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Tips for buying a property in Cape Town

There is no denying the beauty of the Cape and you can hardly go wrong with picking an area to call home!  However, moving to Cape Town (or the surrounding towns and cities) is not without its challenges.   Each area or suburb in Cape Town can have a very different feeling and energy.  From the city hustle and bustle of Greenpoint and Sea Point, to family living in the Southern Suburbs or the quieter Durbanville, it may take some time to find the right fit for you.   If you're planning to move to Cape Town, you should consider renting a property before...

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When is it too soon to sell a residential property you bought?

Whether or not South Africa will experience a buyer’s or seller's market for property in 2024 is challenging to predict, but several factors point towards a potential buyer’s market for some time to come. The economy is expected to remain weak, which will reduce the number of prospective homebuyers due to affordability constraints. High interest rates will lead to higher borrowing costs, indicating a market where buyers may have more bargaining power to potentially lower prices.  On the other hand, a shortage of affordable housing in certain areas could push property prices higher, potentially supporting a seller’s market.   Either way, it...

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Securing Your Legacy: A Comprehensive Guide to Last Wills & Testaments

In honour of September being Wills Month, we are dedicated to equipping you with essential knowledge about the importance of estate planning. A Last Will and Testament stands as a foundational document, shaping the way your legacy is preserved and assets are distributed. In this article, we delve into the intricacies of Last Wills and Testaments, providing you with a comprehensive Q&A guide to demystify this crucial aspect of safeguarding your future.   What is a Last Will and Testament?   A Last Will and Testament is a formal written document in which an individual outlines their instructions regarding the distribution of their assets...

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Debt after death: what South Africans need to know

Unfortunately, debt can outlive a person after their death. This means it is critical for estate planning purposes to understand what happens to liabilities such as a home loan or vehicle financing facility after death.   How debt is dealt with after death all depends on the solvency of the individual’s estate, the type of debt still outstanding, and the terms of their will.   What happens when a person dies? In the event of death, that person’s assets and liabilities are transferred to a deceased estate. The estate and the appointed executor are then responsible for paying off debts and distributing assets according to...

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Navigating the Legal Process after Losing a Loved One: A Guide to Reporting and Administering an Estate

What do I do when my loved one has passed away?   When a loved one passes away, it is a difficult time in one’s life. In addition to dealing with the emotional turmoil and grief of losing a loved one, a person is left wondering, “what do I do now?”   When a person passes away, it is a requirement by law that the person’s death be reported to the Master Office of the High Court. This is in order for the Master’s office to issue a Letter of Executorship or a Letter of Authority to the person nominated per the Last Will...

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Legal Legacies: Celebrating the women of Hammond Pole and honouring the trailblazers who inspired them

At Hammond Pole Attorneys, we proudly acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of the women who are an integral part of our diverse and dedicated team. Their unwavering commitment to serving our clients and contributing to the success of our firm is truly commendable.   As we recognise the significant contributions of our present-day legal professionals, we must also pay homage to the legal giants who paved the way for women, left an indelible mark on the legal landscape, and inspired our Attorneys on their journey.   Carla de Waal Jacolene Jansen van Vuuren Like me, Jacolene studied at the University of Potchefstroom and graduated with a...

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Empowering yourself to thrive financially in the face of interest rate hikes

If you are a homeowner, whether you have a fixed or variable, market-related interest rate on your bond, sooner or later your mortgage repayments will increase. These repo rate increases, which are designed to reduce inflation, have resulted in many homeowners feeling the pinch, and wondering how they will make their payments at the end of the month.   So, what strategies can we use to mitigate the financial pain we are all currently in?   Don’t be an ostrich If you are struggling, it is important not to ignore the situation. No one is alone in feeling the effects of a tougher economic climate,...

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Navigating the Sale of Business Assets & Agreements

Navigating the intricacies of selling or buying a business can be a complex undertaking, often revealing that what may appear as a straightforward transaction is anything but. As an experienced professional in this field, I frequently encounter clients seeking a "basic" precedent to guide them through the process. However, as our discussions unfold, it becomes evident that there are numerous crucial aspects to consider. Whether you find yourself in a position to sell or buy into a business, here are key factors that warrant careful thought and consideration.   Determine the Business Entity Type First and foremost, you must establish whether the...

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Modern family: A guide to parental leave in South Africa

In acknowledgement of the many different structures which make up today’s modern family, legislation was introduced in January 2020 that extends the definitions and period of leave permitted to parents on the birth – or adoption – of a child.   Maternity leave for a biological mother remains unaltered, comprising 4 months unpaid time at home, although a claim through the UIF scheme will grant 66% of the employee’s regular salary for the duration of the leave.   Under previous legislation, the three day leave allowance for the second parent was lumped together with other family responsibilities including bereavement or a sick child. Now,...

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Demystifying VAT, Transfer Duty, and CGT in Property Transactions

A common question in real estate is whether Vat or Transfer duty is applicable to a transaction. Before answering the question, one must understand the terminology referred to in the property market.   TRANSFER DUTY Transfer Duty is a tax imposed on the purchase of immovable property when it is transferred from one person to another. The buyer is responsible for paying this tax, which is calculated based on a sliding scale according to the purchase price. The conveyancer handling the property transfer collects the transfer duty and pays it to the South African Revenue Service (SARS) before registering the property. If transfer...

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