Security Estates: Can You Fine Speedsters?

“When the [property owners] chose to purchase property within the estate and become members of the Association, they agreed to be bound by its rules” (extract from judgment below) There are many advantages to buying in a security estate or other community scheme, including quality of life and increased potential for growth in your property’s value. As a buyer just be aware that you will almost…

Accidentally Paid the Wrong Person? Lessons From a R862k Banking App Error

“There’s no such thing as a free lunch” (Economist Milton Friedman) In these days of online banking and electronic payment, it’s not uncommon to find out to your horror that you have made a payment to someone in error, either to the wrong recipient or in an incorrect amount. If that happens to you and the recipient refuses to pay you back, what can you…

Expats and Employers: Plan Now For the New Expat Tax Changes

“An income tax form is like a laundry list – either way you lose your shirt” (Comedian Fred Allen) This article is important to you if you are either a South African working abroad or an employer of one. If you don’t fall into either of those categories, but know someone who does, please think of passing this on. As an employee earning foreign remuneration (salary,…

Estate Agents: Securing Your Trade Secrets (and Your Commission)

“In short, it [a Fidelity Fund Certificate] is a licence to practice without which you cannot practice.” (Extract from judgment below) As an estate agent you will know that without a valid Fidelity Fund Certificate (FFC) you are not entitled to any commission for the successful sales or leases you put together. All your hard work in fulfilling your mandate will come to naught. Your…

Property Buyers: There’s a New Deduction from Interest Earned on Your Deposit

When you buy property, the sale agreement often provides for you to pay a deposit (normally 10% of the sale price) to the conveyancer (the attorney transferring the property into your name), to be kept in trust until transfer. Don’t lose out on earning interest on your deposit money – check that the sale agreement’s deposit clause says that the deposit must be invested in…

Your Website and Video of the Month: Before You Enter an Uber…

Ridesharing services like Uber are convenient and popular, but you will have read of the “fake Uber” attacks and other safety concerns so on the principle of “safety first” always take a few common sense precautions when using them. Before you get into your next Uber have a good read of their “Driving safety forward” page here. Pay particular attention to the 3 steps you…

Your Dog, Cat or Cow (Even Your Bees) Could Cost You Millions

“Ignorance is Bliss Dangerous” (Internet meme) Our law will generally hold you liable for damages only if someone else can prove that you caused them loss/damage/injury through your “fault” (intent or negligence). That seems fair and logical – if it’s your fault, you pay. If however the loss was caused by your animal/s, you are in a much more dangerous position – you can be sued on…

Neighbours Building? Know Your Rights Re Plan Approval

“You can be a good neighbour only if you have good neighbours” (Howard Koch, “Invasion from Mars” author) Your neighbours apply to the municipality for approval of building plans. You object strongly – if allowed, you say, the new building/addition/alteration will seriously impact on your property’s appeal and value. It will be unsightly and objectionable. It will ruin the neighbourhood. How must the municipality’s “decision…

Losing Your Licence with AARTO Demerits: More Danger than You Thought, and The Wheels are Turning

“The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status, or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we all believe that we are above-average drivers” (humourist Dave Barry)  AARTO (the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act) has been partially in force for years, but its demerit provisions have been on ice for so long now that many of us…

Small Claims Courts – From 1 April You Can Sue For Up To R20,000

The monetary jurisdiction of Small Claims Courts has been increased from R15,000 to R20,000 from 1 April 2019. Not all claims can be pursued in a Small Claims Court – Claims over R20,000 must be pursued in the ordinary courts (you can if you like reduce a larger claim to the R20k to avoid having to do that). Only individuals can sue in a Small…