Your Body Corporate and Arrear Levies: To Sequestrate or Not To Sequestrate?

Legal
Levies are the lifeblood of a sectional title scheme, and the Body Corporate has a duty to recover arrears from defaulting owners. It has the power, in addition to following standard debt collection procedures and perhaps approaching the Community Schemes Ombud for assistance, to apply for the sequestration of the owner’s estate. Indeed just the threat of a sequestration application is sometimes enough to frighten a recalcitrant debtor into paying up. But, as Shakespeare might have put it, there’s an alarming “rub” here that body corporate trustees ignore at their peril. It arises from ‘the danger of contribution’ in insolvent estates. In a nutshell, where the ‘costs of sequestration’ exceed the funds in the estate available to pay them, proved creditors may well have to contribute towards those costs in…
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Suing Your Security Company: The Case of a Burgled Butchery

Legal
When you employ a security company to provide alarm monitoring and “armed response” services, you are paying them to protect you from criminals. What are your rights if they don’t do their job properly? A recent High Court case of M J Repapis Enterprises CC t/a Inyama Rama Butchery v Red Alert (Pty) Ltd (1879/2014) [2018] ZAECGHC 42 illustrates. The alarm, the safecrackers and the “all in order” report Burglars broke into a butchery one evening through the roof, triggering an alarm. They cut open two safes with angle grinders and escaped into the night with a large amount of cash. The security company contracted to provide “monitoring, reaction, reporting and maintenance security services” to the butchery had received the alarm signal and identified the zone as being in the roof/ceiling. The vehicle…
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Lending Money Repayable “On Demand”: Beware Prescription!

Legal
You will know that most debts prescribe (become unclaimable) after 3 years, so as a creditor you need to know exactly when it starts running. From that moment on, the clock is ticking… A recent Constitutional Court case highlights one particular instance where prescription kicks in a lot earlier than you might think – namely, in the case of the “on demand” loan. What “on demand” really means Lending money to someone on an “on demand” basis means that the loan need only be repaid to you when you actually “demand” it from the debtor. It’s a common way of making loans, particularly to family members and between related businesses, and you may think that because no fixed date for repayment is set, prescription never starts to run. Not, at least, unless and…
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