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Shaie Zindel
Shaie Zindel, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 1248
Experience:  All areas of commercial and contract Law - specialist in property advice.
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Hi BarendI bought a plot in a development with a clause that

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Hi Barend
I bought a plot in a development with a clause that says that if you do not build in 2 years you pay a penalty levy ie double what I am paying monthly now. I received a letter of demand from an attorney about 3 years ago. At about the same time when these were being instituted there was a meeting called to question whether these penalties should be instituted, as the market had dropped and it was not possible to sell the plots. That was the last notification that I had from them and I presumed that that matter had been settled. They had my cel no. and they had my new address. I have just had a call from the attorney to say a judgment was passed some time back and that if the large amount owing is not paid, they will auction the plot. Surely I should have been made aware of the judgement or their intention to prosecute? Do I have any recourse? Regards
Hi There - let me try to assist. It sounds like the Body Corporate or Home Owners Association have acted very underhandedly in sneaking a judgment against you. My advice is to immediately notify the attorney that since he has just advised you of the judgment and the prejudice you will suffer if the stand is sold that you have no option but to instruct an attorney to apply for a rescission (overturning) of the judgment. Bear in mind that to rescind the judgment you will need to prove: 1. That you were not in wilful default i.e. you weren't aware of the pending legal action and 2. That you have a bona fide defence. Its number 2 that might get quite tricky. You will need to show that the levies aren't due for example that the rule wasn't passed legitimately or that such a penalty is unconstitutional etc etc. My advice is get an attorney on your side as a matter of urgency and let him look into the merits of bringing the rescission application but please don't delay because you only have 20 days to do this. I hope I have answered your question and wish you luck. Please remember to rate my service so far. Regards
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