Latest News

March 25, 2019

When does a foreign system of law apply to your contract?

It is a requirement in the South African Law of Contract that, for a contract to come into existence, an offer to contract must be made by one party to […]
March 25, 2019

Trustees’ duties and powers

All the powers of a trustee are ‘fiduciary’, which means that they must be exercised as follows: in the best interests of all the beneficiaries; only for the benefit of […]
March 25, 2019

Paternity leave for men

From January 2019, working South African men are entitled to 10 days of paternity leave after the birth of their child. The Labour Amendment Act also includes provisions for 10 […]
March 25, 2019

Electronic signing of documentation

The commercial world is currently moving to greater levels of digitisation. Organisations are implementing automated and electronic solutions in an effort to improve efficiency and better the environmental footprint at […]
November 6, 2018

Can trustees ban your pet in a sectional title scheme?

Problems around the ownership of pets are common amongst owners of sectional title properties, but while laws may be imposed by the trustees of the homeowners’ associations, the requirement for […]
November 6, 2018

The FICA Bill: What does it mean for you?

President Jacob Zuma has signed the Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment (FICA) Bill, However, it must still be implemented. The bill is intended to strengthen measures to combat money laundering and […]
November 6, 2018

The Consumer Protection Act and your rights

The South African Consumer Protection Act, No. 68 of 2008 was signed on 24 April 2009 and the purpose of the Act is to protect the interests of all consumers, […]
November 6, 2018

What are tenant and landlord duties?

When it comes to letting a property – both the tenant and the landlord should always enter into any letting agreements openly and honestly and intending for each party to […]
November 1, 2018

Awaiting your deposit

What to know when your landlord has your deposit and has failed to pay it out You have viewed the new property and secured it by paying the correct deposit […]
November 1, 2018

Determining the grounds for informed consent

If a person gives consent without acknowledging, understanding and considering their rights beforehand, is their consent legal and permissible in court? In eviction proceedings, it is questioned whether the granted […]
November 1, 2018

The Competition Commission: Play fair or else

There has been a lot of activity in the commercial sector regarding unfair behaviour according to the Competition Commission. Claims arose that retail giants blocked rivals by means of exclusive […]
November 1, 2018

Government administrators making wrong decisions

Occasionally, government administrations make decisions that people don’t understand or agree with. In cases such as these there are procedures to follow that ensures administrative justice. The Promotion of Administrative […]
October 23, 2018

POPI and your payroll

The requirements of the POPI Act stipulates that an entity is required to take reasonable measures of a technical, as well as organisational nature, to ensure the adequate safeguarding of […]
October 23, 2018

Unlawfully evicted? Here’s a piece of PIE

Unless the sheriff of the court has evicted you, you should remain right where you are. If anyone else carries out an eviction, it constitutes as unlawful according to the […]
October 23, 2018

Can I get refunded if I’m sold a defective car?

Ford South Africa has been forced to recall more than 4500 Kuga Ecoboost 1.6 litre models manufactured between December 2012 and February 2014. Ford South Africa’s chief executive Jeff Nemeth […]
October 23, 2018

Occupiers who can’t be evicted under the EST Act

The Prevention of Illegal Eviction and Occupation of Land Act 19 of 1998 (PIE Act) provides, inter alia, the procedures for the eviction of unlawful occupiers. Section 1 of the […]
October 3, 2018

Choosing mediation when resolving disputes

If I suggest mediation to a party with whom I have a dispute, am I signalling that I lack confidence in my own case? Mediation offers many advantages to parties […]
October 3, 2018

The rights of a domestic partnership

Domestic partnerships, also known as cohabitation relationships, are becoming more common in our society, and it therefore becomes ever more important for parties to understand the different legal implications of being […]
October 3, 2018

Before leasing, include these in the agreement

If you consider leasing out your property, it is important not to overlook any requirement and expectations you may have of the incoming tenant. A basic lease agreement should at […]
October 3, 2018

Is your business being liquidated?

Many businesses fail and consequently have to face financial crises that few recover from and in most instances, results in business owners shutting doors for good. If your business has no assets or liabilities, the more simpler process of deregistration takes place. The liquidation process needs to […]
September 25, 2018

The termination of joint ownership

Nature of joint ownership: Joint owners own undivided shares in the property which they own jointly. Consequently, the joint owners cannot divide the joint property while the joint ownership remains […]
September 25, 2018

The relevance of CA(SA)’s

The CA(SA) designation has been considered a coveted profession.  Once you have qualified as a CA(SA), you hear of all the opportunities that are available in all kinds of industries […]
September 25, 2018

The A, B and C of service of legal documents

How are legal documents supposed to be served, and what is regarded as invalid service? Purpose of service of legal documents: The fundamental rule with regards to service is that […]
September 25, 2018

The difficulties in relocating a child of divorced parents.

I have divorced my husband and I am now the primary caregiver of our minor child. I received a job offer in another country and I would really like to […]
July 13, 2018

What if you’ve been a victim of cybercrime?

In the modern age, more and more criminals are exploiting the speed, convenience and anonymity of the internet to commit a diverse range of criminal activities that know no borders, […]
July 13, 2018

I have a serious complaint against my landlord

At times the relationship between landlords and tenants can become unstable. Perhaps you believe your landlord has treated you unfairly and you want to officially complain. The provincial Rental Housing […]
July 13, 2018

How do I get copyright on something?

Whenever someone creates a piece of original work based on their own idea, they are automatically granted copyright on that creation. This includes work produced by authors, musicians, computer programmers, […]
July 13, 2018

Considering adoption? Here’s what you need to know

Growing your family through adoption is a bold step towards giving another child a loving, comfortable home. The legal age for being able to adopt in South Africa is 18, […]
July 2, 2018

Legally owning a firearm in South Africa

Many people in South Africa own a firearm or intend to own one in the future. However, the right to possess a firearm is not guaranteed by law, and such […]
July 2, 2018

Shutting down of utilities

The municipality is the place where most, if not all, services are monitored for their availability to a property, and it is the very place that may cut off the […]
July 2, 2018

The do’s and don’ts of contract cancellations

Every person, whether an individual or a juristic person, will find themselves in a situation where they will want to terminate a contract. The aim of this article is to […]
July 2, 2018

Properly executing a will is extremely important

I gave instructions to my attorney to prepare a last will and testament for me as my will no longer reflected my wishes. At my request, my attorney emailed the […]
June 4, 2018

Bail in South Africa

In any court case when a person is arrested, the accused person remains to be presumed not guilty until the court finds such person guilty.  In our law no one […]
June 4, 2018

Is your business being liquidated?

Many businesses fail and consequently have to face financial crises that few recover from and in most instances, results in business owners shutting doors for good. If your business has no assets or […]
June 4, 2018

Can my property be used for Airbnb?

When deciding whether to become an Airbnb host, it’s important for you to understand how the laws work in your city. According to Brett Herron, the mayoral committee member for transport […]
June 4, 2018

Can surrogate parents get maternity leave?

Alex and Ben are in love and decide to enter into a civil union on 31 October 2010 in terms of the Civil Union Act[1]. Everything is going great and […]
May 24, 2018

Selling your property? There might be some costs you are not aware of

If you are selling property in South Africa, check what costs you have to pay, and if they’re applicable to you. Bond costs Cancellation Costs: This is charged when you […]
May 9, 2018

Safeguarding children’s rights during divorce

Divorce and the resulting challenges regarding child custody and the responsibilities of parents can be an ugly and difficult process. This is especially true of the children whose emotional and […]
May 9, 2018

Unopposed and opposed divorce: What’s the difference?

My spouse said that he/she won’t ‘give me a divorce’. What can I do? Your spouse can oppose the divorce, but it is the Court that grants a divorce, not […]
May 9, 2018

Is your business legally compliant?

Compliance refers to a company obeying all of the legal laws and regulations regarding how they manage the business, their staff, and their treatment towards their consumers. The point of […]
May 9, 2018

Am I prejudiced by an arbitration clause in my building contract?

Contracts for the building of a house or providing for substantial alterations to a house commonly contain an arbitration clause.  This article looks at the advantages of resolving disputes relating […]
October 5, 2017

The basics of Estate Duty

When a person dies, they leave behind an estate which includes everything they own. Estate Duty is payable on the estate of every person who dies and whose nett estate […]
October 5, 2017

New requirements to re-instate a company or close corporation

A company or close corporation may be deregistered upon request from the company or close corporation or any other third party. A company or close corporation may also be re-instated. […]
October 5, 2017

What is a title deed?

If you are planning to buy a new property, you will need to get the title deed transferred into your name to prove that you are the owner of the […]
October 5, 2017

What is the sale agreement?

Whenever you buy or sell a house you will encounter the sale agreement, which is also called an “offer to purchase”. This is a contract between a buyer and seller […]
September 12, 2017

Renew your Will

Christo Mulder Attorneys will be participating in National Wills Week from 11-15 September 2017, an initiative of The Law Society of South Africa. If you have not renewed your Will your […]
August 23, 2017

Can I amend my will?

Having a will is a final statement of how you want your assets to be managed after your death. However, sometimes you may want to change it. You may have […]
August 23, 2017

Customary marriages and community of property

Since the promulgation of the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act, 120 of 1998, the position has changed in that customary marriages are now recognised in our law. A marriage that […]
August 23, 2017

Immediate steps following the death of a loved one

The death of a loved one is a difficult process to go through, and when the inevitable occurs, it is important to remember what happens next. The cause of death […]
August 23, 2017

The basics of creating a Last Will & Testament

Who your property is passed on to depends on whether you have a valid will or not. If you do have a valid will, then your property will be divided […]
August 17, 2017

Antenuptial contracts: Can I get one after marriage?

Couples who are interested in an antenuptial contract often make the decision to get one before they are married. That is the ideal scenario. However, some couples may have already […]
August 17, 2017

Can breaking-off an engagement prompt legal action?

Once a couple has become engaged, you could say that they have concluded a verbal contract to get married. From that point, up until the marriage, the couple would be […]
August 17, 2017

Do I need a cohabitation contract with my partner?

Cohabitation is a relationship between two people who choose to live together in a monogamous and stable environment. Couples who decide on cohabitation could do so, prior to getting married, […]
August 17, 2017

Antenuptial contracts: With or without the accrual system?

If you don’t have an ANC, you are automatically married in community of property. This means that there is one estate between a husband and a wife. Everything is shared […]
June 20, 2017

Sectional titles: What is the role of the body corporate?

When it comes to sectional title schemes, there is still widespread misunderstanding of even the basics, starting with the body corporate and how it is established, as well as what […]
June 20, 2017

Demystifying the executor in a deceased estate

During a person’s lifetime s/he will gather assets, in other words, belongings such as a house or a motor vehicle. These assets and liabilities will form part of a person’s […]
June 20, 2017

How does inheritance work?

When someone dies they normally have what is called a ‘will’. The people who benefit from this ‘will’ are known as the heirs. Upon someone death, the heirs receive an […]
June 20, 2017

The benefits of creating a trust

Trusts are well-known to facilitate effective estate planning and continuity planning strategies. That said, setting up a trust – whether an inter vivos (between the living) or a testamentary (created […]
May 18, 2017

Maintenance in Sectional Title Schemes

The requirements now necessary with regards to sectional title maintenance of major capital items as per the Sectional Title Schemes Management Act (STSMA) are there to create a more formalised […]
May 18, 2017

Vacant gardens and property rates

The purpose of this article is to explain the laws and policies that determine how property rates and other services are charged to erven that do not have residential homes […]
May 18, 2017

Zero-rated VAT for a commercial property transaction

The area of zero-rated VAT for a commercial property transaction can be confusing and must be properly understood if one wishes to avoid confusion and delays. “Previously, it was common […]
May 18, 2017

Engineering contribution figures

Sections 20(2)(c)(i), 48, 63 and Chapter 5 of the Town Planning and Townships Ordinance 15 of 1986 (“the Ordinance”) deal with the levying and payment of engineering contribution figures. These […]
April 19, 2017

Is the tenant or landlord responsible for the water leaks?

Questions, and sometimes disputes, often arise between landlords and tenants regarding where the responsibility lies with the maintenance of a property. The simple answer is that tenants can generally only […]
April 19, 2017

Gearing up for POPI compliance

The Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act will soon be tabled in parliament. The POPI Act outlines how companies may collect, handle, store and discard the personal information of others. […]
April 19, 2017

Planning your Estate as Newlyweds

For newlyweds, one of the most important tasks to attend to is estate planning. The estate planning will depend on what the couple wants and what form of marriage they […]
April 19, 2017

Authenticating documents for use outside SA

If you need to use official South African documents in another country, it is necessary that they are legalised for use abroad. This can be for any number of reasons, such […]
February 13, 2017

What does the Deeds Office do?

The Deeds Office is responsible for the registration, management and maintenance of the property registry of South Africa. If you are planning on buying a house, it can be useful […]
February 13, 2017

Co-owning property with someone else: The ups and downs

What is co-ownership? Co-ownership is when one or more people jointly own the same property. In essence, it is when they legally share ownership without dividing the property into physical […]
February 13, 2017

Is your business POPI compliant?

POPI refers to South Africa’s Protection of Personal Information Act which seeks to regulate the Processing of Personal Information. What is Personal Information? Means any information relating to an identifiable, […]
February 13, 2017

Owning property without a Will

If you die without a will, an administrator will have to be appointed to administer your estate which will be distributed according to the laws of intestate succession. As such, […]
January 18, 2017

My brother’s keeper: The unfortunate building contractor and the enriched owner

A building contractor entered a binding and legal, written building contract with a closed corporation to erect a residential house on land registered to the sole member of the corporation […]
January 18, 2017

Is my tenant responsible for the worn out carpet?

There are several damages a landlord can deduct from a tenant’s deposit. However, there are certain household items that will experience normal wear and tear over time. This is referred […]
January 18, 2017

How is a deceased’s estate administered?

The administering of a deceased estate is regulated by the Administration of Estates Act No 66 of 1965 (as amended) and divided according to a valid will or the Intestate […]
January 18, 2017

Implications of estate duty

Estate duty is charged on the dutiable value of the estate in terms of the Estate Duty Act. The general rule is that if the taxpayer is ordinarily resident in […]
December 1, 2016

Why is an independent trustee important?

A well-known court case, Land Bank of South Africa vs JL Parker and Two Others (the Parker case) irrevocably changed the requirements for independent trustees to be appointed and placed […]
December 1, 2016

When must you consult the Family Advocate?

You may consult the Family Advocate if you have a dispute relating to either the best interests of a child and/or parental responsibilities and rights. Other circumstances under which the […]
December 1, 2016

What to do after a car accident?

If a driver of a vehicle, at the time when the vehicle is involved in or contributes to any accident in which any person is killed or injured or suffers […]
December 1, 2016

Getting child contact for divorced parents

Contact refers to maintaining a personal relationship with a child. It entitles a person to see, spend time with (visit or be visited) or communicate (through post, by telephone or […]
October 26, 2016

Do I need an antenuptial contract before marriage?

An antenuptial contract is an important document that, under South African law, determines whether your marriage will exist in community of property or out of community of property, with or […]
October 26, 2016

Important steps for the transfer of property

The transfer process can take up to three-months, sometimes longer. There are different steps involved in the transfer of a property, these include: 1. Instruction. A conveyancer receives the instruction […]
October 26, 2016

What should a conveyancer do?

Conveyancing (or conveyance) is the legal term for the process whereby a person, company, close corporation or trust becomes the registered and legal owner of immovable property and ensures that […]
October 26, 2016

How can a person get married in South Africa?

A person can get married in terms of a civil marriage, customary marriage, civil union or religious marriage. A religious marriage is not recognised as a valid marriage, but the […]
September 21, 2016

When does a claim prescribe?

The issue of the legal nature of a vindicatory claim and whether it gives rise to a debt that is subject to the three-year extinctive prescription period has been decided […]
September 21, 2016

What is the talem qualem or thin-skull rule?

In situations where a wrongdoer causes some form of damage to a victim, the victim might suffer more damage than one might usually expect. This might be caused by the […]
September 21, 2016

How to register an inter-vivos trust?

In South Africa there are mainly two types of trusts that are registered. An inter-vivos trust can be created between living persons, and a testamentary trust is created in the […]
September 21, 2016

Transfer of a property: Is VAT or transfer duty payable?

A purchaser is responsible for payment of transfer cost when acquiring an immovable property, but it should further be established if the transaction is subject to the payment of VAT […]
August 18, 2016

Managing disputes over a deceased relative’s estate

If someone leaves a sizeable estate behind, it may cause conflict among the possible heirs. The help of an attorney, when settling an estate after a death, can avoid unnecessary […]
August 18, 2016

The link between CGT and Income Tax

The name “Capital Gains Tax” (CGT) can create the impression that CGT stands on its own as a separate tax from the rest of the taxes but this is not […]
August 18, 2016

Why is the transfer of my property taking so long?

After signing a deed of sale, the purchasers often want to move into the property with great excitement and as soon as possible. When they are informed of the process […]
August 18, 2016

Usufruct, Usus and Habitatio: What is the difference?

Usufruct, usus and habitatio are personal servitudes. These servitudes are sometimes considered as an estate planning tool to reduce estate duty, but testators don’t always realise what this entails and […]
July 14, 2016

Rescission of judgement

Imagine receiving the nasty surprise that default JJ has been entered against your name because of a summons that you have never even received. It is necessary that you know the […]
July 14, 2016

Facebook`s revenge

Facebook, Twitter and other social network sites are part of many people’s lives and serve as a useful vehicle for sharing one’s personal views. However, these sites may have unfortunate […]
July 14, 2016

How to avoid a court battle with mediation

In the case of a legal dispute where the parties involved do not want to go to court, mediation offers an out-of-court alternative. On the other hand, litigation involves two […]
July 14, 2016

What happens if I die without a will?

Attorneys often emphasis the fact that you should have a will drawn up and revise it regularly in order to facilitate the bequeathing of your possessions after your death. Many […]
June 23, 2016

When does a claim prescribe?

The issue of the legal nature of a vindicatory claim and whether it gives rise to a debt that is subject to the three year extinctive prescription period has been […]
June 23, 2016

The advantages and disadvantages of trusts

Trusts have various advantages, but unfortunately there are also disadvantages. Although this is not a complete synopsis of all the pros and cons, it gives a general overview of what’s […]
June 23, 2016

Pay your levies, or else…

Dear Mr Lawyer I am the owner of a sectional title, and I have paid my levies every month as required, until the water started seeping through the ceiling of […]
June 23, 2016

I bought something that doesn’t work

Sarah buys furniture from Mark who promised her that the furniture is of good quality. However, he doesn’t notify her about problems with the furniture. Later, Sarah discovers that some […]
May 23, 2016

The Living Will

Most people are familiar with a will or testament and understand the importance of having this legal declaration drafted, by which the testator nominates an executor to manage his or […]
May 19, 2016

Me, my neighbour and that tree

The house was just perfect – the right neighbourhood, well-established garden, beautiful trees waving graciously in the summer breeze with just the right amount of shade next to your swimming […]
May 19, 2016

Usufruct, Usus and Habitatio: What is the difference?

Usufruct, usus and habitatio are personal servitudes. These servitudes are sometimes considered as an estate planning tool to reduce estate duty, but testators don’t always realise what this entails and […]
May 19, 2016

Differences between the Domestic Violence Act and the Harassment Act

There are people who suffer emotional and physical abuse on a daily basis but are not quite sure what they can do to prevent it. There are two options available […]
April 1, 2016

Selling of assets by individuals: when will it attract cgt?

Individuals who are residents for the purpose of the Income Tax Act, 58 of 1962, are liable for CGT (capital gains tax) on the disposal of South African and foreign […]
April 1, 2016

Sale of immovable property and the national credit act

It often happens during a sale of immovable property that the parties agree to a deferred payment of the purchase price. The purchaser will then pay the purchase price in […]
April 1, 2016

Tenant and landlord – what are your rights and obligations?

Sandra would like to move into her own place but like many people she is unsure what a lease is and what responsibilities it will place on her. A lease […]
April 1, 2016

Trustees of body corporate not allowed to disconnect electricity or water supply to a section as a debt collection measure

The default of levy payments is a frequent problem for the trustees of body corporates as well as the managing agent. It is the way in which the defaulting owner […]
March 8, 2016

Validity of Antenuptial Contracts

One must be careful when drafting and signing an Antenuptial Contract. Aside from ensuring that the contents is all correct, one must also ensure that all the necessary provisions are […]
March 3, 2016

The interplay between the Consumer Protection Act and the National Credit Act, and the possibility of penalties with early settlement of credit agreements

Mr Black buys a BMW car in terms of a hire purchase agreement and the financing is done through BMW Finance. After a few months Mr Black inherits a huge […]
March 3, 2016

Insolvency and voluntary sequestration

The term “insolvency” relates to both sequestration (for individuals and trusts) and liquidation (for companies and close corporations). Sequestration can either be effected by voluntary sequestration or compulsory sequestration. This […]
February 2, 2016

How to manage your debt

Alecia had big financial problems; she had too much debt and her expenses outweighed her income. She decided to open a new bank account into which her salary could be […]
February 2, 2016

Are there limitations on ownership rights?

It is a recognised principle of property law that ownership does not confer absolute and unlimited entitlement on the owner, but that various limitations exist in the interest of the […]
February 2, 2016

Contracting with minors in a digital context

In this article, we examine whether contracts entered online by minors, using their parents’ credit cards, are legally binding in the specific context of social media such as Facebook. Both […]
January 11, 2016

Do’s and don’ts of suretyship

On 29 May 2015, in the case of Dormell Properties 282 CC v Bamberger[1], the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) set out the importance of, firstly, expressly pleading a suretyship […]
January 11, 2016

Disputes with body corporate: Homeowners’ remedies

Our office recently dealt with a matter where the trustees of the body corporate of a certain sectional title scheme clamped the wheel of the car of one of its […]
January 11, 2016

The consumer’s rights under the Consumer Protection Act

Can a consumer take you, the service provider, to court because they did not understand some of the terms and conditions of your signed contract? Beware, the answer is Yes! […]
January 11, 2016

Private defence of property

The common law provides that an owner may protect his property from harm or damage even though there might not be any physical risk of harm to the owner himself. […]
December 9, 2015

Suspensive conditions in a deed of sale: Know your obligations

Imagine signing a deed of sale for your dream house and later discovering that the contract lapsed because you obtained bond approval one day too late. The situation could be […]
December 9, 2015

Maintenance

What can you do to enforce a maintenance order against a person who is responsible for paying maintenance, but fails to do so or is paying too little? When someone […]
December 9, 2015

Extending a sectional title unit: What you should know

Residents in a Sectional Title Scheme are subject to the rules and regulations of the Body Corporate. These rules and regulations are governed by the Sectional Titles Act. When you […]
December 9, 2015

Dealing with marriage and estate planning

It is important to understand the legal implications of the marital property regime, especially when drafting a Last Will and Testament and also when entering into a marriage, as the […]
November 9, 2015

Fixtures and fittings

Many transfer attorneys have heard the question from a seller: “May I remove the stove or the curtain rails or the shelves or the …?” The most common dispute that […]
November 9, 2015

When is a tenant an illegal occupant?

Where the Contract of Lease is breached in any way by the tenant and he or she after receiving notice thereof has not remedied such a breach within the period […]
November 9, 2015

Capital Gains Tax and the sale of a property

Capital Gains Tax was introduced on 1 October 2001. Capital Gains Tax is payable on the profit a seller makes when disposing of his property. What is meant by Capital […]
November 9, 2015

Trouble with the neighbours

You and your neighbour have been good friends for years; your children have grown up together and you have always thought of him as a reasonable man, but lately you’re […]
September 30, 2015

Homeowners’ Associations: Collect those outstanding levies

The Registrar of Deeds’ Conference issued a resolution in 2010 ruling that, in the event of a forced sale, mostly in the event of insolvency, a clearance certificate is not […]
September 30, 2015

Is it beneficial to create a trust?

A Trust can be described as a legal relationship which has been created by the founder, who places assets under the control of Trustees. This either happens during the founder’s […]
September 30, 2015

Succession planning

Owning a business requires careful succession planning and is part of your estate planning as you have to determine who will succeed you, or who will purchase your shares, or […]
September 30, 2015

Co-ownership of land

The word “co-ownership” in relation to land means that two or more persons own land simultaneously in undivided shares. A share in land does not represent, and may not be […]
Contact Us