A purchaser or seller’s failure to comply with the many formal requirements relating to agreements for the sale of immovable property will render such agreements invalid! This is equally true when the agreement appears to be enforceable on the face of it.
In other words, even when things seem certain, they can still go horribly wrong and that’s particularly true of immovable property sale agreements. This is yet another reason to have your sale documents professionally checked before you sign them.
In a recent High Court case an agreement of sale for a sectional title unit was held to be invalid for two technical reasons:
Firstly, there was no evidence that the person who signed the sale agreement for the seller (a Close Corporation) had the necessary authority in writing from the Close Corporation to do so, and
Secondly, the purchaser was married in community of property, but had signed the agreement without the required written consent of his spouse.
Interestingly, a seller would normally have some protection if he could show that he “does not know and cannot reasonably know” that the purchaser was married in community of property. In such a case the spouse’s consent will be deemed to have been given. In the current scenario however the seller’s employee had known of the marriage prior to the sale and the defect was therefore held to be fatal.
The message here is clear – fail to comply strictly with our law’s formal requirements and you will sink your sale.
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