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Don't cough yet
Moneyweb - South Africa
Landlords are still smarting after the recent Constitutional Court announcement which found that laws that allow municipalities to hold landlords to ransom for tenants' rent was in fact constitutional.

However, Robert Martindale, an attorney representing landlords and other property stakeholders, has said: "The judgment should give hope to landlords and be taken as a warning to municipalities, more for what the Court did not decide than for what it did decide."

Net gains ahead for lawyers
Norfolk Eastern Daily Press - UK
Lawyers look set to join the world of online auctions by bidding for work in a new Norfolk-based internet scheme.

People buying and selling houses or needing wills can register on ClicknMove's website, which launches on Monday, and solicitors will be able to place bids to win the work. The concept could transform the way solicitors market their conveyancing and will-making services, allowing them to compete more effectively for work from clients nationally.
Norfolk Eastern Daily Press

School property spies
Moneyweb - South Africa
In a novel way of attracting mandates, estate agents are increasingly offering kickbacks to schools and parents at schools for passing on sellers' details.

In one model, parents get a share of the tip-off figure in the form of a school fee reduction - for passing on the mandate for their own home or sharing information about other parents who are ready to sell. Schools, meanwhile, get a percentage from the agent that they can plough back into the school.

Treasury launches Urban Renewal Tax Incentive
Business Day - South Africa
The National Treasury launched its Urban Renewal Tax Incentive scheme to stimulate investment in the country's urban areas. First unveiled in the 2003 National Budget and formally legislated in December 2003, the incentive is an accelerated depreciation allowance to promote and stimulate development within the inner cities of 16 large cities in South Africa.

The Treasury has said the Urban Renewal Tax Incentive encourages the refurbishment and construction of both commercial and residential buildings in designated decaying inner city areas within selected municipalities.
Business Day

Changing the rules
Law Gazette - UK
So the Law Society President thinks that he can ignore 15,000 votes of the membership who voted for the re-imposition of the ban on referral fees "in the public interest". Yet the removal of the ban is clearly against the public interest.
Law Gazette

Property investor's rip-off
Moneyweb - South Africa
In any boom, scores of people rush in with the aim of making a quick buck; often, some return with their tails between their legs.

Similarly, the red-hot property market - which recently saw house prices recording more than 30% growth rate during the year to September - has attracted many investors. But the property boom that has taken the public by storm may not be as rosy as it seems as public property syndicates come under fire for defrauding unsuspecting and inexperienced investors.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) announced on Thursday that it is currently investigating the public property syndication industry in terms of the Consumer Affairs (Unfair Business Practices) Act.

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