For interests sake
- Repo rate reduction
The Monetary Policy Committee yesterday reduced the repo rate (the rate that the Reserve bank charges interest on money lent to South African Banks) by 0,25%. This may seem small but it has a substantial impact on mortgage repayments and car instalments. The decision is seen as a means for the Reserve Bank to stimulate the South African economy prior to the ratings review by Moody’s.
- Splitting commission – Who gets what?
A dispute arose between two commercial brokers regarding payment of commission. Beijers was appointed by Harlequin with a clause held that Beijers was entitled to commission as effective cause of a transaction. An agent within Harlequin, partially assisted the transactions, later argued that as he assisted Beijers as was entitled to part of her commission because Beijers was not the sole cause of the successful deal. The legal question turned on the words ‘effected by yourself’ in the agreement that required the Agent to have been the sole or only effective cause of the transactions. The regional court accepted Beijers’s evidence and found in her favour. It disallowed evidence on the oral agreement contended for by Harlequin. The SCA concurred with this and stated that oral evidence of the agreement was disallowed as it cannot be used to rectify an error in contract. The Court stated that that contract clearly provided that it was the sole agreement and no variation or representations would be of force. Then employees of Harlequin would know without any doubt or technically they were not entitled to any split in the commission and that Beijers was the sole and effective cause of the sales. Beijers was thus entitled to her full commission and not half. The note here is that Agents must be careful and read joint mandates, that any agreements regarding commission splits are in writing and not verbal. That as we see from the above the courts will not permit verbal or oral evidence to correct a mistake in a contract.
Case: Beijers v Harlequin Duck Properties 231 (Pty) Ltd t/a Office Space Online (SCA)
Read the case here: http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZASCA/2019/89.pdf
- Building to rent – You need to register with the NHBRC
The Housing Consumers Protection Measures Act 95 of 1998 requires all new homes to be registered with the National Home Builder’s Registration Council (NHBRC) 15 days prior to construction and a fee must be paid. The registration or enrolment is to protect consumers from shoddy building work and or fly by night builders and authorises the NHBRC to conduct inspections during the construction process.The dispute in this matter was are builders/developers that build simply to rent and not sell required then to enrol or register the building with the NHBRC? Meaning insuring against themselves. The Court states that the underlying premise of the Act was to guard against sub-standard homes being built. That further the definition of a home builder’s business was amended and expanded to include building homes for purposes being leased rather than sold off. The Court further held that the legislature could not have reasonably expected properties to be sold and properties to be leased after construction to be treated differently. There is certainly nothing in the structure of the Act which indicates that to be the case. Therefor the appeal succeeded.To note here that even if a developer is to build to rent that he she or it must register with the Building Council.
Case: National Home Builders’ Registration Council & Another v Xantha Properties 18 (Pty) Ltd
Read the case here: http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZASCA/2019/96.html
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