A patent defect is a defect which is clearly visible on a normal property inspection and it is a purchaser’s duty to satisfy himself with regard to a property’s general condition prior to concluding a sale agreement.
A latent defect, on the other hand, is one that cannot be seen or ascertained during the course of a normal property inspection.
The voetstoots clause absolves the seller from liability for any latent defects after the sale of a property; however, it only protects the seller if he was unaware of the latent defect at the time of the sale. If the seller fraudulently conceals or fails to disclose a latent defect of which he had knowledge, he may be liable towards the purchaser. (Note that in those instances where the Consumer Protection Act applies to a sale agreement, further considerations apply.)
Honesty remains the best policy and will avoid expensive delays and litigation down the line.
For assistance with all aspects of your property transactions, contact your STBB conveyancer before putting pen to paper.