SPOTTER FEES IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Haigh Farming (Pty) Ltd v E.G Elliot Estate CC (14175/2013)  ZAKZPHC 47
(2 October 2015)
When anyone performs those activities that are included in the Estate Agency Affairs Act’s definition of an “estate agent”, that person must be in possession of a Fidelity Fund certificate to be entitled to receive payment. This judgment illustrates how the court approaches the factual enquiry whether, in the rendering of property consultancy services and “spotting” of properties to be listed for sale, a person is ‘acting’ as an estate agent. The enquiry resulted after an estate agency refused to pay a previously agreed upon remuneration to its consultant, alleging that he acted as an estate agent and hence was not entitled to remuneration in the absence of the required certificate.
GIVE SUBSTANCE TO PROPERTY VALUATION OBJECTION
Coutsourides N.O and Another v Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality and Others (3565/2015)  ZAECPEHC 66
(8 December 2015)
An increased municipal property valuation often ignites owner actions to dispute the ‘upgrade’. But take heed from the court’s pointers in this judgment: an objection must give adequate reasons for the opposition thereto. The mere lodging of an objection does not trigger an obligation on the side of the municipality to furnish reasons for its valuation of the property. It is only required to address the issues raised in the owner’s objection and if these are without substance, the municipality cannot be faulted for a one-line reply that the information submitted was “insufficient to justify a change in valuation”.