Question from mpho, What Legal Remedies Can a Buyer Use in South African Law of Sale and Lease in Case of Property Damage?
Answer from AI:
In South Africa, the law of sale and lease provides several remedies to a buyer when a property is damaged or destroyed after the conclusion of the sale but before the transfer of ownership. These remedies are based on the principles of the South African common law, the Alienation of Land Act, and relevant case law.
1. Voetstoots Clause
The voetstoots clause, a common provision in South African property sales agreements, states that the property is sold “as is.” However, this clause only covers latent defects that were unknown to the seller at the time of sale. If the seller was aware of the damage to the property and did not disclose it, the buyer could potentially argue that the voetstoots clause does not apply.
2. Breach of Contract
The buyer could argue that the seller breached the contract by failing to deliver the property in the condition agreed upon at the time of sale. Under South African law, the seller is generally obligated to deliver the property in the condition it was in at the time of sale, barring any normal wear and tear.
3. Alienation of Land Act
Under the Alienation of Land Act, the buyer may have the right to cancel the contract if the property is substantially damaged or destroyed before ownership is transferred.
4. Case Law
South African case law, such as the ruling in Meyer v Murray NO and Others, could potentially be used to argue that the risk of damage to the property only passes to the buyer once ownership is transferred.
Please note: This is a complex legal issue, and the outcome could depend on various factors, including the specific terms of the sales agreement and the circumstances surrounding the damage to the property. It is strongly recommended that the buyer consult with a legal professional for personalized advice.