Thank you for your question. I will try to assist you in answering it today but please feel free to ask as many follow up questions as you like until you are 100% satisfied.
Normally most deeds of sale will have a "voetstoots" clause in it protecting the seller from latent defects. This clause will not however protect him/her if they knew about a defect, tried to conceal it from you and failed to mention it to you.
From what you told me of the cracks with the cotton like material and paint, it would seem that the seller most likely knew about this problem, but you will still have to prove that he/she had the knowledge. That should not be to difficult if the previous tenants are contacted and could shed some light on the problems they encountered and notified the owner of.
Having said this, you will not have to decide whether you want to cancel the deal due to this defects or if you would like to claim money from the seller in order to effect the necessary repairs. You can also claim reduction in purchase price under certain conditions.
If the transaction has not registered in the deeds office, I suggest that you get in touch with the conveyancing attorneys and inform them that they need to hold over on registration until you had time to address this issued with the seller. Most attorneys are already closed or will close down soon for the holidays and you will only be able to get assistance after 4 January 2016.
If you cannot get hold of the conveyancers then you should contact the bond attorneys or the bank if there is a bond and ask them to get the conveyancer to hold over on registration.
If the transaction has already registered, then there is no rush and you can wait until after 4 January 2016 to contact an attorney to assist you with this issue.
I hope this answered your question.
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