Maryna holds the BA, LLB, LLM degrees and is a Director at the Cape Town branch of STBB. She is an admitted Attorney, Notary Public, Conveyancer and Insolvency Practitioner with many years of experience in the fields of property law, conveyancing and the laws relating to corporate compliance (especially in respect of the FICA and POPIA laws). Up until 2018 she was also head of the firm’s national marketing portfolio. She is a seasoned public speaker and presenter, both in person and online. She prepares text for the majority of STBB’s internal and external publications and is editor and co-writer for two pivotal publications in the South African real estate industry – the ABC of Conveyancing (JUTA) and Delport’s South African Property Law and Practice (JUTA).

Property Law Update | Issue 06 – 2023

PROPERTY SELLER LIABLE TO PROVIDE OCCUPANCY CERTIFICATE?

Werner and Another v Barnard N.O. and Others (8903/2021P) [2023] ZAKZPHC 32 (17 March 2023)

This judgment raises the question whether a seller who undertook to give vacant occupation to a purchaser of a property, thereby becomes liable to provide occupation in respect of premises for which an occupancy certificate had been issued. It appears not, unless there was a specific provision to that effect in the agreement. The summary below explains the reasoning.

The Judgment
Summary of the Judgment

PRESCRIPTION CLAIM THWARTED IF POSSESSOR USED WATER AND ELECTRICITY ON THE PROPERTY ILLEGALLY?

Gianchandi v Registrar of Deeds, Pietermaritzburg and Others (D3519/2021) [2023] ZAKZDHC 10 (14 March 2023)

An interesting question arose in this matter. Mrs G had exercised ownership rights in respect of a property for over 30 years and sought an order confirming that she had acquired ownership by virtue of acquisitive prescription. One of the arguments raised in defence by the registered owner of the land in question was that the possessor had illegally connected water and electricity to the property, which conduct was not what a possessor exercising rights “as owner” would do. In the circumstances of this matter, the court explained that such illegality did not taint the claim made by the possessor.

The Judgment
Summary of the Judgment

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