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WCLawyer, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 15603
Experience:  L.LB (UOVS)
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We purchased a property in a retirement village on the 24/2/2013

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We purchased a property in a retirement village on the 24/2/2013 from a couple who no longer wanted it and at the time it was up to roof height. We signed with the agent and were told we would be in August/September latest. Since then Feb nothing has been done as the builder was having financial problems that we were not told of when we bought. As we were going over seas for 2months they asked us to pay in for any extra's that we had chosen as we did not want the tiles or kitchen that the original buyers had chosen this we did we were told to go to the same supplier this we did. When we got back from our holiday not a thing had been done.
To cut a long story short we are living in a rented apartment as we sold our place and we are now told that they want to go the real rights way so we are waiting to see if the original purchaser is going that way and the rest of the people as we have to get a completed house which is what we were promised
What I want to know is if we cancel and want to get our money back can they sue us for breech of contract which they have threatened to do, but they must have known about all the problems on site when they agreed to sell to us
We are now out of pocket for a lot of money and being 70+ years of age we can't afford to lose this and would now like to buy another place as we are fed up living out of boxes as all our stuff is in storage since February.
Can you let us know where we would stand in this and we did not buy from the builder direct but from the first owner and as far as I know the property is not registered in his name yet.
Good day.

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

Did they contractually agree that they will be finished by a set time?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

not in writing only verbal

And when you bought, it was said that you will get full title in the complex, but now they are saying that you will only get a life right?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No not life right REAL RIGHTS and the first owner we bought from he has to sign up for this we bought a completed house from him when it is finished

Just to confirm, the building is still at the same level of completion it was in since February?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

yes building still sitting as it was in February the people we bought from have to go real rights way and the land has to be registered in his name first once completed whenever that is we then take transfer of completed house from him but we don't know when it will be completed

Final question: Are you paying for this property through a bond?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No we have just paid the deposit also paid for the tiles and extra's separately and that is held by the lawyer who will be doing the transfer eventually, we would be paying cash from the funds from the sale of our previous property, we just want to know can he sue us if we want to pull out this is effecting our health we are so under stress not good at our age.

The thing is that, you are entitled to delivery of the thing purchased within a reasonable time. That has been indicated to you to be end of September 2013. So, just as much as they can argue that you are in breach of contract if you refuse to go ahead with the transfer, just as much can you argue that they are in breach because they are unable to give you delivery of the property within the time frame that they have promised.

Potentially, the fact that nothing is in writing could be a problem, but since it is clear that they would not be able to give you delivery within a reasonable time, in my opinion, you would be able to cancel based on their breach.

I would advise you to make use of an attorney, though, even from the start, since there are a lot of technicalities surrounding the cancellation of an agreement to make sure that they cannot enforce the contract against you, or claim damages.

I am not sure what else I can advise you on, 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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