Stefan obtained his LLB degree from Stellenbosch University and is an admitted Attorney of the High Court of South Africa. He joined STBB as part of the Claremont litigation department and practices in commercial and general litigation, with a focus on contractual, property, rental and eviction disputes.

Thought of the Week | Prescription of right to claim transfer of property?

Did you know that a seller’s contractual obligation to pass transfer of a home sold to the purchaser, is a debt that can prescribe?

In the February 2018 judgment in Frieslaar N.O. & Others v Ackerman & Another the Supreme Court of Appeal once more confirmed the principle. It held that the running of prescription in respect of the transfer of a property commences on the date on which the seller’s obligation to effect transfer becomes due and, therefore, claimable by the purchaser. This date is determined by the specific provisions of the agreement the parties concluded. Generally, the obligation arises once the agreement has become unconditional and the purchase price has been paid or has been secured.

Although it may seem like an odd eventuality, prospective sellers and purchasers should be mindful of the fact that prescription always lurks in the background. Make sure to canvass every aspect of your transaction with your conveyancer.

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