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July 2023

Dear Client / Geagte Kliënt


Renting Unboxed: Navigating South Africa's Rental Odyssey Amidst Interest Rate Hikes

Over the past few months, South Africa has witnessed a series of interest rate hikes, implemented by the Reserve Bank to address inflationary pressures and maintain financial stability. These hikes have reverberated through various sectors, including the real estate market and the rental landscape, and although these interest rate hikes don’t necessarily spell doom and gloom for Property Owners or Buyers, one might not be ready for such a commitment and want to consider alternative housing options.

Renting has long been a popular choice for individuals seeking flexibility and avoiding the immediate financial burdens of homeownership. With interest rate hikes affecting mortgage affordability, renting presents a viable alternative for many South Africans. 

Here are a few advantages to consider:

Flexibility and Mobility: Renting allows individuals to adapt to changing circumstances and explore different areas without being tied down to a specific property. This is particularly beneficial for those who anticipate job changes or personal transitions.

Lower Upfront Costs: Compared to buying a property, renting typically requires a smaller upfront investment, with the main financial obligation being the monthly rent and a security deposit.

Maintenance and Repairs: Tenants can often enjoy the convenience of having landlords responsible for property maintenance and repairs. This relieves tenants of the financial burden and logistical challenges associated with home maintenance.

Access to Desirable Locations: Renting provides an opportunity to live in desirable neighbourhoods or areas that may be financially out of reach for homebuyers. It allows individuals to experience a particular community before making a long-term commitment.

Financial Flexibility: Renting can offer financial flexibility, as tenants are not tied to a long-term mortgage commitment. This can be particularly advantageous in uncertain economic times.

While renting offers numerous benefits, tenants should also consider the following factors:

Rent Increases: Rental rates may increase over time, subject to the terms of the lease agreement. Tenants should carefully review the agreement and reassess their budget to discuss potential rent increases with their landlords.

Limited Control: Renters generally have limited control over property modifications and may require permission from landlords for any significant changes to the premises.

Equity Accumulation: Unlike homeownership, renting does not allow for equity accumulation in a property. Rent payments do not contribute to long-term asset growth.

Legal Protections: Tenants should familiarize themselves with their rights and obligations under the South African rental laws to ensure they are protected and can address any potential disputes or breaches of contract.

For Landlords:

Rental Income Adjustments: Landlords may need to re-evaluate their rental income in light of increased interest rates. Reviewing and potentially adjusting rental rates will help landlords strike a balance between profitability and attracting tenants.

Lease Agreement Considerations: Landlords should carefully review their lease agreements to ensure they reflect the new rental rates and any clauses pertaining to potential future adjustments due to interest rate fluctuations. Working with legal professionals can help ensure compliance with applicable laws and safeguard landlords' interests.

Tenant Relations: Clear communication with tenants is essential during times of interest rate hikes. Discussing rental adjustments and providing transparent information about the reasons behind such changes can help maintain positive landlord-tenant relationships.

Our experienced team is ready to assist both landlords and tenants in navigating the complex legal landscape of the rental market. We can provide expert advice, assist in drafting or reviewing lease agreements, and represent our clients in dispute resolution proceedings, if necessary.

Understanding the implications of interest rate hikes and knowing your legal rights and obligations is vital in making informed decisions in the rental market.

Groete / Regards

Eberhard, Cheryl-Anne & Andre, Marzanne & Kume



The Voice Of The Child: Care and Contact Arrangements During Divorce Proceedings

A recent poll by StatsSA found that four in every ten marriages end in divorce before their tenth anniversary. The process of divorce is oftentimes a traumatizing and hurtful experience for all involved. Minor children are oftentimes left on the sidelines when contact and care arrangements are made. 

The views of the minor child should be taken into consideration by the courts when such arrangements are finalized to mitigate the harmful effects that divorce proceedings may have on the minor child’s environment and development. 

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Moenie 'n lening of krediet aan enigiemand verleen nie, nie eers 'n vriend nie, sonder om regsadvies hieroor te verkry nie!  

Met surplus fondse in jou bankrekening nadat jy jou huis verkoop het, is jy gemaklik daarmee om R2,5 miljoen aan jou goeie vriend uit te leen. Mettertyd is jul vriendskap daarmee heen, wanneer jy aandring op terugbetaling van die lening. “Nie so vinnig nie, my ou vriend, is jy dan behoorlik geregistreer as ‘n kredietverskaffer? Want jy moet wees. O, en het jy seker gemaak dat ek finansieel in staat was om die lening uit te neem en meer belangrik, dat ek die lening gemaklik kon terugbetaal? Ek kan nie so iets onthou nie.” Jy dagvaar in die hooggeregshof vir die terugbetaling van die uitstaande bedrag op die lening wat nog R1,5 miljoen beloop. Tot jou ontsteltenis stem die regter saam met jou vriend (nou gewese vriend), dat hy nie die lening hoef terug te betaal nie en jy verloor alles. Hoe het dit dan gebeur?

Ons kyk na die gevare en slaggate wat die Nasionale Kredietwet (NCA) meebring, met verwysing na 'n onlangse hooggeregshofsaak wat met hierdie feite handel.

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Leaving Anything Important Out of Your Property Sale Agreement Will Sink It

In what format must your property sale agreement be, and what terms and conditions must it incorporate for it to be valid and enforceable?

We’ll address that question with reference to a recent Supreme Court of Appeal fight over a R4.5m sale of land which was declared void after 7 years of confusion, delay, and wasted opportunity. All because the parties failed to include in their sale agreement a term relating to the subdivision of one of the pieces of land being sold. Our discussion covers what must be included in your sale agreement, what “essential” and “material” terms are, why it matters, and why clarity and certainty are vitally important.

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Dubbele burgerskap: Goeie nuus as jy jou Suid-Afrikaanse burgerskap verloor het, maar...  

Die Appèlhof het sopas 'n bepaling in ons Wet op Burgerskap ongeldig verklaar wat vereis het dat jy Ministeriële toestemming moes verkry, voordat jy kon aansoek doen om enige ander land se burgerskap of nasionaliteit te verkry.

As jy jou burgerskap outomaties verloor het omdat jy nie vooraf toestemming verkry het nie, word jy nou terugwerkend geag nie jou Suid-Afrikaanse burgerskap te verloor het nie en hoef jy ook nie weer daarvoor aansoek te doen nie.

Hier is wel twee uiters belangrike voorbehoude ter sprake.

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“Bad Dog!” Why a Husky’s Owner Must Pay R100,000 Damages

A recent High Court award of almost R100,000 in damages to a young woman attacked and bitten by a dog serves as a timely reminder that the many positives of owning a pet come also with a substantial risk of legal liability.

We discuss the facts of the case and the old Roman law principle that the Court applied in holding the dog owner liable on a “no fault” basis, ending off with a list of six practical tips to protect your pet and to protect yourself from being sued.

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Legal Speak Made Easy  

“Delict” and “Tort”

In South Africa, you will normally come across the term “delict” in cases involving claims for damages. It is different to a “criminal wrong”, which allows the state to prosecute an individual for a crime. It is rather a “civil wrong” which enables private persons to sue each other for compensation for harm wrongfully caused to one person by the other person’s conduct. You also occasionally see references in South Africa to “tort”, but that’s not part of our law and is just an English legal term for the same thing.

 Our Directors
021 180 4552 / 082 789 1706
021 180 4564 / 082 783 7242
Van Greunen
021 180 4550
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Van Wyk
021 180 4551
021 180 4578



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