Monthly Archives: January 2013

Eiendomsfokus

gteiendomsfokus_jan2013R329 000.00 

WOW, SHE (THIS VACANT STAND) IS SIMPLY THE BEST VALUE FOR MONEY WITHIN THE BROADER GANSBAAI AREA ! The images say it all.

PURCHASE PRICE ON 22/04/2005 (± 7.8 YEARS BACK):  R530.000.  The very strong correlation between the Images and Asking Price, complements your consideration and decision about her merits.

SO VERY CLOSE TO THE OCEAN :  ± 150 METRES ONLY.
This stand is situated within Klipfonteyn 1  – one of the suburbs within Kleinbaai Gansbaai.  Approximately 40% of Klipfonteyn 1 comprises of a green belt area.

THIS ONE IS WITHIN YOUR DESTINY.
You stand  an excellent chance of winning an unique prize, if you choose the correct answer:

  • She’s really excellent value for money; or
  • She’s moderate value for money; or
  • She’s not good value for money.

Have you made up your mind?
The correct answer is (a) above.

PRIZE:  Drive through and return with a Sales Agreement in your pocket  –  on this excellent investment.  This one, you could also trust her features as advertised on our website  –  and consider signing without visiting our area.

ONLY ONE CONDITION:  While stocks last.

Die skrywer sal nie u kosbare tyd in beslag neem, deur eiendom-op-eiendom-op-eiendom op ons webblad te laai, waar dit somaar by die eerste oogopslag reeds duidelik is dat Prys en Foto’s gewoon nie met mekaar versoenbaar is nie.  Elkeen van skrywer se ongeveer (slegs) 70 eiendomme op ons webblad, is met groot sorg gekies.

Viewing her on our our website, is simply a MUST:

–  Address:  www.gtproperty.co.za; and
–  Ref No:  564689 (exposing the viewer to 6 Images).

Mooi dag vir u.
You must have a wonderful day.

Johann Dippenaar
Guthrie & Theron Eiendomme
082 926 2066

Property Focus

gteiendomsfokus_jan2013

R329 000.00 

WOW, SHE (THIS VACANT STAND) IS SIMPLY THE BEST VALUE FOR MONEY WITHIN THE BROADER GANSBAAI AREA ! The images say it all.

PURCHASE PRICE ON 22/04/2005 (± 7.8 YEARS BACK):  R530.000.  The very strong correlation between the Images and Asking Price, complements your consideration and decision about her merits.

SO VERY CLOSE TO THE OCEAN :  ± 150 METRES ONLY.
This stand is situated within Klipfonteyn 1  – one of the suburbs within Kleinbaai Gansbaai.  Approximately 40% of Klipfonteyn 1 comprises of a green belt area.

THIS ONE IS WITHIN YOUR DESTINY.
You stand  an excellent chance of winning an unique prize, if you choose the correct answer:

  • She’s really excellent value for money; or
  • She’s moderate value for money; or
  • She’s not good value for money.

Have you made up your mind?
The correct answer is (a) above.

PRIZE:  Drive through and return with a Sales Agreement in your pocket  –  on this excellent investment.  This one, you could also trust her features as advertised on our website  –  and consider signing without visiting our area.

ONLY ONE CONDITION:  While stocks last.

Die skrywer sal nie u kosbare tyd in beslag neem, deur eiendom-op-eiendom-op-eiendom op ons webblad te laai, waar dit somaar by die eerste oogopslag reeds duidelik is dat Prys en Foto’s gewoon nie met mekaar versoenbaar is nie.  Elkeen van skrywer se ongeveer (slegs) 70 eiendomme op ons webblad, is met groot sorg gekies.

Viewing her on our our website, is simply a MUST:

–  Address:  www.gtproperty.co.za; and
–  Ref No:  564689 (exposing the viewer to 6 Images).

Mooi dag vir u.
You must have a wonderful day.

Johann Dippenaar
Guthrie & Theron Eiendomme
082 926 2066

Januarie se webtuistes: Beplan vir sukses in 2013.

 

Untitled-2The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis.’ One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger — but recognize the opportunity.” John F. Kennedy

Ons leef in die hoop dat 2013 die begin van die wêreldwye ekonomiese herstel sal inlui. Ongeag of dit die geval gaan wees of nie, en selfs al hou dit uitdagings en krisisse in (soos verwag wor deur die minder optimistiese persone onder ons geledere), sal daar beslis ekonomiese geleenthede vir ons almal wees.

Wees gereed om hierdie aangeleenthede aan te gryp deur ag te slaan op die volgende wenke:

  1. Beplan jou jaar. Begin deur jou eie kalender te maak, volgens jou eie persoonlike voorkeure. Besoek die volgende webwerf te http://www.timeanddate.com/
  2. Lees gerus Karl Pillemer se artikel “10 lessons for living a happier and more fulfilling life” op Leader.co.za se webwerf te http://www.leader.co.za/article.aspx?s=1&f=1&a=3497
  3. Met hierdie 10 lesse in gedagte, bepaal dan jou doelwitte vir 2013 met “Personal Goal Setting: Planning to Live Your Life Your Way” op die MindTools webwerf te http://www.mindtools.com/page6.html

Met hierdie voorbereidingswerk in plek, kan jy dan jou sakedoelwitte vir die jaar formuleer met Inc. se “How to Set Business Goals” te http://www.inc.com/guides/2010/06/setting-business-goals.html.

© DotNews, 2005-2012. Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies.

Kopers, verkopers: Nuwe regulasies oor elektriese heinings.

Untitled-2Ingevolge die Elektriese Masjinerie Regulasies moet jy vanaf 1 Oktober 2012 ‘n sertifikaat vir jou elektriese heiningstelsel hê indien jy so ‘n heining installeer, toevoeg of veranderinge daartoe aanbring. Enige heinings wat voor 1 Oktober 2012 in plek was, word vrygestel vir solank as wat dit onveranderd bly.

Siende dat daar geen duidelikheid is oor wie verantwoordelik sal wees vir die verkryging van hierdie sertifikaat nie, is hierdie ‘n resep vir dispute en vertragings. Die gevaar vir kopers en verkopers van eiendom is dat hierdie vereiste om ‘n sertifikaat te verkry, nie net van krag is wanneer jy ‘n heining vergroot of veranderinge daaraan aanbring nie, maar ook wanneer die eiendom verkoop word.

Koper: Jou risiko

Die Regulasies bepaal nie uitdruklik dat dit die verkoper se plig is om so ‘n sertifikaat aan die koper te verskaf nie en gevolglik is dit moontlik dat oordrag van die eiendom plaas kan vind sonder sodanige sertifikaat. Indien dit die geval is, sal die koper nogsteeds aan die wet moet voldoen wat kan beteken dat hy self vir die uitreiking van die sertifikaat moet sorg en daarvoor moet betaal. Die doel met die regulasies is om ‘n minimumstandaard daar te stel waaraan alle elektriese heinings moet voldoen. Dit kan dus beteken dat jy onvoorsiene uitgawes gaan hê om ‘n verouderde stelsel te laat moderniseer om aan die nuwe vereistes te voldoen.

Moet eerder nie hierdie risiko loop nie. Dring daarop aan dat die koopooreenkoms dit duidelik maak dat die verkoper moet toesien tot die uitreiking van hierdie sertifikaat voordat oordrag kan geskied.

Nota: ‘n Sertifikaat wat uitgereik is, kan wel aan ‘n nuwe eienaar oorgedra word. Indien die eiendom dus in die toekoms weer verkoop word, sal dit nie nodig wees om ‘n verdere elektriese sertifikaat aan te vra nie, tensy daar intussen veranderinge aan die elektriese heining aangebring is. Die koper moet dan net daarop aandring dat die verkoper in die kontrak waarborg dat daar geen veranderinge aan die heining aangebring was, vandat die vorige sertifikaat uitgereik is nie.

© DotNews, 2005-2012. Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies.

Terug skool toe – Wie se reëls geld?

Untitled-2Twee onlangse uitsprake van die Hoogste Hof van Appèl het die beginsel bevestig dat dit die verantwoordelikheid van ‘n skool se beheerliggaam bly om skoolbeleid en reëls vas te stel en toe te pas.

In beide gevalle het die Provinsiale Onderwysdepartement ingemeng en die betrokke skoolhoof beveel om in stryd met die beheerliggaam se geldende beleid op te tree. Die Hof bevind dat hierdie opdragte onregmatig en ongeldig was.

Geval 1 – Die beleid oor swangerskap

In die eerste geval het twee skole ingevolge hul onderskeie “beleide oor swangerskappe” onder leerders, die betrokke leerders uit die skool geskors. In beide gevalle het die hoof van die betrokke onderwysdepartement die skool beveel om die leerders weer tot die skool toe te laat. Die skole het hul hierna tot die Hof gewend.

In beide gevalle het die Hof ‘n interdik toegestaan, wat die onderwysdepartement verbied om opdragte aan die skoolhoofde te gee wat direk in stryd was met die behoorlik aanvaarde beleid van die skool. Die Hof bevind dat selfs indien die beleid oënskynlik in stryd met die grondwet of andersins onwettig sou wees, kan sodanige beleid slegs deur ‘n Hof op hersiening tersyde gestel word. Die direkte opdrag van die onderwysdepartement aan die skoolhoof om nie uitvoering te gee aan die beleid nie, was dus onwettig. Die onderwysdepartement moes eerder uit die staanspoor die Hof met ‘n hersieningsaansoek genader het om die skoolbeleid tersyde te laat stel.

Geval 2 – Die toelatingsbeleid

In die tweede geval het ‘n skool sy volle toelatingskapasiteit vir die skooljaar bereik. ‘n Leerder het aansoek gedoen om toelating, maar sy was onsuksesvol omdat haar aansoek reeds baie laag op die bestaande waglys was. Die onderwysdepartement het opdrag gegee dat die leerder toegelaat moes word. Terselftertyd het die departement ook die skoolhoof se toelatingsfunksie weggeneem.

Weereens het die Appèlhof beslis dat dit die beheerliggaam van die skool se funksie en prerogatief is om die toelatingsbeleid en kapasiteitsvlakke van die skool vas te stel. Die Hof bevind verder dat hierdie magte van die beheerliggaam nie absoluut is nie en dat die provinsiale onderwysdepartemente wel ‘n beperkte “oorsigsrol” het. Die beheerliggaam se beleidsbesluite moet steeds redelik en rasioneel wees by die vastelling van die skool se kapasiteit en in die toepassing van die skool se toelatingsbeleid.

Verder, die toelatingsbeleid mag nie:

  • Op onregverdige wyse teen applikante diskrimineer nie
  • Enige toelatingstoetse van ‘n applikant vereis nie, en
  • Toelating weier omdat die applikant se ouers nie die voorgeskrewe skoolgelde betaal het nie of nie in staat is om dit te betaal nie;

Twee belangrike Voetnotas:

  1. Gewysigde regulasies is in Maart 2012 in Gauteng afgekondig wat bepaal dat die onderwysdepartement (en nie die beheerliggaam nie) ‘n skool se toelatingskapasiteit sal vasstel.  Die Hof het geen bevinding oor die geldigheid van hierdie regulasies gemaak nie aangesien hierdie regulasies nog nie in plek was toe die oorspronklike hofsake ontstaan het nie. Volgens media berigte word die geldigheid van hierdie regulasies reeds in verskeie regsaksies getoets.
  2. Volgens media berigte blyk dit ook of die saak oor die toelatingsbeleid na die Grondwetlike Hof verwys gaan word. Vir die hede, het die Appèlhof die bevoegdheid van die beheerliggame om die reëls te maak onder bogenoemde omstandighede, bekragtig. Die beheerliggame moet egter deurlopend op wettige wyse besluite neem en optree. Anders sal hul beleidsbesluite op hersiening geneem word.  Enige beleid wat ‘n leerder se grondwetlike regte tot onderwys gaan raak, sal met die hoogste sorg en noukeurigheid geformuleer moet word.

Indien daar enige twyfel bestaan, behoort die beheerliggaam in elk geval regsadvies in te win!

© DotNews, 2005-2012. Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies.

Bou jy dalk ‘n huis in 2013? Kry jou dekking in plek!

Untitled-2Indien jy beplan om jou droomhuis in 2013 te bou is dit gerusstellend om te weet dat jy ruim statutêre beskerming teen swak vakmanskap en strukturele skade geniet.

Ten einde verbeuring daarvan te voorkom, sal jy aan die volgende vereistes moet voldoen:

  1. Jou bouer moet, soos deur die reg voorgeskryf, by die NHBRC (Nasionale Huisbouersregistrasieraad) geregistreer wees. Hierdie registrasie moet geldig wees en  kan  nie opgeskort, verval het of in ‘n proses van deregistrasie wees nie; en
  2. Jy moet toesien dat jy ‘n “sertifikaat van bewys van inskrywing” ontvang, alvorens die bouery ‘n aanvang neem, wat bevestig dat jou huis by die Raad “ingeskryf” is.

Jou regte

Jou boukontrak moet opgestel of professioneel nagegaan word met inagneming van die tegniese standaarde wat in die Raad se handleiding (“Home Building Manual”) voorgeskryf word, asook met welke as minimum standaarde ingevoeg moet word. Die geimpliseerde waarborge ingevolge die wet, moet ook bygevoeg word. In algemene terme sal jy waarborge insluit dat jou huis:

  • Met die nodige vakmanskap en kundigheid gebou sal word (“workmanlike manner”);
  • In geheel vir bewoning geskik sal wees; en
  • Volgens die NHBRC se tegniese voorskrifte, planne, spesifikasies en algemene vereistes en dies meer opgerig sal word.

Jou remedies

Jy moet onmiddellik aan jou bouer kennis gee om enige probleme met die bouwerk aan te spreek en reg te maak. Dit sluit in probleme rakende die tekstiel gebruik, afwykings van die bouplanne, probleme met die ontwerp, vakmanskap, materiaal en ‘n lys van werk wat nie na wense aangepak of voltooi is nie. Die algemene afsnytyd is drie maande nadat jy okkupasie van die woning geneem het, maar langer periodes geld vir:

  1. Enige “ernstige strukturele defek” wat binne 5 jaar vanaf okkupasie ontstaan het en wat veroorsaak is deur die nie – nakoming van die Raad se tegniese vereistes nie nagekom is nie; en
  2. Enige daklek wat toeskryfbaar is aan “gebrekkige vakmanskap, ontwerp of material” wat binne 12 maande vanaf datum van okkupasie manifesteer.

(Let daarop dat hierdie slegs die minimum voorgeskrewe periodes is en dat die partye ook op langer waarborgperiodes kan ooreenkom.)

Indien jou klagtes nie aangespreek word nie, nadat jy dit aangemeld het, is jou eerste eis nog steeds teen die bouer. Die Raad sal jou wel kan help in terme van hul klagtes, bemiddeling en dissiplinêre prosedures.

Kan jy direk van die Raad eis?

Wat gebeur as die bouer weier (of nie in staat is nie) om te voldoen aan jou eis vir rektifikasie nie? Dit is algemeen bekend dat bouers en selfs konstruksiemaatskappye kom en gaan en dat van hulle finansieël deur diep waters gaan. Dit kan jou met ‘n waardelose eis en ‘n gebrekkige woning agterlaat. Gelukkig beskik jy nogsteeds oor ‘n verdere eis teen die Raad se waarborgfonds. Hierdie eis is egter beperk tot ernstige strukturele gebreke en daklekke wat ontstaan soos hierbo aangedui.

Wat is ‘n “ernstige strukturele defek”?

Die formele definisie lui as volg: “A defect which gives rise or which is likely to give rise to damage of such severity that it affects or is likely to affect the structural integrity of a home and which requires complete or partial rebuilding of the home or extensive repair work to it, subject to the limitations, qualifications or exclusions that may be prescribed by the Minister”. 

Dit is nogal ‘n mondvol. ‘n Onlangse uitspraak van die Hoë Hof gee vir ons ‘n praktiese illustrasie. Hier het die woning ter sprake, binne ‘n jaar na okkupasie groot krake in die betonvloerblad ontwikkel. Die eienaar het ‘n strukturele  ingenieur ingeroep en hy het bevind dat die krake struktureel van aard was. Die Raad het insgelyks ‘n strukturele ingenieur ingeroep wat bevind het dat die probleem nie struktureel van aard was nie, maar dat dit ontstaan het as gevolg van inkrimping voortspruitend uit swak werkmanskap tydens die gooi van die betonblad.

Nadat die hof beide partye se deskundige verslae en getuienis oorweeg het, kom die Hof tot die bevinding dat die woning se “onderliggende struktuur gebrekkig” was en dat hierdie fatale gebrek beslis struktureel van aard was. Hierdie gebreke was ongetwyfeld van ‘n ernstige aard, soos hierbo gedefinieer, en die Hof beveel die Raad om toe te sien dat dit herstel word.

Die beperking

Die Raad is slegs by magte om ‘n maksimum van R500 000 te spandeer om die probleem en gebrek aan te spreek of ‘n bedrag gelykstaande aan die “verkoopprys van die huis”, indien dit minder as R500 000 beloop.

© DotNews, 2005-2012. Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies.

The January websites: Planning for success In 2013.


Untitled-2“The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis.’ One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger — but recognize the opportunity.”
John F. Kennedy.

With any luck 2013 will produce the first green shoots of a global economic recovery.  Whether it does or not, and even if it turns out to be as full of challenge and crisis as the less optimistic pundits are suggesting, concomitant opportunities will inevitably abound.

Get ready to take advantage of them with these suggestions:

  1. Plan your year.  Start by creating your own customised calendar at http://www.timeanddate.com/
  2. Read “10 lessons for living a happier and more fulfilling life” by Karl Pillemer on Leader.co.za’s site at http://www.leader.co.za/article.aspx?s=1&f=1&a=3497
  3. With those 10 lessons in mind, set your own goals for 2013 and beyond with “Personal Goal Setting: Planning to Live Your Life Your Way” on the MindTools website at http://www.mindtools.com/page6.html

Only then move on to formulating goals for your business with Inc.’s “How to Set Business Goals” at http://www.inc.com/guides/2010/06/setting-business-goals.html

© DotNews, 2005-2012. This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice.

Buyers, sellers beware: New electric fence regulations.

Untitled-2From 1 October 2012, the “Electrical Machinery Regulations” require you to have an “electric fence system certificate” if you install, add to or alter any electric fence.  Fences in place as at 1 October 2012 are exempt as long as they remain as is.

The risk for property buyers and sellers is that the requirement for a certificate kicks in not only if you extend or alter an existing fence, but also when the property is sold.  As there is no clarity on whether it is the seller or the buyer who must obtain the certificate – this is a recipe for dispute and delay.

Buyers: Your risk

As the Regulations don’t specifically require the seller to provide you with a certificate, it is quite possible that the transfer could go through without one.  And if that happens, you will find yourself in contravention of the law, and having to apply for a certificate yourself.  As the Regulations aim to standardise fences to comply with set specifications, you could find yourself having to bring the fence up to spec at major cost and inconvenience. Don’t risk that – insist on a clause in your sale agreement requiring the seller to provide the compliance certificate prior to transfer!

Note:  A certificate once issued is transferable to a new owner.  So a subsequent sale won’t require a new certificate unless the fence has been altered in the interim – where applicable, the seller should warrant that no such alterations have taken place.

© DotNews, 2005-2012. This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice.

Back to school – Whose rules apply?

Untitled-2Two recent Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) decisions confirm that governance of a public school is the responsibility of its governing body. In both instances the Provincial Department of Education intervened and ordered the school principal to ignore policies set by its governing body. The Court Found this to be unlawful and invalid.

Case 1 – The pregnancy policy

In the first case, two schools had, in terms of their respective “pregnancy policies”, each suspended a learner from school.  When provincial government, in the person of the Head of Department  of Education (HoD) instructed the respective schools to re-admit the learners, the schools went to court.

In both instances the education department was interdicted “from directing the school principal to act in a manner contrary to the policy adopted by the school governing body”.  The Court held that even if such policies are unconstitutional or otherwise unlawful, they can only be set aside by a court on review – accordingly in this case “the conduct of the HoD, in instructing the principals not to implement the policies, was unlawful.”  The provincial government should rather have approached a court to set the policies aside.

Case 2 – The admissions policy

In the second case, an applicant learner was refused admission to a school because she was far down on the waiting list, and the school had reached its capacity. The relevant HoD instructed the school to nevertheless admit the learner, and purported to withdraw the principal’s admission function.

On appeal, the SCA held that it is the governing body of a school that must determine the school’s capacity and admission policies.  The authority of a governing body to govern a school is however not absolute, and provincial governments have an “oversight role” (albeit a limited one).  Moreover, held the Court, a governing body must “necessarily act reasonably and rationally” both in determining the school’s capacity and in applying its policies.  In addition, its admissions policies may not:

  • Be unfairly discriminatory
  • Require an admission test to be administered to a learner, and
  • Refuse admission to a learner because the parent has not paid or is unable to pay the school fees;

Two Important Footnotes:

  1. Amended regulations were introduced in Gauteng in March 2012 which provided that the HoD – not the governing body – shall determine the capacity of a school.  The Court made no ruling on the validity or otherwise of these new regulations as they were introduced after the case in question arose. However, according to media reports their lawfulness is being challenged in separate legal actions.
  2. Media reports suggest that the “admissions policy” case may be taken on appeal to the Constitutional Court. At least for the moment however, the power of governing bodies to “make the rules” in the circumstances of these two cases has been confirmed.  Governing bodies must act lawfully or face court challenges to their policies. In particular, any policies which might impact on learners’ constitutional rights to education must be formulated with great care.

Take advice in doubt!

© DotNews, 2005-2012. This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice.

Building a home in 2013? Don’t lose your defect cover!

Untitled-2If one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to build your own dream home, know that you have strong statutory protection against poor workmanship and structural failure.

However, you will have to adhere to the following requirements in order not to lose them:

  1. Your builder is ,as required by law, registered with the NHBRC (National Home Builder’s Registration Council), and that his/her registration is current and not suspended,expired or deregistered; and
  2. You have received, before building commences, a “certificate of proof of enrolment” confirming that your home has been “enrolled” by the Council.

Your rights

Have your building contract drawn or checked professionally with reference to the technical standards in the NHBRC’s “Home Building Manual”, and with reference to the warranties implied by law into your contract.  In general terms, these warranties are that your home will be:

  • Constructed in a “workmanlike manner”;
  • Fit for habitation; and
  • Constructed in accordance with NHBRC technical requirements, plans, specifications,  general requirements etc.

Your remedies

Give immediate notice to the builder to rectify any problems. This include snags, deviations from plan, “deficiency related to design, workmanship or material” and a number of work that was not finished to your specifications. Your general time limit for this is 3 months after occupation, but extended time periods apply to:

  1. Any “major structural defect” which manifests within 5 years of occupation and results from non-compliance with the Council’s technical requirements, and
  2. Any roof leak “attributable to workmanship, design or materials” which manifests within 12 months of occupation.

(Note that you can specify longer warranty periods in your building contract – the above are minimum periods set by law.)

If problems aren’t remedied after you report them, your first claim is against the builder.  The Council should assist you in this through its complaints, conciliation and disciplinary procedures.

Can you claim direct from the NHBRC?

What happens if your builder refuses to (or cannot) comply with your demand for rectification?  With the downturn in the construction industry it is a hard fact that many construction firms have failed, or will fail, leaving you with a worthless monetary claim and a defective house.  The good news here is that you have a backup claim against the NHBRC’s warranty fund – but, unfortunately, only for major structural defects or roof leaks manifesting as above.

What is “a major structural defect?” 

The formal definition is this: “A defect which gives rise or which is likely to give rise to damage of such severity that it affects or is likely to affect the structural integrity of a home and which requires complete or partial rebuilding of the home or extensive repair work to it, subject to the limitations, qualifications or exclusions that may be prescribed by the Minister”.

That’s quite a mouthful, but a recent High Court judgment provides a practical illustration.  The home in that case had – within a year – developed severe cracking in the concrete floor slab.  A structural engineer called in by the home owner reported that the cracks were structural in nature, but the NHBRC rejected the owner’s claim because its own expert (another structural engineer) concluded that the cracks were not structural but rather caused by shrinkage resulting from poor workmanship when the slab was poured.

The Court, having analysed both experts’ reports and evidence, held that the defects resulted from “a failure of the substructure of the house” and were thus structural in nature.  As they were also clearly “major” defects as defined, the Court ordered the NHBRC to rectify them.

The limits

The NHBRC in rectifying such defects is only empowered to spend a maximum of R500,000 or an amount equal to the “selling price of the home” if it is less than that.

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