Property Law

Hammond Pole Attorneys > Property Law

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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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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Municipal accounts – rates and refunds – before and after a property sale transfer registration

Many first-time home buyers (and sellers) think that the final step in the process of selling or buying a property is the registration of the transfer of sale. Sadly, this is not the case; more paperwork and admin await. Once a property is sold, the buyer must open their own account with the municipality in their own name and the seller must have cleared and closed their account. Here’s what you need to know on both sides of the transfer.  What is required before a property transfer can take place?  To register a property transfer at the Deeds Office, a Rates Clearance...

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Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme (FLISP) – What you need to know.

The Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme (FLISP) was developed by the Department of Human Settlements to enable affordable home ownership opportunities for South Africans. What are the requirements to apply for a FLISP subsidy? 1. You must be a South African citizen with a valid ID; or permanent residents with a valid permit. 2. Applicants must be over 18 years of age and competent to enter a legal contract. 3. FLISP is open to individuals who have never benefited from a Government Housing Subsidy Scheme before. 4. Applicants must have an ‘Approval in Principle’ of a home loan from an accredited South African financial institution. 5....

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My father has passed away and I have inherited his property

A Blog article by: Tania Abbotts    My father has passed away and I have inherited his property – I am struggling to evict the current tenants – is it possible to evict before it has been transferred into my name? Would a letter of executorship be relevant in this situation? What about notice in terms of the rental agreement?    If a person passes away and has a last will and testament, then as legal practitioners, we administer the estate as per the directions set out in the last will and testament. This means that the deceased would have elected who would be...

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Is there ever grounds to cancel an offer to purchase?

Blog article by: Neil Mc Kinon Signing an offer to purchase is an exciting time for any buyer. The freedom of owning one’s own property or the thrill of a new investment is a major drawcard for property buyers. But signing an offer to purchase can also come with some buyer’s remorse and the question most often asked is “can I get out of the agreement once I’ve signed?” The answer complex, but in short, no. The terms and conditions in an offer to purchase are designed to protect both the buyer and the seller and prevent either party from unilaterally changing their mind...

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The property I bought has since been damaged, what happens now?

A blog article by: Neil Mc Kinon It’s a nightmare scenario for any buyer: “We are in the process of buying a property in KZN. We have signed the transfer documents from the transferring attorney but not the home loan documents from the home loan attorney. We have NOT occupied the property yet. The house has been damaged significantly by the recent floods. We are not confident that the owner will pay for the damages even though the deed has not been lodged with the Deed’s Office. We won't be able to afford to fix the damages ourselves. If we decide...

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You’re almost an official homeowner. Here’s a closer look at what happens at the Deeds Office

A blog article by: Brendan Michie  The Deeds Office is responsible for the registration, management, and maintenance of the property registry of South Africa and is responsible for the accurate examination, registration and record-keeping of all property transactions.  It currently takes between 7 and 21 working days for a property to be registered at the Deeds Office.     But what actually happens at the Deeds Office?   In a nutshell, the Deeds Office procedure for registration follows several steps. A deed is examined on both a junior and senior level before arriving at the desk of a senior registrar who confirms whether the deed is passed...

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Pains and gains of buying a house: A nightmare scenario

Buying a new home is an exciting, if not daunting, experience, but excitement can quickly turn into disappointment if certain defects of your new home become apparent after you move in. When your dream home becomes a nightmare, what can you do? Legal expert from Hammond Pole, Michelle Orsmond, looks at this nightmare scenario and shares her advice on how to deal with it.  Scenario  You bought a house, and a certificate of compliance (CoC) was provided. However, after moving into the house, you discover that the gas geyser is not working, and there are other issues, including a leaking roof. How...

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How the new Property Practitioners Act (PPA) affects you

Property Practitioners Act

The Property Practitioners Act (PPA) officially came into effect on 1 February 2022. It’s an important piece of legislation designed to protect consumers in the property industry. Here’s everything you need to know about the PPA:   In a nutshell, what is the Property Practitioners Act (PPA) all about?  The legislation is a continuation of the former Estate Agencies Affairs Act and the Estate Agent Fidelity Fund. It touches on transformation in the property sector and the regulation of estate agents, also known as property practitioners.    Who counts as a property practitioner?   The new law goes beyond traditional estate agents and includes managing agents, property developers,...

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