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Consumer Protection Act compliance - Mandate to sell

Written by  Karien Hunter
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Mandate agreements need to comply with the requirements of the CPA in the following respects:

  • Mandate agreements must be drafted in plain and understandable language (the plain language provisions In the Act). It is advisable to have mandate agreements available in a language which is best understood by a consumer. For example, in Kwa-Zulu Natal mandate agreements should also be available in isi-Zulu, and in the Western Cape, Afrikaans;
  • Mandate agreements must not contain terms that are unnecessarily onerous on the seller - the court or the Consumer Tribunal will have the power to vary or strike out terms that are unfair, unreasonable or unjust and agents may find it difficult to claim commission based on such mandates, or may find their commission reduced by the court or Consumer Tribunal;
  • In terms of the Act, agreements must be interpreted to the benefit of the consumer, especially where an agreement contains an ambiguity, restriction or limitation and estate agents can no longer rely on the onerous conditions contained in their existing mandates. Agents may find that the courts will make a value judgment and not uphold or enforce commission claims where such claim is based on mandate agreements which contain wording that can be regarded as unconscionable or unfair, or where a consumer (seller) did not fully understand the meaning of a mandate agreement signed by him.

To get a copy of the mandate please contact the author.

Karien Hunter

Karien Hunter

Well known property lawyer Karien Hunter founded AMC Hunter Inc. in 1987 and heads up a practice comprising attorneys, conveyancers and notaries public.

The firm specialises in all aspects of property and commercial law. Karien is passionate about art and is also a keen golfer. She regularly plays golf with her husband and three boys.