Monthly Archives: November 2015

U testament : ‘n Belangrike dokument

A4_GTDie lewe is baie onvoorspelbaar en ons adviseer graag kliënte om erns te maak om ‘n testament in plek te hê en boedelbeplanning te doen. Hieronder is redes waarom dit een van u belangrikste prioriteite behoort te wees.

V: Hoekom behoort ek ‘n testament te hê?

A: ‘n Testament stel u in staat om erfgename volgens u keuse te benoem. Indien u sonder ‘n testament (intestaat) sou sterf, sal u bates volgens die Wet op Intestate Erfopvolging verdeel word. Dit mag dus die gevolg hê dat persone wie u nie as erfgename sou benoem nie, voordele by u afsterwe ontvang.

V: Wie mag u testament as getuie onderteken?

A: Die testament moet in die teenwoordigheid van twee getuies geteken word, wat ook in die teenwoordigheid van mekaar teken. Slegs persone 14 jaar en ouer kwalifiseer om as getuies te teken.

V: Wat beloop Eksekuteursvergoeding?

A: Die maksimum vergoeding waarop ‘n Eksekuteur geregtig is, word deur Wetgewing vasgestel en beloop tans 3.5% van u totale bruto boedelwaarde. Eksekuteursvergoeding behoort egter onderhandel te word met die persoon wat as Eksekuteur van u testament benoem word.

V: Hoe gereeld behoort ek my testament te hersien?

A: Dit word aanbeveel dat testamente ten minste elke 2 jaar hersien word. Dit is egter ook belangrik om die hersiening van u testament met gebeurtenisse soos bv. ‘n huwelik, ‘n geboorte, ‘n egskeiding of die aankoop van eiendom te oorweeg.

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. (E&OE)

Suspensive conditions in a deed of sale: Know your obligations

A3_GTImagine signing a deed of sale for your dream house and later discovering that the contract lapsed because you obtained bond approval one day too late. The situation could be worsened if the Seller receives a better offer for the house and accepts that better offer.

If a deed of sale is made subject to a suspensive condition it will lapse if such condition is not fulfilled in time. This was confirmed in the case of Marais v Kovacs Investments 724 (Pty) Ltd [2009] 1 All SA 174 (C) (hereinafter referred to as “the Marais case”). There is then no contract for the sale of the property between the two parties and the Seller can sell the property to another purchaser.

Examples of suspensive conditions are obtaining bond approval before a certain date, or the sale of the Purchaser’s current property before a certain date. It is very important for both the Seller and Purchaser to take note of the wording of these conditions and ensure that they understand them.

The following is an example of the wording of a suspensive condition relating to a bond, also sometimes referred to as a “bond condition”:

This Deed of Sale is subject to the Purchaser obtaining bond approval from a financial institution for the amount of R1 500 000 before 2 December 2013, failing which this agreement will lapse.

In the above example, if only R1 400 000 is approved before 2 December 2013, in other words R100 000 less than the required amount, then the condition is not met and the contract will lapse. Similarly, if a bond is approved for R1 500 000 but only on 5 December 2013, then the condition is not met in time and the contract will lapse, as was decided in the case of Meyer v Barnardo and another 1984 (2) SA 580 (N).

The parties can however agree to extend the time during which the suspensive condition must be fulfilled. Such extension must be in writing and signed by both the Seller and Purchaser as per the requirements of the Alienation of Land Act 68 of 1981. It must also be done before the time limit of the suspensive condition expires. In the above “bond condition” clause example, this would mean that the parties would have to sign the extension before 2 December 2013 to prevent the Deed of Sale from lapsing. In the Marais case the court held that even if the suspensive condition had been inserted in the contract for the exclusive benefit of the Purchaser, the Purchaser would have had to communicate his intention to waive the requirement before it lapsed.

In the Marais case the parties entered into a written agreement of sale with a suspensive condition that a bond in the amount of R10 149 072 needed to be obtained by 15 August 2005. The Purchaser, however, only obtained a mortgage bond in the amount of R9 650 000, which was granted on 2 August 2005. The respondent’s attorneys argued that the suspensive condition had been substantially fulfilled because the shortfall was, in their opinion, only a “minor shortfall” and therefore an insignificant amount compared to the purchase price. The court did not agree with this and found that it could not be said that the parties intended the suspensive condition to be fulfilled in any way other than what was expressly stipulated in the Deed of Sale. The court found that the contract had therefore lapsed.

If a suspensive condition will not be fulfilled in time, rather take the necessary precautions beforehand to avoid a lapsed Deed of Sale. We advise that you contact a professional for advice in this regard.

References:

  • Kontraktereg, UNISA 2004
  •  Self Study Conveyancing Course for Attorneys, Gawie le Roux, 2013
  •  Alienation of Land Act 68 of 1981
  •  Marais v Kovacs Investments 724 (Pty) Ltd [2009] 1 All SA 174 (C)
  •  Meyer v Barnardo and another 1984 (2) SA 580 (N)

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. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

Tenant and landlord: What are your rights and obligations?

A2_GTSandra would like to move into her own place but like many people she is unsure what a lease is and what responsibilities it will place on her. A lease agreement is defined as the agreement entered into between the tenant and the landlord for the leasing of a property. The lease agreement regulates the rights and obligations of both parties and protects the parties mutually.

The Rental Housing Act No 50/1999, as amended by the Rental Housing Amendment Act No 43/2007, regulates the relationship between a tenant and a landlord, even before commencement of the lease agreement.

The Act determines that the landlord may not discriminate against the prospective tenant, his family or friends, including on grounds of race, sex, pregnancy or marital status. This applies as early as placing an ad for the leasing of a property or even during negotiations between prospective tenants and the landlord.

The lease itself does not have to be in writing to be binding on both parties and should a tenant request that an oral agreement be reduced to writing, the landlord may not refuse the request.

A written lease agreement must contain the following information:

  1. The names of the parties, as well as their South African addresses;
  2. A description of the property being leased;
  3. The monthly rental payable and reasonable increases;
  4. The deposit payable, if applicable;
  5. The period for which the property will be leased. Should the agreement not mention a specific period of lease, the agreement must indicate the notice period required should one of the parties wish to terminate the contract;
  6. Any other consideration, besides the monthly rent, which may be payable;
  7. A complete list of defects that are present at the time that the parties entered into the lease agreement.

If the property is situated in a complex that has its own rules, a copy of those rules should be attached to the lease agreement. The landlord must ensure that he/she gives effect to the provisions contained in the lease agreement.

As mentioned, mutual rights and obligations are created for both parties in the lease agreement. These rights and obligations include the following:

Tenant’s rights:

  1. To jointly inspect the property before the tenant moves in and record any defects or damage to the property. This provision protects the tenant at the end of the lease period to ensure that the tenant will not be held liable for damages that already existed at the time the lease was entered into.
  2. During the lease period, the tenant has the right to privacy and the tenant’s property, home or person may not be searched.
  3. If the landlord fails to inspect the property upon expiry of the lease, the tenant can assume that the landlord acknowledges that no damage has been done to the property, and that the full deposit, together with interest thereon, must be refunded to the tenant.

Landlord’s rights:

  1. To request a deposit, in the amount agreed upon between the parties, before the tenant takes occupation of the property.
  2. To receive timeous payment of the monthly rent and also to collect overdue payments, after a court order or order from a Tribunal has been obtained.
  3. To receive the property in a good condition upon termination of the lease.
  4. To jointly inspect the property within three days before the lease expires and determine if any damage has been done to the property for which the tenant should be held liable.
  5. To recover the cost of repairs, should the property be damaged, from the tenant.
  6. Should the tenant not give access to the property for a joint inspection before expiry of the lease, the landlord should inspect the property within seven days after expiry of the lease and utilise the deposit for necessary repairs. The balance of the deposit, if any, should be refunded to the tenant within twenty-one days.

Landlord’s obligations:

  1. To invest the tenant’s deposit in an interest-bearing account at a financial institution, with an interest rate equal to or higher than the interest rate at that time earned on a savings account at such financial institution. The tenant may request proof that the deposit is invested and the landlord may not withhold such evidence.
  2. To furnish the tenant with a receipt for each payment made by the tenant, which receipt should clearly describe the property, be dated, and indicate in full what the payment is made for (e.g. Rent for the month of February 2013, or deposit).
  3. To utilise the deposit to repair any damage to the property or to recover arrears rent after expiry of the lease, and to pay the balance together with interest earned thereon to the tenant within fourteen days after the expiry of the lease.
  4. To keep all receipts in respect of repairs done to the property which were deducted from the tenant’s deposit, and make such receipts available to the tenant.
  5. To refund the tenant’s deposit together with interest thereon, within seven days of the expiry of the lease, in the event that no repairs are to be made to the property.

Should a dispute arise between the parties, the Rental Housing Tribunal in the area where the dispute arises, can be contacted.

It is very important for both the tenant and the landlord to make sure that their intentions are clearly defined in the lease and that they understand the terms of the lease before the lease agreement is signed. All provisions, responsibilities and obligations should also be clearly set out in the agreement. It is advisable to seek legal advice if any uncertainties arise, before the lease agreement is signed.

References:

  • Rental Housing Act No 50/1999, as amended by Rental Housing Amendment Act No 43/2007

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. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

Oordrag van eiendom: Is BTW of hereregte betaalbaar?

A1_GTDie Koper is verantwoordelik vir die betaling van die oordragkoste wanneer ‘n onroerende eiendom aangekoop word, maar dan moet verder bepaal word of BTW of hereregte op die transaksie aan SAID betaalbaar is.

By die oordrag van onroerende eiendom is daar altyd BTW of hereregte betaalbaar aan SAID. Daar word na die status van die verkoper en die aard van die transaksie gekyk ten einde te bepaal of BTW of hereregte betaalbaar sal wees.

BTW

Indien die Verkoper vir BTW geregistreer is en die eiendom verkoop in die loop van of ter bevordering van sy onderneming, is BTW op die transaksie betaalbaar. ‘n Ondernemer is ‘n persoon wat ‘n onderneming bedryf en wie se totale jaarlikse belasbare inkomste R1 000 000 oorskry. Hy/sy is dus verplig om vir BTW te registreer. ‘n Verdere vereiste is dat die eiendom wat verkoop word, verband moet hou met die onderneming waaruit die ondernemer sy inkomste verdien.

Die koopkontrak moet dan stipuleer of die koopprys BTW insluit of uitsluit. Indien die koopkontrak nie melding maak van BTW nie en die verkoper is vir BTW geregistreer, word BTW geag ingesluit te wees by die koopprys en sal die verkoper 14% van die koopprys aan SAID moet betaal. Die verkoper is verantwoordelik vir die oorbetaling van die BTW aan SAID tensy die kontrak bepaal dat dit die koper se verantwoordelikheid is.

Indien die koper vir BTW geregistreer is, maar die verkoper nie, sal hereregte betaalbaar wees, maar die koper kan ná registrasie die hereregte wat betaal is van SAID terugeis.

Hereregte

As die verkoper nie vir BTW geregistreer is nie is dit redelik seker dat hereregte betaalbaar sal wees, en wel deur die koper. Die koers waarteen hereregte tans bereken word is soos volg :

  1. Die eerste R600 000 van die waarde is vrygestel van hereregte,
  2. Daarna is die hereregte 3% van die waarde tot en met R1 000 000.
  3. Vanaf R1 000 001 tot R1 500 000 is die hereregte R12 000 plus 5% van die waarde bo R1 000 000.
  4. Op ‘n waarde van R1 500 001 en hoër is die hereregte R37 000 plus 8% van die waarde bo R1 500 000.

Die koers waarteen hereregte betaal word, is tans dieselfde vir natuurlike en regspersone (maatskappy, beslote korporasie of trust).

Daar is enkele gevalle waar hereregte nie betaalbaar is nie, o.a. waar ‘n party ‘n eiendom bekom kragtens ‘n egskeidingsbevel of ‘n erfgenaam is uit ‘n boedel.

Hereregte word bereken op die billike waarde van die eiendom wat gewoonlik die koopsom is. Indien die markwaarde van die eiendom egter hoër as die koopsom is,sal hereregte op die hoogste bedrag gehef word. Hereregte moet oorbetaal word aan SAID binne ses maande vanaf datum van kontraksluiting.

Wanneer aandele in ‘n maatskappy, of die ledebelang in ‘n beslote korporasie, of die regte in ‘n trust oorgedra word, is die transaksie onderhewig aan die betaling van hereregte indien die regspersoon die eienaar van ‘n residensiële eiendom is.

Nulkoers-transaksies

Dit beteken dat BTW wel betaalbaar is, maar teen ‘n koers van 0%. Waar beide die verkoper en koper vir BTW geregistreer is en die eiendom as ‘n lopende saak verkoop word, word BTW teen ‘n nulkoers gehef, bv. waar ‘n boer sy plaas tesame met die implemente en vee verkoop.

Vrystelling

Waar die verkoper vir BTW geregistreer is en sy besigheid die koop en verkoop van eiendom en die verhuring daarvan vir woondoeleindes behels, en hy die verhuurde eiendom verkoop, is daar nie BTW betaalbaar nie, maar wel hereregte.

Dit is dus belangrik vir die koper om met die sluiting van die kontrak navraag te doen oor die BTW-status van die verkoper. Die verkoper wat vir BTW geregistreer is, moet met kontraksluiting die koopprysklousule deeglik nagaan om seker te maak of die verkoopprys BTW insluit of uitsluit.

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. (E&OE)