Are you liable for a previous owner’s unpaid rates and taxes on a property?

Are you liable for a previous owner’s unpaid rates and taxes on a property?

You might not have initially been aware of this, but it might have arisen during conversation over dinner if somebody you know has recently purchased a house. The crux of the conversation was “beware when buying a new property, because you may become liable for rates going all the way back to the 1980s. This is notwithstanding that you were in a cot at the time.” Surely this could never be the case, especially since it is not your debt - it is the previous owner's debt?! However, fear not, the Gauteng Division of the High Court has clarified the…
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Everything that shines isn’t always gold: property owners must be weary in light of new SCA judgment

Everything that shines isn’t always gold: property owners must be weary in light of new SCA judgment

Imagine finding your dream home: a charming townhouse with sufficient space for you and your family in a quiet neighborhood with a resplendent view of the cityscape. It ticks all of the boxes and you cannot wait to move in and begin this new chapter of your life. Now imagine just before you take transfer, being informed that you have to pay debts incurred by the previous owners – suddenly, the home of your dreams becomes a house of nightmares. In February 2016 the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) held that property owners can be held liable by the Municipality…
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