Going the Extra Mile

Private Property South Africa

Private Property was recently made aware of a story which the company felt deserved to be shared with the general public. For the sake of privacy, the name of the client has been changed.

The story begins with what should have been an ordinary property transaction. At the beginning of the year, Nancy* decided she wanted to purchase property in Kempton Park and approached Jacqui Grobbelaar of RE/MAX Dazzle to look at homes in the area. Jacqui escorted Nancy around the area for a few months in search of a suitable property but Nancy didn’t make an offer on any of those she came across.

Quite incidentally, a friend of Nancy’s told her about a flat in her complex which was unoccupied and had been so for six months. Nancy took a look at the flat which was to be sold as an insolvent estate by a liquidation company. She liked what she saw and made an offer to purchase the property directly with the liquidation company. Nancy did not pay a deposit for the property. She also neglected to inform Jacqui of her offer.

Following her offer, Nancy approached a bank in an attempt to obtain a loan. Unfortunately for Nancy, the bank declined the loan as the body corporate of the complex in question could not produce the necessary financial information for the past three years.

When Nancy informed the liquidation company that the bank had declined the loan, the company attempted to intimidate Nancy saying she was legally bound to honour the purchase offer and owed the company the deposit which exceeded R50 000. The company also threatened to take Nancy to court if she didn’t comply. Rattled and upset, Nancy contacted Jacqui informing her of what had transpired. Far from being bitter about Nancy’s actions and the loss of a sale, Jacqui went out of her way to help Nancy.

She briefly explained to Nancy that the liquidators had no grounds for their threats and sent her a copy of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) which outlined Nancy’s rights regarding such transactions. According to the CPA, Nancy was not bound to pay the deposit and was not in breach of contract. Jacqui also typed up a letter on Nancy’s behalf which Nancy then sent, along with a copy of the CPA to the liquidators.

Nancy never heard another word from the bullying liquidators and no legal action was taken against her. Interestingly, Nancy subsequently heard that the liquidation company had not been officially commissioned with the sale of the flat Nancy had wanted to purchase and were marketing it illegally. The company was later taken to court over the matter. Jacqui has since sold another property to Nancy who has also referred a number of contacts to Jacqui.

Says Nancy: “I was so grateful to Jacqui for assisting me with my dilemma. I didn’t know my rights and felt intimidated. Through Jacqui I managed to avoid a potentially very ugly and costly legal battle. In my opinion she is a credit to her industry and I would recommend her to anyone seeking property in Kempton Park.”

*not her real name.

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