How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask WCLawyer Your Own Question
WCLawyer, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 15593
Experience:  L.LB (UOVS)
Type Your South Africa Law Question Here...
WCLawyer is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

We have sold our house. Unfortunately, we signed the Offer

This answer was rated:

We have sold our house. Unfortunately, we signed the Offer to Purchase under pressure, not realising that it was a binding document. Our Agent did not stress this. He assured us we could arrange a period of time to stay in the house, also that the registration could be delayed. We trusted him and we were foolish. Now the buyers are pressing us out of the house by beginning December, instead of our set date of end Feb. We are prepared to pay the occupational rent. We are pensioners, leaving for UK in March. Transfer has not taken place, but we need to make plans and we need this address for our banking and visa requirements. What are our legal options? Can we simply refuse to move until next year? They are local people with means.
Good day and thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try and assist you today.

In order to provide you with the most accurate answer, I may have to ask you a lot of questions. This may seem tedious and irrelevant, but trust me, there is a reason for every question. So please be patient throughout the process and if it takes a little long for me to come back to you, it is probably because I am researching your answer. I hope that is okay.

Has the house already been transfered?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The house has not been transferred. We have had no timetable given to us.

Is there anything in the contract that says when the buyer can take occupation?
It is normally under a heading that says "occupation". It normally says "occupation will be given to the purchaser on _____________ / transfer"

And then the estate agent normally scratches out the bit that is not applicable.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The heading is Vacant Occupation and the only thing written in is "Registration"

Lastly. can I assume that you do not wish to cancel the sale agreement? You would very much prefer that the sale go through?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes, we would prefer the sale to go through. Is it not reasonable to be allowed to stay on two months and pay occupational rent?

Two months after transfer, or two months from the date of signing the contract?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Two months after transfer

Unfortunately, what is reasonable is not what is relevant here, but what is contained in the agreement. There is, unfortunately, no principle in South African Law that says that a seller can stay x amount of months after transfer in a property. It needs to be addressed by the agreement beforehand.

In this instance, the contract says that the buyers can have occupation at the date of transfer. The situation is then that they would not be able to legally remove you from the premises until the date of transfer, but unfortunately it also means that if you remain in possession of the property after transfer, you are in illegal occupation of the property.

I understand that you were not made aware of this situation by the estate agent when you signed the contract, but there is a principle in South African law that state that you are bound to what you have signed. In other words, the obligation is on you to make sure that you understand the agreement.

This obligation has been tempered somewhat by the Consumer Protection Act, but it would seem that this is only applicable to clauses in a contract that cannot be regarded as 'standard', and unfortunately, it would seem to me that these clauses pertaining to occupation is standard.

So, in conclusion, there is very little that the buyers can do to get you out of the property before transfer, but there is also very little that you can do to retain occupation of the property once transfer takes place.

They can apply for your eviction after transfer and cannot remove you without such a cost order and that takes about two months to get, so there is that. But, there is also a risk in remaining in possession, in that you can be made to pay the costs of the eviction order as well as face other claims for damages.

I am very sorry to have to tell this to you, but it would seem to me as if you would have to make arrangements for alternative residents once transfer takes place. I don't know when you started with this transaction, but transfer normally takes about 8 - 12 weeks to go through, if this is of any help to you.

I know that this is probably not the answer that you have hoped for, however, I hope that you can still get some value out of it. I try my best to provide you with a legally sound and accurate answer and however much it pains me, it is not always good news. Trust me when I say that I wish I could provide you with a more optimistic answer. 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.
WCLawyer, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 15593
Experience: L.LB (UOVS)
WCLawyer and other South Africa Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Previous | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

Meet The Experts:




    Satisfied Customers:

< Last | Next >



    Satisfied Customers:

  • Emil's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    BCom Law LLB, 3 years post article experience as attorney
  • LCP's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    BCom (Stell) LLB LLM
  • Freddie Lombard's Avatar

    Freddie Lombard


    Satisfied Customers:

    Practicing attorney and conveyancer with 14 years post article experience.
  • Shaie Zindel's Avatar

    Shaie Zindel


    Satisfied Customers:

    All areas of commercial and contract Law - specialist in property advice.
  • inciteadvisor's Avatar


    Commercial Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    B.Com LLB Registered Corporate lawywer
  • AntonSmith13's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    LLB, LLM, Cert. International Law Attorney with 12 years experience

Related South Africa Law Questions