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Barend B.
Barend B., Legal Consultant
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 1336
Experience:  BLC LLB (Pret) LLM (Augsburg)
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Hi I have a real estate issue and am hoping you can advise

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I have a real estate issue and am hoping you can advise me. My late father bought an empty stand from the local munisipality in 1997. The contract reads that the day he signs the contract, he needs to pay a 25% deposit of the purchase price. The purchase price including VAT was R10 800, my Dad paid R5000 on the date he signed the purchase contract at the offices of the munisipality. He paid it with a bank cheque from United bank and made a note of it on the contract. the remainder of the purchase amount he paid monthly over several months in cash at the munisipality. The problem that I now have is that my Dad has passed away and this property is not in my Dads name. The munisipality never transferred this property into his name. About 10 years ago, my Dad build 3 Houses on this stand and he also developed the infrastructure (plumbing, water, drainage etc) he has also been paying Rates and Taxes, but since i enquired at the munisipality about this property they have now stopped charging the rates and taxes. Th munisipality does not want me to trnasfer this proerty into the Late Estate as they now watn proof that my DAD did indeed paid the purchase amount. This was 16 yeasr ago and I am unable to find any proof, all I can find is the Signed purchase agreement withe the note that he pais R5000 the day he signed the contract, also I have the statements from the munisipality that he has been paying Rates and Taxes. Also, i have letter from the Munisipality where the have inspected the escavations for the foundation of the buildings and the bulding plans and the munisipality had approved all my Dad's building plans on the property in question. Now as the executor of his estate, i dont know what to do. Im sure my dead father would not have build three properties on a stand if he wasnt sure that he had purchased and paid for it. i cant just "give" this prop[erty to the munisipality - what about all the expenses that my dad had incurred to build the 3 houses on that property. Please advise me what to do as the munisiapality does not want to sign the documentation to transfer this property onto the Estate.
Good afternoon,

The first thing you need to do is make an application in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act and request all the cash receipt books from the month following the date your dad paid the deposit. Also request all journal and ledger books relating to this property from the date your dad paid the deposit, and copies of the complete file the municipality has on this property. Once you have this information, you can make an informed decision on how to proceed. If the municipality has cancelled the contract because of alleged non-payment, they must provide proof thereof. If they have cancelled it, they must have refunded the deposit and compensate your father for the improvements. Either way, they must have proof if they cancelled the transaction. If they did not cancel the transaction, then they must tell you how much, if anything is still outstanding, and then you will have to make a decision on whether it will be worthwhile to pay the shortfall and demand transfer or cancel and request refund and compensation.

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