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Thursday, 01 September 2011 13:37

In a more recent case it was held that the absence of any statutory approval for buildings constitutes a latent defect.  The voetstoots clause ordinarily covers a latent defect, meaning that a seller would be protected by the voetstoots clause for unapproved building plans.

It is important for buyers to take note that the smallest failure on their part to properly inspect the property and to ask the correct questions might cost them dearly in the future.

The buyer can only avoid the abovementioned consequence of the voetstoots clause if they can prove that the seller:

  • knew of the latent defect;
  • omitted to disclose and deliberately concealed such fact; and
  • had the intention to defraud (the buyer).

It is thus of the utmost importance for all sellers to properly disclose all known defects, whether latent or patent, to the buyer and/or agent.

Published in Property
Friday, 22 October 2010 12:02

Die voetstoots klousule kom algemeen in koopkontrakte van vaste eiendom voor. Die aanspreeklikheid van die verkoper ten opsigte van verborge gebreke gee aanleiding tot interessante regsnavrae van verkoper, koper en eiendomsagente. Hierdie artikel dien as ‘n oorsig van die voetstoots klousule.


Die Suid-Afrikaanse gemenereg bepaal dat die verkoper nie aanspreeklik is vir gebreke van vaste eiendom wat met die blote oog sigbaar is nie. Daarenteen bepaal ons gemenereg dat die Verkoper aanspreeklik is vir verborge gebreke wat bestaan ten tye van die koopdatum, vir ‘n tydperk vir drie jaar daarna. Die voorgenoemde reël gee aanleiding tot die algemene gebruik van die voetstoots klousule in koopkontrakte van vaste eiendom. Die voetstoots klousule stel ten doel om die gemeenregtelike aanspreeklikheid van Verkopers te beperk.

In praktyk ontstaan die regsvraag of dit geoorloof is vir ‘n Verkoper (gegewe ‘n stel feite) om te skuil agter die vrywaring van ‘n voetstoots klousule, wat die aanspreeklikheid van geborge gebreke uitsluit.

Ons Howe het bevind dat ‘n Verkoper nie agter die vrywaring van ‘n voetstoots klousule mag skuil nie, as die Koper bewys, dat die Verkoper:

· Bewus was van die verborge gebrek ten tye van datum van kontrak sluiting;

· Die verborge gebrek op ‘n bedrieglike wyse verberg was.

Byvoorbeeld, ‘n huis beskik oor ‘n gebrekkige fondasie. Die Verkoper vul die krake in die mure op wat ontstaan het as gevolg van dit, en verkoop die huis aan ‘n onskuldige Koper. Die prognose is dat die huis kort voor lank nie meer bewoonbaar sal wees nie. Dit is veilig om te aanvaar dat ons Howe sal beslis dat die Verkoper opsetlik die verborge gebrek teenoor die Koper verberg het, en derhalwe nie agter die vrywaring van ‘n standaard voetstoots klousule kan skuil nie.


Die voetstoots klousule kom algemeen in koopkontrakte van vaste eiendom voor. ‘n Verkoper kan nie agter ‘n voetstoots klousule skuil, as ‘n Koper bewys dat die Verkoper bewus was van die verborge gebrek, en die verborge gebrek op ‘n bedrieglike wyse verberg het nie.

Published in Property
Friday, 22 October 2010 10:22

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr. Rob Davies, has deferred the general implementation date to 1 April 2011.

The postponement will give business and the public sufficient time to prepare them for compliance with the new law.

However, the regulations are still outstanding and it is difficult to get a full picture of the impact.

The public and stakeholders can approach the National Consumer Commission for assistance and guidance as soon as their establishment is announced, which is expected in the third quarter of this financial year.

The act focuses on the protection of the consumer to “promote a fair accessible and sustainable marketplace for consumer products and services and, for that purpose, to establish national norms and standards relating to consumer protection.”

The act is the result of the intention of the Department of Trade and Industry to “create and promote an economic environment that supports and strengthens a culture of consumer rights and responsibilities.”

It seems at this stage that the act only applies to transactions that are concluded in the ordinary course of the supplier’s business. Therefore it would for instance apply to property sold by a developer and to the services provided by estate agents to sellers, but not to once-off transactions between buyers and sellers of property.

Therefore, developers, speculators and institutional investors with large property portfolios who sell property in their ordinary course of business, cannot exclude their liability for defects by way of a voetstoots clause.

Published in Property