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July 2019 NEWSLETTER
Property Transfers and Trust Account Theft: A R720,000 Warning
Buying a property, whether to live in, work in or just as an investment, invariably involves a substantial amount of money changing hands.

Whether you are the seller or the buyer, the last thing you want is for the money to be stolen by a dishonest transferring attorney. If it happens, who carries the loss? Must transfer still be passed to the buyer? Who must lodge a claim with the Legal Practitioners Fidelity Fund and hope that it pays out without delay?

A recent High Court case involving the theft of over R720,000 from a trust account is a timely warning of the risks to both parties and of the uncertainties involved in deciding who suffers what loss. We’ll end off with some practical tips for both sellers and buyers.
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Your Last Will: The Dire Consequences of Neglecting Formalities
ArticleImage Your “Last Will and Testament” could be the most important document you will ever sign because it’s the only safe way to ensure that your loved ones are properly provided for after you are gone. 

It’s essential therefore to put in place a will that complies with South African law. We’ll discuss the formalities required for your will to be accepted as valid, and we’ll illustrate the importance of complying with them by reference to a case in which a divorced accountant’s emailed “Final will” was not validated by the High Court. 

So although the accountant clearly intended to leave his estate to his new fiancée, it instead goes to his ex-wife under his original written will. 
   
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Employers: What is Your Duty to Accommodate Religious Beliefs?
ArticleImage What do you as an employer do when your business needs an employee to be on duty on Saturday mornings, but she declines on the basis that her religious beliefs prohibit her from working on “the Sabbath”? Whose rights trump whose?

This is dangerous ground. Our laws are particularly hard on employers found guilty of “automatically unfair discrimination”, and amongst the many “arbitrary grounds” of discrimination which could underpin such a finding are “religion”, “conscience” and “belief”.

A recent case in the Labour Appeal Court illustrates both how these laws work in practice, and the dangers of failing to comply with them.
   
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Airbnb Owners and Buyers – Should You Be Worried About the New Regulations?
ArticleImage Recent media reports of government plans to regulate Airbnb and other “short-term home rentals” have sent shivers down the spines of many Airbnb owners (and those thinking of buying property for the purpose).

But should you be worried? It’s an important question because short-term letting can be highly profitable for property owners who own or buy the right property in the right place and at the right time.

So let’s have a look at what has actually happened so far. What stage has the proposed new legislation reached and what does it actually provide? And is it possible at this stage to make any sort of informed guess as to what the final outcome might be? 
   
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Your Website of the Month: Business Email Dos and Don’ts
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“The email of the species is deadlier than the mail” (Stephen Fry)


Do your business emails enhance your brand or tarnish it? It’s a critical question, particularly for businesses with high email volumes (that’s most of us these days) and it’s entirely up to you what the answer is.  

On the one hand it’s all too easy to jeopardise an entire business relationship by hitting the “Send” button on a badly considered, written or configured email. On the other, it’s easy to turn every email you send into a powerful projection of all the good things you want everyone to know about your business and about you personally. 

Get started with “The dos and don’ts when sending a business email” on BusinessTech, a 13-point checklist of things to watch for, from “Subject Line” to “Conversation Closer”.
   







Disclaimer

The information provided herein should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your professional adviser for specific and detailed advice.


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