Closing Down the Guesthouse Next Door: Notes for Owners and Neighbours

Legal
One day you decide – for whatever reason - that your neighbour’s new guesthouse is definitely not first prize in your sleepy and peaceful suburb, so you investigate. You find out that the local municipal zoning scheme doesn’t allow anyone to operate a guesthouse without a special departure permit, and that your neighbour doesn’t have the required permit. What are your rights and what must you prove to get assistance from our courts?  Must you prove, for example, that you have suffered some form of damage or is it enough to prove only the lack of a permit? A recent High Court decision in Du Toit N.O. and Others v Coenoe 90 CC and Others (1584/2017) [2017] ZAFSHC 126 illustrates, and would-be guesthouse owners as well as their neighbours should take note.…
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Creditors and Debtors: Important New Prescription Judgment

Legal
Debts prescribe (become uncollectable) after a specified period of time in accordance with South African law - 3 years for most run-of-the-mill debts; but 30 years for others such as judgment debts, mortgage bond debts, property rates and tax debts. Various other periods apply to specific statutory debts and a few other exceptions – take advice if you need more detail. It’s important to know that the prescription period can be “delayed” in certain cases. In other words, delaying the prescription of a debt.  For example where the debtor is a minor or insane, or under curatorship, or out of South Africa, or makes a partial payment of the debt, etc (there’s a long list). Prescription can also be “interrupted”, most commonly by serving summons on the debtor or by…
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