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Consumer Protection Act and Property Transactions

The new Consumer Protection Act has important ramifications for property transactions. Put in a nutshell, property sellers, buyers and estate agents should be aware of the following:

Sellers:

  • now have to ensure that the property being sold is inspected and evaluated by an accredited service provider, resulting in a full and objective description of the condition of the property.
  • This information should be made available to potential buyers in order to ensure full disclosure of the condition of the property.
  • A buyer has to agree to buy the property as is or, alternatively, has to request the seller to make the necessary repair work before signing off the deed of sale.
  • Inspection and repairs, e.g. of plumbing and/or electrical faults and beatle damage, can be time-consuming and expensive.

Buyers:

  • Must be aware that they may obtain comprehensive due diligence information on the property on which they are about to spend a lot of money.
  • Now have the right to information that will help them make informed decisions, but they have as much responsibility to request the desired documentation from the seller as the seller has to obtain and present the documentation to them.
  • On presentation of all information, the buyer may decide to: buy the property as is, adjust the selling price, or request the seller to make the necessary repairs.

Estate Agents:

  • Will be able to source the necessary documents and certificates much easier and, in doing so, provide buyers and sellers with the assurance that a property meets compliance requirements.
  • As all terms have to be explained to the buyer in simple language, sale agreements need to be drafted in simple and understandable language. In many cases the term “voetstoots” will no longer be applicable.

For more information please, please contact Helette Willemse on tel. 021 852 0382 or e-mail helette@exceedsw.co.za.

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