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May 2020 NEWSLETTER
Leases, Contracts and COVID-19: What is Force Majeure?
With many businesses locked into leases but struggling to pay rental as a result of the pandemic and its economic effects, landlords and tenants across the spectrum are wondering what their legal position is with “force majeure” being widely touted as a mechanism for tenants to escape their leases. If it is, a lot of landlords are going to be left high and dry; if it isn’t, many cash-strapped tenants will be staring financial ruin in the face.

We discuss what force majeure means and the two scenarios that landlords and tenants should consider. We end off with “a practical template for negotiation” and the thought that these general principles apply to contracts generally and not just to property leases.

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In Times of Great Change, Make Sure Your Will is Updated!
ArticleImage It’s a depressing thought, but a reality we have to live with - none of us can ever be sure when we are going to die. That’s why even in the best of times having a valid and fully updated Last Will and Testament in place is essential to ensure that your loved ones are properly catered for when you are gone. And these of course are if anything the very worst of times, with uncertainty and the risk of deadly infection lurking around every corner.

Take a moment therefore to consider whether your will needs updating in any respect. To help you, we list nine “trigger events” to watch for. Read the list, think about whether any updates are called for, and if so have a look at our end piece “How to update your will”.
   
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Divorce in a Time of Lockdown - What Grounds Can You Rely On?
ArticleImage Note: If, as we hope, you personally have no need for an article on divorce, please think of passing this on to anyone you know who may find it relevant and useful.


The National Lockdown has been a testing time for many couples, and although most of them will hopefully have emerged from this with even stronger relationships than before, others will unfortunately be considering (ideally only as a last resort) applying for a divorce. 

We list the three grounds for divorce available in terms of the Divorce Act to couples in this position, and share some thoughts on other factors to be considered.
   
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Property Sellers – Prepare for SPLUMA
ArticleImage Delays in transferring property after a sale are likely to be costly for sellers in particular, so you will want to pro-actively avoid anything that could cause unnecessary hitches in the transfer process.

Although the final timing on (and details of) this are not yet clear, you need to be aware of the possibility that you will soon need to lodge before transfer a formal “SPLUMA” (Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act) certificate of compliance.

Read on for a list of the three main things you are likely to need to have in place for your transferring attorney to obtain a certificate for you with a minimum of fuss and delay.
   
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Your Website of the Month: Lockdown Advice for Entrepreneurs
ArticleImage These are challenging times indeed, and smaller businesses in particular need all the help and advice we can get to not only survive this crisis, but to maximise our chances of emerging from it stronger than ever.

To quote from our website of the month: “The scale of the national COVID-19 lockdown is unprecedented in living memory. The repercussions – personal, professional, national and international – will reverberate for years to come. As entrepreneurs, we need to be making the right decisions for right now to ensure that our businesses and our people’s livelihoods do not become another casualty of the virus.”
   
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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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