Landlord vs Tenant: When Can You Cut Electricity or Change the Locks?

"Spoliation is the wrongful deprivation of another's right of possession. The aim of spoliation is to prevent self-help. It seeks to prevent people from taking the law into their own hands ... The cause for possession is irrelevant - that is why a thief is protected ... The fact that possession is wrongful or illegal is irrelevant, as that would go to the merits of the dispute" (extracts from a 2012 Supreme Court of Appeal decision)

As a landlord in dispute with your tenant you may well be tempted to avoid the delay and cost of litigation by taking your own eviction or enforcement action.

Bad idea. No matter how good your overall case may be (or how good you may think it is), taking the law into your own hands automatically puts you in the wrong.

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Dementia and Incapacity: What is a Power of Attorney and is it Forever?

"The number of cases of dementia is estimated to almost triple by 2050" (World Health Organisation)

Although the actual prevalence per capita of dementia is reportedly on the decline, aging populations ensure that it is becoming more and more of a problem in society - for older people, their families and caregivers. 

If someone close to you (normally an aging parent or relative) needs - or may in the future need - assistance with their financial affairs, your first thought will probably be a power of attorney by which the "principal" appoints an "agent" to act for him/her, either for a particular purpose (a 'special power of attorney') or generally (a 'general power of attorney'). You may well have the same thought if you yourself are approaching old age and starting to plan for your future needs.

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How Courts Sort Fact from Fiction - A Tale of Jags, Deception and Damages

"Truth will out" (Shakespeare)

You are wondering whether you can win in court against an opponent where your two versions of what happened are totally at odds with each other.

 

How will a judge decide where the truth lies? It's an important question because even though you know you are telling the truth, the court must base its decision on the evidence put before it. In other words, whether or not Shakespeare's "Truth will out" will apply to your court case is going to depend on what evidence you have, and on how you present it.

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Security Complexes and Fibre - You Can Use Telkom Ducting After All

"Reliable electronic communications go beyond just benefiting the commercial interest of licensees to the detriment of ownership of property. The statute [Electronic Communications Act] is designed to avoid this no-winner conflict. What it seeks is to bring our country to the edge of social and economic development for rural and urban residents in a world in which technology is so obviously linked to progress." (Extract from Constitutional Court decision quoted in the judgment below)

If you haven't already done so, you are no doubt thinking of upgrading soon to the "superfast broadband" provided by fibre optic cabling. In any event ADSL is about to disappear with Telkom's plans to shut down its copper network and migrate ADSL customers to either fibre (where available) or LTE.

In a community scheme, your challenge is that your chosen fibre service provider must either use your existing underground ducting or start digging new trenches and putting in new ducting, sleeves and manholes. The expense and disruption of the latter option naturally make it very much second prize.

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Your Will: What You Can and Can't Do

Where there's a will, I want to be in it" (Anon)

 

Your will ("Last Will and Testament") is quite possibly the most important document you will ever sign. Without a properly-executed will you put your loved ones at risk of financial and emotional hardship, you forfeit your right to nominate who administers your deceased estate, and most importantly you forfeit your right to choose who inherits what from you.

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