Security Estates: Can You Fine Speedsters?

Legal
There are many advantages to buying in a security estate or other community scheme, including quality of life and increased potential for growth in your property’s value. As a buyer just be aware that you will almost certainly be binding yourself to a set of rules and regulations imposed by the Homeowners Association (HOA) or Sectional Title Body Corporate. Check that you are happy with them before you sign anything! Our courts have regularly confirmed the general principle that you are bound by what you agree to, and a recent high-profile Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) decision of Mount Edgecombe Country Club Estate Management Association II (RF) NPC v Singh & others (323/2018) [2019] ZASCA 30 provides an interesting example. HOAs and Bodies Corporate on the other hand will be particularly pleased with the outcome, the High Court…
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Accidentally Paid the Wrong Person? Lessons From a R862k Banking App Error

Legal
In these days of online banking and electronic payment, it’s not uncommon to find out to your horror that you have made a payment to someone in error, either to the wrong recipient or in an incorrect amount. If that happens to you and the recipient refuses to pay you back, what can you do about it? The other side of the coin of course is whether the recipient of an unexplained and unexpected bank account credit can safely go ahead and spend the windfall (the answer in a nutshell is very strong “no” – if there are indeed any free lunches in the world, this is unlikely to be one of them!). A recent High Court judgment of Firstrand Bank Limited v Khopo and Another (AR497/2018) [2019] ZAKZPHC 18 sets out the…
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Expats and Employers: Plan Now For the New Expat Tax Changes

Legal
This article is important to you if you are either a South African working abroad or an employer of one. If you don’t fall into either of those categories, but know someone who does, please think of passing this on. As an employee earning foreign remuneration (salary, leave pay, bonuses, allowances, commission etc), you currently enjoy an uncapped tax exemption (on that remuneration only, not on other foreign income) provided that you work overseas – For more than a total of 183 days during any 12 month period, and More than 60 of those days are consecutive. That however is set to change from 1 March 2020, when only the first R1m p.a. of your earnings will be exempt – you will pay tax on anything over that. With the Rand’s…
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Estate Agents: Securing Your Trade Secrets (and Your Commission)

Legal
As an estate agent you will know that without a valid Fidelity Fund Certificate (FFC) you are not entitled to any commission for the successful sales or leases you put together. All your hard work in fulfilling your mandate will come to naught. Your client need pay you nothing. As a recent High Court case of Tria Real Estate (Pty) Ltd t/a Pam Golding Bloemfontein v Labuschagne and Another (5583/2018) [2018] ZAFSHC 198 warns, you will also be unable to enforce any restraints of trade you enter into with your employees. And that’s a major risk if your trade secrets are as valuable to you as they are to most agencies. The company that converted from a CC without changing its FFC A close corporation (CC) trading as an estate agency held an…
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