Property Sales and Trusts: Demand Proof of Trustee Authority

"If you want to make your house easy to sell, make it easy to buy" (Anon)

You are overjoyed at receiving a good offer for your property - not easily achieved in these hard times and of course you certainly don't want to do anything to jeopardise the sale.

But perhaps do that little bit extra homework before accepting the offer if it comes from a trust. The pitfall here - and it's one that perennially takes sellers by surprise - is that the trustee/s signing the offer to purchase/sale agreement must have the necessary authority to do so. Drop the ball on that one and you will find yourself without any sale at all.

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Visiting South Africa with Kids Just Became Easier - Here's What You Need to Know

"We're all going on a summer holiday..." (Cliff Richard)

With the Festive Season (and our Summer Holidays!) well and truly upon us, you may be inviting family or friends to visit you from overseas with their children, or perhaps you are a foreigner planning a family trip to South Africa. Either way here's some good news in the form of a welcome concession from government in regard to the documentation you will need to produce on entry.

In a nutshell foreign children until now have only been able to enter the country with unabridged birth certificates and consent letters. That requirement was waived - for accompanied children only (check the full details in the table below) - from 8 November 2019.

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All Companies: Prepare for the Mandatory New CIPC Compliance Checklist

The CIPC (Companies and Intellectual Property Commission) has announced that its new "compliance checklist" requirement, voluntary until now, becomes mandatory for all companies and close corporations from 1 January 2020.

You must complete the checklist before submitting your annual return. So firstly check when your due date for the annual return is - for companies you will have 30 business days from the day after its date of registration, whereas for close corporations you will have the two months from the first day of the registration month until the end of the following month.

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"Seller's Remorse" and "Subject to Sale of the Buyer's Property" - Can They Sink the Sale?

"If you don't like where you are, move. You are not a tree" (Jim Rohn)

The upcoming festive season, with its mass migrations of happy holiday-makers to their dream destinations, has always been a busy time for both sellers and buyers. 

In these hard times however, an increasing number of sellers are feeling pressured to accept offers well under their expectations, so cases of "seller's remorse" are much more likely now than they have been for many years. The question is, just how easy or difficult is it for a seller to escape a sale agreement signed in haste?

Equally common no doubt are sales "subject to the sale of the buyer's property" - for a specified amount and within a specified time period. That raises an important question - must the buyer's transfer actually be registered in the Deeds Office within the deadline period, or is enough that the buyer has signed a sale agreement for his/her property?

A recent High Court decision addressed both those questions, as well as two others relating to defences raised by a seller who changed her mind shortly after accepting the buyer's offer (the judgment doesn't say why she changed her mind, but the fact that a bank offered the buyers a bond of R3.9m suggests that the sale price of R2.6m may have been very low).

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