Closing Down the Guesthouse Next Door:  Notes for Owners and Neighbours

Closing Down the Guesthouse Next Door: Notes for Owners and Neighbours

One day you decide – for whatever reason - that your neighbour’s new guesthouse is definitely not first prize in your sleepy and peaceful suburb, so you investigate. You find out that the local municipal zoning scheme doesn’t allow anyone to operate a guesthouse without a special departure permit, and that your neighbour doesn’t have the required permit. What are your rights and what must you prove to get assistance from our courts?  Must you prove, for example, that you have suffered some form of damage or is it enough to prove only the lack of a permit? A recent…
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Security Complexes: Can You Use Telkom Ducting for Fibre?

Security Complexes: Can You Use Telkom Ducting for Fibre?

Optic fibre is bringing “superfast broadband” to an exponentially-increasing number of South African homes and businesses.  And competition in the field is fierce.  Which is great for us as consumers, but if you live or work in a “community scheme” there’s a catch. How does your chosen supplier physically run fibre cabling to your individual properties? Laying new underground ducting will mean a lot of cost and a lot of disruption, so you’ll want to use existing infrastructure if you can, and Telkom’s ducting is likely to be a prime candidate.  But before you rush ahead and use it, consider…
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Evicting Your Troublesome Tenant: More Problems with PIE

Evicting Your Troublesome Tenant: More Problems with PIE

“The effect of PIE is not and should not be to effectively expropriate the rights of the landowner in favour of unlawful occupiers.  The landowner retains the protection against arbitrary deprivation of property.  Properly applied, PIE should serve merely to delay or suspend the exercise of the landowner’s full property rights until a determination has been made whether it is just and equitable to evict the unlawful occupiers and under what conditions.” Buy-to-let property can be an excellent investment. Just take into account the possible difficulty, cost and delay of evicting a defaulting tenant – or indeed any unlawful occupier -…
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What is an Occupancy Certificate? Why Do You Need It?

What is an Occupancy Certificate? Why Do You Need It?

Hopefully you won’t have to wait 20 years for your new dream home to be built - that’s how long Cheops (ancient Egyptian pharaoh) had to hang around twiddling his thumbs whilst his Great Pyramid of Giza was going up - but you will no doubt be keen to move in as soon as you can. But before you do so you must obtain a “Certificate of Occupancy” from your local municipality.  This applies whether you are moving in yourself or putting in a tenant.  It also applies both to building from scratch and to carrying out any “alteration, conversion,…
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Property: What Are Your Rights to Views and Privacy?

Property: What Are Your Rights to Views and Privacy?

There are a number of high court cases dealing with a property owners "right to a view" and it seems that with the number of new developments in sought after areas these issues will continue to come up. We've previously looked at a property owners' attempt to enforce a height servitude over a neighbour's property and another case where property owners attempted to stop neighbours from going double-storey. The recent judgment in Judgment in Da Cruz and Another v City of Cape Town and Another (6561/2015) [2017] ZAWCHC 1 is yet another warning to do your homework before you buy or develop…
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