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St. Valentine’s grand romantic gesture to marry young couples who were otherwise prohibited from doing so, set the bar quite high for anyone trying to top what he achieved in the name of love.

If your grand romantic gesture is moving in together, asking someone to marry you or simply planning on jumping out of a helicopter with “I love you Mary” on your t-shirt or parachute, we’ve got your back.

In this issue, we take a look at the good the bad and the contracts.

Remember while you dive head first into love, your Cupid has a briefcase and an hourly tariff to keep you from falling too hard.

Enjoy the read


You are in luck! We specialise in Antenuptial Contracts

– Nadia Burger

Why is it so important to have an antenuptial contract? What is the buzz all about?

If you get married with no antenuptial contract signed between yourself and your prospective spouse, you will automatically be married in community of property. This means that should you or your spouse ever be declared insolvent, both spouses will automatically be insolvent as a marriage in community of property is considered as one joint estate.

Another disadvantage for not having an antenuptial contract means that should you ever purchase a property, it has to be registered in both parties’ names and the property will automatically fall in the joint estate. You will not be able to have sole ownership of a property. You will also not be able to enter into any credit agreement without your spouse co-signing the agreement.

Therefore, it is very wise to go and see your attorney before getting married. Your attorney will explain to you the differences between a marriage out of community of property and a marriage out of community of property with the application of the accrual system.

The following are some of the benefits, only to name a few, of having a registered antenuptial contract:

• If either party is declared insolvent, the other spouse is protected from the insolvent spouse’s creditors;
• The respective spouses will not be held liable for any debt that the other spouse might have incurred prior to the marriage;
• Spouses will not be held liable for any debt that the other spouse may incur during the marriage;
• Spouses will not need to obtain each other’s consent when dealing with their own property.

Very important! You must sign your antenuptial contract before you get married. Ensure that you receive notification from your attorney that your antenuptial contract was lodged and registered in the deeds office after you have signed the antenuptial contract. It is an essential requirement that the antenuptial contract be lodged and registered in the deeds office within three months of signature thereof in front of your attorney. If this is not done, you will also automatically be married in community of property.

You are in luck! We specialise in Antenuptial Contracts

– Nadia Burger

“You can’t put a price tag on love. But if you could, wait for it to go on sale.”Hussein Nishah,

I hasten to add: “or just rent it in the meantime.” This is just how we are wired. We want the best, we want it cheap and we want it now! And hell breaks loose if anyone tries to interfere.

It’s that time of the year when you or the ones you love may be looking for a new home. Should you be in the rental market, here are a few important knots to make in your ear, before signing on the dotted line.

No discrimination may take place during either the advertising or negotiation phases. It is interesting to note that the Rental Housing Act (herein after RHA) refers particularly to age in section 4(1). Strictly speaking an advertisement can therefore not state that students need not apply or that the residence is only intended for the elderly. This can however be circumvented by simply refusing the potential tenant on another basis.

The next few rules are, however set in stone, and cannot be waived by either a landlord or tenant:

1. Section 5(3)(d) of the RHA states that the deposit, paid to the landlord to secure the residence, must be invested against an interest rate equal to a savings account. Furthermore, at the end of the lease the initial investment and the interest there upon, must be paid to the tenant, should there be no deductions for damages. The wording of the section leaves no room for interpretation, thus the meaning is clear and concise, the deposit must be invested! No landlord may, for any reason, deny the tenant the right to have the deposit invested and must provide the tenant with proof of the investment, should the tenant request this.
2. A joint inspection by both tenant and landlord, at a time which is convenient for both parties within three (3) days prior to expiration of the lease, must take place. Should the landlord fail do to this inspection, section 5(3)(j) of the RHA provides the tenant with the right to claim his or her full deposit, including the interest, as the landlord has tacitly deemed the residence to be in a good and proper state and has no further claim against the tenant.
On this note, should there be no deduction applicable, the deposit and interest must be paid to the tenant within seven (7) days of the lease’s expiration. Should there be deductions, the full amount after deductions, but including interest, must be paid to the tenant within twenty-one (21) days of the expiration of the lease.
3. The landlord is however not without remedy. An interesting provision of the RHA is that a landlord may claim compensation for improvements on the land on which the dwelling is situated, if damage caused by the tenant necessitated said improvement, according to section 4(5)(e) of the RHA.

Lastly, should you or a loved one ever experience any difficulties with a tenant or landlord, it must be noted that the RHA provides for a Rental Housing Tribunal, which can settle all rental matters quickly and cheaply. The legal processes of the Tribunal are less complex than those of the courts and also have a swifter turn-around-time.

Ultimately the old saying still rings true, especially in the rental market, “I don’t understand this irony – valuable things like cars, gold, diamonds are made up of hard materials but most valuable things like money, contracts and books are made up of soft paper.”
Amit Kalantri.
Thus my advice would be: grab those reading glasses and go through your contract with a fine-tooth comb, who knows, you might have some interest coming your way!

Know your rights this Valentines Day

– Ané Kotzé

You open the front door to your house and there it is – a paradise filled with hundreds of roses, a human size teddy bear, hearts sprinkled all across your front porch, a harpist in the corner playing the soft tunes of Ronan Keating’s You say it best when you say nothing at all (oh the irony), and all that you can think of is how much time it’s gonna take for you to clean up the porch, get the harpist to stop playing and fit the teddy bear through the door so your neighbours has nothing to gossip about.

Even though Valentines Day is seen as one of the most favourable holidays of the year, some of you might have a stalker or two on your hands that you can’t seem to get rid of. This bears the question – how can you get rid of someone who is invading your space and infiltrating your life, without using a spade to hit them over the head?

The Protection from Harassment Act (17 of 2011) makes way to ensure that a victim has immediate relief against harassment. The question remains however, what is harassment? Is your admirer harassing you or is he / she just being kind?

Harassment can include any of the following acts: unreasonable written, verbal and / or electronic communication, the unreasonable watching, pursuing or following a person, the lurking outside of a building where a person works, studies, happens to be or lives, (sounds like this is applicable to your secret stalker, or admirer… doesn’t it?), bullying, harassment of a sexual nature, etc.

Now that you have identified the conduct as harassment or possible harassment, what can you do?

The Magistrate’s Court makes way for you to obtain a Protection Order against the perpetrator who is harassing you. The Protection Order is seen as a Court Order and lists specific acts which the perpetrator may not commit. Protection Orders can be enforced by the South African Police Services and non-compliance thereof may lead to criminal prosecution.

If a Protection Order is granted, the Protection Order will be accompanied by a Warrant of Arrest. The Warrant can then be executed at any time if the perpetrator fails to obey the Protection Order. You as the victim can therefore hand in the Protection Order together with the Warrant of Arrest at the nearest SAPS, who will then enforce the Protection Order. A Protection Order is valid for a period of 5 years.

But what if you don’t know who the secret admirer is who is harassing you? Can you still obtain a Protection Order? The answer is yes. The Court will bear all the circumstances in mind when making such an Order. If for instance, the harassment is taking place in the form of electronic mail, the Court can make an Order to prohibit the service provider from allowing communication to be forwarded by the perpetrator to you as the victim.

So if you were afraid of being harassed this Valentines Day, remember that you have options and the law on your side. You don’t have to tolerate endless mixtapes and telephone calls asking you what you are wearing and if you are available tonight. Be smart, get a Protection Order.

Consult with your lawyer about the process involved in obtaining a Protection Order or an Interim Order.

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This newsletter is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice.