AGREEMENT VAGUELY REFERS TO CAVEAT AGAINST PROPERTY: GROUNDS TO WALK AWAY?
Anioma Property (Pty) Ltd v DMFT Property Developers and Others (49230/2021)  ZAGPJHC 209 (7 March 2023)
Purchasers are often inattentive to details when putting pen to paper to buy a property. In this judgment, the seller had inserted a note in the sale agreement stating that there was a caveat against the property, but did not elaborate. Later, the purchaser sought to resile from the agreement, using this fact as a basis to argue that the seller had misrepresented the facts. The argument failed. The court held that, on the facts here, the purchaser was obliged to perform its own due diligence before contracting, more so in the present matter where the purchase price is substantial. And in any event, the court held, even if the vague disclosure of the caveat constituted misrepresentation, it was not material and hence not grounds for resiling from the contract.
FULFILLING CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATIONS TRUMPS “MAKING UP” ATTEMPT
Richard Pollack (N.O) and Others v Peacock Inn (Pty) Ltd (15173/2022)  ZAGPJHC 210 (9 February 2023)
It is not unusual, in property transactions, to learn of purchasers struggling to meet the financial commitments stipulated for in the agreement. In this judgment, the purchaser could not pay the deposit in time and the seller exercised its rights to demand compliance with the agreement’s terms, and cancelling the agreement when this was not heeded. The purchaser, in the meantime, made a substantial payment in respect of occupational rental and sought to rely on this attempt at making up, to salvage the agreement. The seller’s rights, in the circumstances, trumped and the judgment explains how a court deals with the rights of the parties in such instances.