Hi, my parents-in-law asked us to take over their house. We are currently living in the cottage at the back, where they will then move to. The outstanding bond is about R100k and the market value +-R1m. We are offering to pay them R550k though. They would like assurance of a place to live with an usufruct on the property. However, I have heard nightmare stories about that... Am I right in saying that they can then, if our relationship sours, kick us off the property and rent it out, even if we are the owners? Neither can we sell without their permission? Is there any other way to do this? Alternatively a way we could put usufruct on the cottage alone without offending them?
Online articles, asking around, parents-in-law's lawyers...
Good day. This is an info request to assist you better. Please continue on this thread.Do I understand correctly. There is two residences on the property?
Yes, the house and the 100sq cottage.
What do you understand under the term usufruct? From what I can tell, all that they want to know is that they will have a right of residence (habitation)? Is this correct?
Yes, they would like to cover themselves should anything happen to my husband and something turns ugly, that I can't just throw them out in the streets...
And you are in turn concerned that they will throw you into the streets? Something like that?
Exactly like that...
Apologies for the late reply. This is the final question: Are you going to buy using a bond?
Sorry, my mails must have gotten stuck, I only received your question now! Yes, we are looking to get a bond through SA Home Loans for the R550,000.
1. If you buy the property, you have a real right over that property. In other words, you would be the owner of the property. That part is obvious. Your parents, however, would have a limited real right over the property.2. How that limited real right is defined will, ultimately, define the relationship and rights of your parents and yourself. If you draft the clause to only give them a right of habitation only on a flat, it entitles them to remain in the flat for the rest of their lives, or until they abandon that right, whichever comes first. It gives them rights only towards that flat and not towards any other part of that property other than that flat. 3. Under those circumstances, since they do not have the right of use or the right of habitation on the main house, they cannot throw you out. It is simply just a horror story which I do not know where you heard it. 4. I suggest that you have the sale agreement drafted by a conveyancer or a notary. Somebody with experience in drafting clauses pertaining to servitudes and tell him exactly what you want. He will make sure that neither party is prejudiced.5. Because you are going to register a bond, however, the bank will require your parents to sign a document that gives the bank the right to lift the right of habitation if the bank has to foreclose on the property. They will not grant you a bond in the absence of such a permission, so just take a note of that.
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L.LB, Civil and criminal litigation, contracts, labour and family law
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