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15 May 2014

How the Prescription Act applies to property matters
IolProperty - South Africa
The Prescription Act 68 of 1969 states that a claim to a debt must be finalised within a specified time limit. The claim to rental, for example, is extinguished or rendered unenforceable after three years.

A judgment obtained for a debt in South Africa will prescribe or fall away after 30 years; so would a debt for a mortgage bond, taxation and certain debts owed to the State.

Prescription is a way to 'punish' the creditor for taking long to claim her/his debt (Daily News, August 13, 2013).

The act also refers to 'acquisitive prescription', the real right a person acquires over a servitude held or used for an uninterrupted period of 30 years.

Section 6 of the Prescription Act 68 of 1969 (the 'Act') provides that '... a person shall acquire a servitude by prescription if he has openly and as though he were entitled to do so, exercised the rights and powers which a person who has a right to such servitude is entitled to exercise, for an uninterrupted period of 30 years or, in the case of a praedial servitude, for a period which, together with any periods for which such rights and powers were so exercised by his predecessors in title, constitutes an uninterrupted period of 30 years.'
Iol Property

Housing Review - 2nd Quarter 2014
Absa - South Africa
The 2nd quarter 2014 Absa Housing Review, presents the latest developments in the South African economy, household sector and the residential property market, with trends in house prices on a segment and geographical level up to the 1st quarter of 2014.

Nominal and real year-on-year price growth in the middle segment of the housing market was marginally lower in the first quarter of 2014 compared with the fourth quarter of 2013. In both the categories of affordable and luxury housing nominal price growth continued in the first quarter of the year. House prices continued to be driven by property market conditions and related factors, which were affected by a combination of macroeconomic developments, the state of household finances and the level of consumer confidence.

Based on the current trends in and prospects for economic and household sector-related factors, continued single-digit nominal house price growth is forecast for 2014 and 2015, with real house price growth that will be the result of the combined effect of nominal price trends and inflation.
Housing Review 2014 Q2

Estate agents now performing a more crucial role in any property deal
Rawson - South Africa
With estate agents now, as a result of the Estate Agency Affairs Board’s campaign to raise their professional qualifications, assuming a more crucial role in any property deal, they will be expected to be more protective of their clients than ever before.

“The dangers attached to certain agreements are now better understood,” says Errol King, the Rawson Property Group’s franchisee for Muizenberg. “These were at one stage seen largely as the attorney’s responsibility, however today’s agents realise that they cannot hide behind a legal professional.”

In a case with which he has recently been involved, said King, the seller revealed that he had discovered, after taking over the property, that the carport attached to the home had been built by a previous owner without obtaining permission from the City Council. The new buyer had, however, already taken possession of the home.

King informed the new buyer of the problem and assured him and his conveyancer that he would put matters right. He then met with the building inspector who told him that provided that the electrical and plumbing compliance certificates were in order he would help to rectify the carport situation.
Rawson

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