The recent Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) judgment of Robarts v Antoni NO (327/2013)  ZASCA 64 underlines once again the need to properly record any and all agreements relating to your property.
Sea views and servitudes: Neighbours at war
In writing or invalid
“A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's written on” (Samuel Goldwyn)
On appeal however, the SCA disagreed, holding that B had failed to prove the existence of a valid agreement by A to register a height servitude. No oral agreement had been proved and in any event our law requires any agreement for the alienation of “any interest in land” – such as the exchange of rights in this case - to be in writing and signed by both parties.
Save your sea view!
Saving your sea view could be as simple as agreeing with your neighbour to register a “height servitude” – but take advice before you agree to anything relating to your property to make sure that your agreement is in fact valid and enforceable.
Jack Crook (LLB Lond, LLB Rhod) is the author of LawDotNews, a monthly newsletter which is personalised and e-mailed to your firm's clients compliments of your firm. DotNews has also just launched a new suite of “Marketing and Communication Strategy” services incorporating the provision of Websites, Blogs and Social Media services, integrated with your client newsletters. Readers are welcome to contact Jack, or visit his web site at www.dotnews.co.za for further details.