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WCLawyer, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 15603
Experience:  L.LB (UOVS)
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Good Afternoon.... We sold a vehicle to a private person on

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Good Afternoon.... We sold a vehicle to a private person on 25 June 2013. The vehicle belongs to our Trust. The person paid for the vehicle. A contract was drawn, also saying "in voetstoots kondisie". He took possession of the vehicle on 1 July 2013. On
31 July 2013 new owner phones, engine broken - overheating. We gave him a quote and accepted verbally the quote. He agreed to pay for the parts and we do the labour free of charge. He never paid for the parts as promised. After numerious smsses between him, he wants to bring the vehicle back. Also after driving more 3000 kms and sold the mags rims and 17" tyres. Do we have to take the vehicle back. Should we take the vehicle back,deduct the price of the mag rims and tyres, usage of the vehicle, etc.
Kindly give us feedback on this issue.
Kind Regards
S Retief
Good day.

This is an info request to assist you better. Please continue on this thread.

Does the trust make its money through the sale of motor vehicles?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No not at all. It is a family trust.



So this sale is a once off sale of a motor vehicle?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The answer is YES.


For estate purposes we prefer that our personal vehicles gets separated from the other mecanical repair business.

In this instance, you would have no liability against the buyer because of the voetstoots agreement.

In order to explain the working of the voetstoots clause, we need to distinguish between patent and latent defects. Patent defects is defects that is immediately visible, or visible after a thorough inspection of the item. Latent defects is defects that existed, but could not be seen so easily. It must be noted that we are talking about defects that existed when the agreement has been concluded and not defects that came into existence after the transaction has been concluded. Also, you should note that there is a difference between a defect that exists and a defect that manifests itself. For example, a smoke alarm can be defective before the conclusion of the sale, but the mistake only manifests itself if the thing does not go off.

When an agreement is concluded voetstoots, it means that the seller does not take responsibility for any of the latent or patent defects that existed at the time that the transaction was concluded. This means that all risk passes to the seller as soon as he pays for the thing.

A seller cannot claim voetstoots as a defence for latent defects if the seller knew of the defects and deliberately conceals the defect, so as to entice the buyer to buy. The burden of proof is, however, on the buyer to prove this. The buyer must, in other words, prove that the defects existed at the time of the sale, that the seller deliberately concealed it and that he did so because he knew the buyer was not going to buy, or were going to buy at a reduced price, if the defects were made known to him.

Only if a buyer can prove this, can the seller be held liable for those defects.

Since you undertook to do the labour on the vehicle, you would be liable for that. This liability, as per the agreement or per your tender, would only accrue once the parts has been presented.

I hope this answers your question, but if you have follow up questions before you rate, feel free to ask them at no extra cost. If you are satisfied with the service, kindly rate it positively. I do not get anything unless you rate the service
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you so so much for the feedback!!!! Another question I want to ask; at this stage as mentioned previously, the buyer has still not registered the vehicle in this or his business name. The yellow form is in his position (accidently). At the time when fetched the vehicle I was in hospital after a knee replacment. What advise could you possibly give to remove the vehicle from the Trust.