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Odendaal

2 October 2008

Division: Supreme Court of Appeal
Neutral citation: Odendaal v Ferraris (422/2007) [2008] ZASCA 85
Coram: Mpati P, Cameron JA, Navsa JA, Cachalia JA et Leach AJA
Heard: 9 May 2008
Delivered: 1 September 2008



Summary

The case concerns an outbuilding for which no plans had been passed and a carport which contravened building regulations. It reaffirms the commonly accepted understanding of latent defects and the voetstoots clause. To wit, that the seller need not guarantee the building's legal status and that "… the absence of statutory permissions necessary to render them authorised are defects to which the voetstoots clause applies". Buyers should check not only the physical but also the legal aspects of the buildings (additions and alterations).

Buyers therefore have to either employ a professional to thoroughly inspect the buildings or have the seller to guarantee the building's legal status. An aggrieved buyer, in the event of not doing the above will have recourse to relief only if he can prove that the seller or his agent wilfully concealed the latent defect, or where the absence of statutory authorisation renders the property unfit for the purpose for which it was bought and sold.

Full judgement

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