior to transfer, the Seller is liable for payment
thereof, whilst the Purchaser becomes liable after registration of
How do rates and taxes work?
The Registrar of Deeds will not allow the registration of a transfer
unless he is satisfied that all rates and taxes have been paid. The
transferring Attorney therefore obtains figures three months in
advance from the Local Council and makes payment of the account. The
Local Council gives a Clearance Certificate with the other transfer
documents. Should the transfer be registered prior to the expiry of
the three month period, the Seller is reimbursed pro rata to the
Who must obtain the Electrical Certificate?
The Seller must, at his cost, obtain a Certificate of Compliance by
an accredited person in terms of the Regulations promulgated in
terms of Act 85 of 1993.
What does the Electrical Certificate cover?
The accredited person must conduct a visual inspection and furnish a
report on various aspects such as whether all the components of the
installation conform to the applicable standard, et cetera. He/she
has also to conduct tests and use an instrument to enable him/her to
give a reading on, for instance, the continuity and resistance of
the earth conductor including all bonding conductors.
My friend bought a brand new house. Why did they not pay transfer
It may be that the builder sold the house inclusive of transfer duty
and that he assumed the liability for payment thereof. It should be
noted that whereas in the past on transfer duty was payable when
share in a company or members interest in a Close Corporation were
purchased, the law has changed and transfer duty is now payable on
I have bought a house direct from the developer. What warranties do
Major structural defects carry a 5 year warranty from the date on
which the Purchaser accepted the home from the builder. Deviations
from the original agreed on plan and / or workmanship carry a 3
month warranty. A leaking roof carries a warranty of 12 months,
should the leak be attributable to workmanship, design or materials
I have bought a house but now no longer want it. Can I cancel the
The law allows a “cooling off period” of 5 days only on property
valued at R300 000.00 or less. Any property bought above this value
does not enjoy any cooling off right, and the contact is deemed to
be enforceable on signature of both the Purchaser and Seller.