Your sale agreement: there's many a slip ...
“There's many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip” (old proverb) In other words, even when things seem certain, they can still go horribly wrong. And that’s particularly true of immovable property sale agreements, because of our law’s formal requirements relating to them.
Yet another warning to have your sale documents professionally checked before you sign them comes from a recent High Court case (Yonda Investments CC v Rohr and Another (29235/2009) . ZAGPPHC 130) where an agreement of sale for a sectional title unit was held to be invalid for two technical reasons –
- There was no evidence that the person who signed the sale agreement for the seller (a Close Corporation) had the necessary authority in writing from the CC to do so, and
- The buyer was married in community of property, but had signed the agreement without the required written consent of his spouse. Interestingly, a seller has some protection in this regard to the extent that consent will be deemed to have been given if the seller “does not know and cannot reasonably know” of the non-compliance. In this case however the seller’s employee had known of the marriage prior to the sale and the defect was held to be fatal.
The message here is clear – fail to comply strictly with our law’s formal requirements and you will sink your sale.