Property 24/10 - 513

Lockdown and the law | What is the state of play regarding evictions?
Can a tenant be evicted under lockdown level 3? Property Law Expert Simon Dippenaar has the following advice.

A number of evictions have hit the headlines lately, but are they legal? Or are tenants’ rights being overlooked? What about a landlord’s rights? Wouldn’t it be simple if there was an unambiguous “yes” or “no” answer to these questions? But, like so much in life, the answer is: “it depends”.

Striving for certainty
The job of the legal profession is to bring certainty in times of uncertainty, through the application of laws and rules. But right now the law is in such a state of flux it is hard for lawyers to keep up, let alone the general public. Just as restrictions started to ease slightly, the president reinstated the alcohol ban. It can be hard to keep track of what is and isn’t allowed. If you are a tenant or landlord currently struggling, as a result of the economic crisis, you may be wondering where you stand.

Speed up your property transfer in a 'third of the time' with this checklist
Property transfers have been hard-hit by the depressed economy and the Covid 19 Pandemic, resulting in normal turnaround times being seriously disrupted.

Accordingly, some Sellers need to make up lost time to meet their plans and obligations. The normal process is that only after the offer to purchase is signed, will the seller “get around to dealing with” the Conveyancer’s requests for paperwork. So, the usual process of assembling the paperwork, only after the property has been sold can drag out the transfer considerably - already a 2- to 3-month long process, calculated from the date of sale.

Speeding up a 2- to 3-month process
However, there needn’t be all these delays, if sellers attend to the applicable points in list below - before the property is sold, says Conveyancing Attorney Denoon Sampson, Denoon Sampson Ndlovu Inc.

"The results will be registration of transfer in just a third of the usual time," says Sampson, "Some sellers are so desperate that they will do anything to expedite the process. On the other hand, some sellers are reluctant to spend money on fixing up the property in case the sale collapses," he states.

The pros and cons of installing an inverter
With Eskom announcing it is implementing ‘load reduction’ for certain regions of the country, many individuals and small businesses will once again be left without power. With generators in many instances not being practical, many are considering investing in an inverter that will kick in when the electricity goes off.

Advice to Tenants and Landlords
Investing in an inverter may well secure a better commercial tenant but it also places an obligation on the landlord to maintain the system. “There are pros and cons, but it should be remembered that it may well add a complication that could have been avoided. Rather, landlords should be open to both residential and commercial tenants’ requests to install an inverter themselves," says Shaun Dubois of Just Property.

Tenants considering purchasing an inverter themselves should remember to request permission from their landlord, and that this is most likely an obligation of their lease: “While the smaller systems would be an item that the tenant would simply unplug and remove,” says Dubois, “with the bigger systems, a written agreement should be compiled.”

How long does it take for a seller to receive their money after a registered sale?
A Property24 reader asks: "If a property has been registered, how long does it take for the purchase price to be paid over to?"

Conveyancing Attorney, Denoon Sampson replies:
"Before the transfer documents are lodged in the Deeds Office the purchase price is always secured. This means that the conveyancer now is in control of the payment decision. This is particularly important because once ownership has been transferred into the name of the purchaser; the purchaser is simply not able to retract payment or stall making payment.

"When we say that the purchase price is secured, we mean that cash has been paid over to our trust account and that mostly bank guarantees have been issued. The payment of the bank guarantee is always triggered by the fact that the registration of transfer has been recorded in the Deeds Office.

"So the important point is that the conveyancer is always in control of the payment decision; nobody else can withhold payment.

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