A reader has approached the Property Poser experts with a few problems, including the manner in which her landlord has dealt with her deposit. The tenant writes that she has been renting a residential property for the past two years. In terms of her original lease agreement, she had to pay a deposit of R3 700 along with a key deposit of R200 and would not receive interest upon refund of the deposit. At some stage the original landlord merged into another company, which simultaneously increased the monthly rental due. The reader states that when she did not agree to this increase, she received a letter of demand for the outstanding amount. The new landlord also insisted that she sign a new lease agreement, which she never did. When she requested a statement of account of how her deposit had been invested, the lessee was told that no interest had accrued, since it was not agreed upon in the original lease agreement. Having had enough, the reader has given the landlord two months’ notice to terminate the lease. The company has indicated that she will be refunded her deposit only, less the amount claimed in the letter of demand. The reader has also been denied her key deposit and told to approach the previous landlord regarding a refund of this and any interest earned. According to Rian du Toit from DTS Attorneys in Port Elizabeth, the Rental Housing Act states that “the landlord may require a tenant, before moving into the dwelling, to pay a deposit which, at the time, may not exceed an amount equivalent to an amount specified in the agreement or otherwise agreed to between the parties”. As far as interest on the deposit is concerned, Du Toit says the Act determines that the landlord must invest the deposit in an interest-bearing account with a financial institution. “The landlord must pay the tenant interest at a rate that may not be less than the rate applicable to a savings account with a bank.” In this regard, the provisions of the Act . . .
An anxious reader tells the Property Poser experts that she concluded a rental agreement with a tenant, which specifically stated that one month’s notice would be given to vacate the premises should the property be sold. The lease agreement was on a month-to-month basis. Earlier this year it appears that the property was, in fact, sold and around this time the tenant gave notice to both owner and agent that she would vacate the property. Shortly thereafter, she reneged on the notice to vacate and refused to move out, citing the PIE Act in her defence. The reader would like to know what her remedies are. Rian du Toit from DTS Attorneys in Port Elizabeth says it appears that the agreement has been properly terminated in view of the fact that the tenant gave notice, which was accepted by the landlord. “The tenant is therefore in unlawful occupation of the property.” In terms of the provisions of the Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act, or so-called PIE Act, no one may be evicted from a property without a court order, says Du Toit. “A landlord wishing to evict an unlawful occupier has to institute action to initiate the procedure to evict.” Du Toit says a notice authorised by a magistrate must be served on the unlawful occupier as well as the municipality at least 14 working days before the hearing on the eviction. “This notice obviously allows the lessee to oppose the action. At a hearing of the matter, the court will determine whether the landlord is entitled to evict the tenant.” The PIE Act contains reference to issues to be considered by the court, says Du Toit. “These include the rights and needs of children, the elderly and households headed by women.” If the court finds that the owner is entitled to an eviction order, it will also assign a date upon which the unlawful occupier must vacate the premises, says Du Toit. The owner may call in the assistance of the sheriff to remove the occupiers, . . .
The University of Johannesburg cricket club has adopted a strong stance against rhino poaching and will be coming out to bat for the endangered creatures this season. The university’s teams will wear kit bearing the “stop rhino poaching now” logo at all of their upcoming fixtures as part of an awareness-building campaign. UJ cricket club manager Karel Mouton said creating visibility was an important part of combating the illegal slaughter of rhinos, whose horns were used in traditional medicines throughout Asia. According to official figures, 1 267 have been reported killed since 2008, with 281 this year alone. Having won the National Cricket Club Championships, Gauteng Premier League and University Sport South Africa tournament on multiple occasions, Mouton said the club had a duty to use its high-profile status to positive effect. “People hear about rhino poaching in the media but it has become a statistic only. Who cares? “If they see the logo in the sports arena worn by fellow sportspeople, they might begin to feel differently. They might even donate to the cause or tell their friends and family what they encountered on the field that day.” He said the teams would debut the new kit at various pre-season warm-up matches in September, ahead of the league fixtures starting in October. “We are also looking into including UJ’s junior sides in the campaign.” Mouton said the university’s Soweto campus would also participate in the Sunday First League tournament in 2012/2013. “Carrying the anti-poaching message into the townships is important because we want people to rally against the destruction of their natural heritage. “Many may not be aware of the seriousness of the situation and some might even have information they can pass on to authorities.” He said this was the first time that the club had officially supported such a community initiative and that it was a cause close to the players’ hearts. “They are students with limited . . .
This week a reader asks the Property Poser experts whether a managing agent is allowed to lead the body corporate of a sectional title complex and give advice. In addition, as a trustee of the complex in which he resides, he is concerned about a situation in which one or two of his fellow trustees are trying to take control. According to Charlotte Vermaak from Chas Everitt in Port Elizabeth, a management agent is an individual or firm appointed by a body corporate or homeowners’ association to manage the property on its behalf. “Although the agent has the contractual responsibility for the management of the property, the ultimate responsibility will always rest with the trustees of a body corporate or the directors of a homeowners’ association.” Of course, says Vermaak, if a managing agent has been appointed, it would only be to the trustees’ advantage to at least consider the agent’s advice, as he or she would be typically knowledgeable on the subject. “However, it’s not compulsory for the trustees to appoint an agent, and many smaller schemes manage their affairs without assistance due to the competence and active participation of the owners.” Especially in medium to large-sized schemes, the workload involved in managing the affairs of a body corporate and lack of compensation usually encourages trustees to appoint a managing agent, says Vermaak. “In terms of the prescribed management rules, the agent must be appointed by written contract for an initial period of one year, with one month’s written notice of termination to be given by either party thereafter.” The scope of the managing agent’s services will be specifically stipulated in the contract of appointment, says Rian du Toit from DTS Attorneys in PE. “Generally, however, he or she will control, manage and administer the common property as well as any obligations the body corporate has to any public or local authority on behalf of section owners.” Du Toit says the functions . . .
This week the Property Poser panel looks at the ramifications of a situation where the conveyancing attorney paid out an estate agent’s commission before he was entitled to do so. A reader writes that he paid a deposit into the attorney’s trust account, which was earmarked for transfer costs. The attorney instead used the money to pay the agent’s commission and, when confronted by the reader, admitted that he paid the agent “prematurely”. The inappropriate payment of monies held in trust by a conveyancing attorney, or any attorney for that matter, is viewed in a very serious light, says Rian du Toit from DTS Attorneys in Port Elizabeth. “The nature of the attorney’s trust account is that funds are held for a specific purpose on behalf of another party. The attorney can only act on the instructions of the party who paid the monies.” Du Toit says the other part of the problem here revolves around the fact that an estate agent earns commission on fulfilment of his or her mandate. “Unless the mandate stipulates differently, this is when a binding agreement of sale takes place between the seller and a willing and able purchaser, culminating in the transfer of ownership.” The payment of the said commission therefore takes place on the date of registration of transfer, says Du Toit. “In terms of the Estate Agents’ Code of Conduct, an agent may not receive any commission on a sale that is subject to a suspensive condition until that condition is met.” Du Toit says examples would be a mortgage loan approval or the sale of another property. “The agreement only becomes binding once the suspensive condition has been fulfilled.” The same applies where the agreement contains a resolutive condition, which means the sale can still fall away before transfer, says Charlotte Vermaak from Chas Everitt in PE. “In the event that the parties should agree to payment before conditions have been met, this must be consented to by the party liable for payment of . . .
THE HERALD CLOVER KIDS & BABY EXPO, THE EASTERN CAPE’S BIGGEST FAMILY EXPO NOW TAKING PLACE OVER THE SEPTEMBER HOLIDAYS! The Herald Clover Kids and Baby Expo is now in its 3rd year and once again set to attract a large crowd of parents and children. The Expo will be held at the Moffett on Main Lifestyle Centre at the start of the September school holidays from Friday the 28th of September to Sunday the 30th. The undercover exhibition is diverse and includes the best in entertainment and education, wellness and nutrition, furniture and décor, clothing and sport, creativity and crafts, travel and technology as well as family travel and products. There will be exciting indoor sporting and entertainment programme hosted at the Kids Zone and Stage Arena. Entrance is R25 for adults, R20 for kids and all entertainment & activities within the exhibition arena is free. For more information follow us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kids-Baby-Expo/ contact Linda Harwood on 083 310 0750 or firstname.lastname@example.org or checkout www.harwoodevents.co.za More Info: http://www.harwoodevents.co.za Author: Linda Harwood from Harwood Promotion Events Management. Originally distributed by MyPR.co.za. No of Images Uploaded: One To gain access to One image/s please Like, Tweet or +1 this article: [l2g] Images: The Herald Clover Kids & Baby Expo's Logo [/l2g] . . .
Raats Family Wines are extending their portfolio of superb wines with the maiden release of the Raats Dolomite Cabernet Franc 2010. This lusty red will be on the shelves of leading restaurants and retailers this month. Widely considered as a Cabernet Franc specialist, winemaker Bruwer Raats continues to be fascinated with this varietal and finds the most perfect vineyard sites to produce the best grapes. For the past decade, Raats has been experimenting with Cabernet Franc and has concluded that the grapes are happier in less fertile soils such as decomposed dolomite granite, which allows the wine to express great purity of fruit and creates an elegant balance. The Raats Dolomite Cabernet Franc is testament to the success of this experiment with a luscious display of succulent red fruits, coupled with a beautifully smoky minerality. “I believe that the Dolomite is a great example of this much under-rated variety and represents great value for money. This wine combines ten years of knowledge and experience with Cabernet Franc and can be enjoyed straight away,” mentions Raats. Wine writer Emile Joubert described it as a great bottle of wine. “What a perky, beaut of a vino from the Duke of Cabernet Franc, Bruwer Raats,” wrote Joubert on his winegoggle blog. Although an extremely versatile wine, Raats recommends the Dolomite Cabernet Franc as a perfect pairing partner for pork loin with a plum and Armagnac sauce, beef fillet with truffle sauce, game bird with red wine sauce or any venison such as springbok, ostrich or kudu. The Raats Dolomite Cabernet Franc 2010 retails from R95.00 and is now available at leading liquor outlets in KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape. Find it in Durban at Durban North Spar, Fusion Café, Meander Fine Wines, Park Lane Cellars, The Ridge Spar and MT Edgecombe Tops, in Cape Town at Buratta, & Union, Caroline’s V & A Waterfront, Wine Concepts Kloof Street, Wine @ The Mill and La Colombe (Constantia Uitsig), the . . .
This week, the Property Poser experts bring clarity to the murky issue of joint ownership for a reader who owns an undivided half-share in a property. The reader writes that the building has two separate entrances and that his co-owner rents out “her” side. He would like to know whether he has any claim to the income generated in this manner. There appears to be some animosity between the parties, with the partner asserting her right to his portion and demanding first option to buy at a price she offers should the reader decide to sell his share. The reader would therefore like to know whether he could simply set the price for his portion and, consequently, what would happen should his partner refuse to pay the suggested price. Any type of co-ownership of property can be very problematic in the absence of an agreement stipulating the rights and obligations of each owner, says Willem Luttig from Raubenheimers Inc in George. “In this instance, it may be necessary to point out certain realities.” If the registration documents at the Deeds Office show that the two parties are in fact co-owners, Luttig says this will mean that each owns an undivided half-share in the property. “Then the property is not simply split in half, with one owner on one side and the other partner on the other.” Strictly speaking, it could also mean that the reader may actually have a claim on the rental earned by his co-owner, as she is technically renting out a portion of his undivided half-share, says Luttig. “Of course, the other side of this argument is that his partner is entitled to have a say regarding what the reader does with his share of the property.” On the other hand, it could be argued that the parties have a tacit or unwritten agreement with regard to the use of the property, says Pieter van Rensburg, principal of Chas Everitt in George. “This becomes problematic, however, if a dispute develops and the parties are pressed to prove the terms of this . . .