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2011 April 8: THE SELLER IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR UPKEEP SUMS SPENT BY THE NEW OWNER PRIOR TO TRANSFER

Anton du Plessis, CEO of Vineyard Estates, the Cape Peninsula estate agency serving Bishopscourt, Upper Kenilworth, Upper Claremont, Newlands, Rondebosch and Constantia, has drawn attention to an Appeal Court ruling (in the case Solvista Investments vs Sasol Fibres) which, says du Plessis, clarifies the message that the liability to pay all rates and taxes and “other outgoings” passes to the purchaser on the date of transfer but does not entitle him to claim for expenses paid out prior to transfer.

In this case the purchaser claimed a large sum for the costs of security, cleaning, maintenance and protection apparently spent in the period between the signing of the deed of sale and transfer.

“It often happens,” said du Plessis, “that a purchaser will be given permission to occupy the premises prior to transfer, and in most cases will be charged an occupational rental for this.  However, any money (“other outgoings”) that the purchaser spends on the property during this period is for his account, even though he takes complete ownership only after transfer.

“In the current court case, the judge did not accept the claim that the money laid out should be refunded even though the buyer had apparently thought that would happen from the time he entered into negotiations.”