The Voetstoots Clause

voetstoots clause

The Infamous Voetstoots Clause!

voetstoots clause in the estate agent's offer to purchase
The seller does not have your interests at heart! The Voetstoots Clause protects the seller, not YOU! Do the wise thing! Put an inspection contingency clause in the Offer to Purchase which says the offer is dependant on a satisfactory home inspection. Then, have a home inspection to protect yourself!

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Hidden defects could result in expensive repairs!

Be careful with the voetstoots clause! You are not protected from defects by the Consumer Protection Act with the voetstoots clause in an Offer To Purchase unless you are buying from a developer or builder. All the offer’s to purchase I have come across of all from estate agents and lawyers have the voetstoots clause. You can have the estate agent remove the clause but your offer will most likely be rejected!

In certain instances of concealed defects, you have recourse to the law. A legal determination will need to be made as to whether a defect was deliberately concealed or not. This will determine who is liable for costs. This can be expensive!

But you can reduce the risk with the Voetstoots clause if you make yourself aware and do the following:

Voetstoots and Patent and Latent Defects

A patent defect is clearly visible upon inspection. This may include items such as a crack in a wall or window, chipped plasterwork etc. The offer to purchase should clearly state who is responsible for repair or replacement.

A cursory inspection does not easily pick up a latent defect, e.g. a faulty geyser, a damp area concealed behind furniture or fresh paint, or a leaking roof.

Common law states that the seller is responsible for all latent defects for a period of three years from the date of sale.

The seller should supply all warranties and documentation of repairs and maintenance on the transfer of the property. Make sure that you are aware of all patent defects!

The seller and the voetstoots clause

Sellers stipulate that the property is for sale ‘as is’ (“Voetstoots”) in the belief that they can avoid expensive repairs. However, the seller remains responsible for any deliberately concealed latent flaw or defect.

The difficulty arises in that the burden of proof lies with you, the buyer, as to whether the seller knew, or ought to have known of the latent defects. This also determines whether you can cancel the contract, or claim some repayment from the seller.

You and the voetstoots clause

The offer to purchase document should contain all detected faults. The fault records must also state which party will be responsible for repairs.

You can insist on certain guarantees, e.g. under ‘Special Conditions’. For instance, you can stipulate that; “The Seller warrants that the swimming pool on the property is not leaking at the date of signature hereof by him”.

For your own protection, you should negotiate a Home Inspection Contingency with the seller.

The estate agent (property practitioner) and the voetstoots clause

An important document is the “Seller’s Property Disclosure” which should form part of the offer to purchase. Sellers should disclose problems in the house to the best of their belief and knowledge. However, what the seller “believes” and what is actually true often diverges a lot!

The estate agent is a facilitator and not a party to the contract. Therefore, you can only prosecute an estate agent in terms of the Consumer Protection Act. This applies if the agents ‘supply’ of service was in contravention of the CPA.

If you are unhappy with the service given by the estate agent or estate company, or you suspect that they have violated either the law or the code of conduct governing the industry, it is always better to try and resolve the problem with them first. If you are still not happy you can approach the Estate Agency Affairs Board. The property practitioner’s ombudsman still has to be appointed as required by the Property Practitioners Act.

Protection against the voetstoots clause

With a home inspection report by THE HOME DETECTIVE, you get an accurate, comprehensive description of the true condition of the home you intend to purchase. You, the buyer, the seller, the estate agent and conveyancers can thus be a party to a fair deal.

The cost of the inspection is normally for your account.

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THE HOME DETECTIVE » Home buyer » Voetstoots

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Imagine not having a Home Inspection!

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Do not let this happen to you! Be wise! Rather have a Comprehensive Home Inspection.

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Why use THE HOME DETECTIVE

There is no doubt that without a home inspection and report, you are at risk! This is especially true with the “Voetstoots” clause in the “Offer to Purchase“!

In addition, an inspection with a comprehensive report is not going to cost you an arm or a leg!

At The Home Detective, I understand just how stressful it can be to buy a new home. A home is not just what it appears to be on the surface. It can consist of more than 500 different components, some of them very complex. This can include the roof, structural concrete and brickwork, framework and components such as electrical, plumbing, heating and air conditioning systems.

When considering a home for purchase, minor cosmetic repairs are usually acceptable. However, you need to make sure that everything beneath the surface is in good shape.

I will help you reduce your stress and uncertainty when you are looking for a new home. I will help you choose the right property. A home inspection will help reduce the risk of buying a house with structural, leaks, damp and other defects.

Furthermore, I work only for you! My home inspection services give you unbiased, objective information about the property. Above all, I am an independent and impartial home inspector.

My inspection services for your peace of mind

You don’t need to attend the home inspection if you do not wish to. Your inspection report with marked-up photos of the defects will clearly illustrate the condition of the home to you. However, attending the home inspection will give you more insight into the property. In addition, you will also be able to raise concerns while I am inspecting and have your questions answered.

Your comprehensive home inspection report will include:

  • Defects of the property and suggestions for repairing them
  • The property’s strong points,
  • Regular maintenance is a feature of any property. The report will give you a good idea of the maintenance you may need to undertake.
  • For ease of understanding the inspection report will include photographs. I am also happy to give telephonic support.

Why choose The Home Detective?

At The Home Detective, I strive to ensure my home inspection services and reports are the best in the business. I value customer service above everything else.

I use the latest home inspection technology and equipment. Therefore, you can rest assured that you’ll receive a thorough and detailed service you won’t find elsewhere!

In addition, I inspect properties in Gauteng from the north of Pretoria to Johannesburg South and from Brits in the Northwest Province to Springs in the east.

All my inspections are in full accordance with InterNACHI’s Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics.

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 Inspected Once, Inspected Right!®

SEE WHERE I INSPECT IN GAUTENG!

THE HOME DETECTIVE » Home buyer » Voetstoots

Voetstoots clauses are still being used in 98% of Home Sales Contracts

Voetstoots Clauses

voetstoots clauses

Read your offer to purchase carefully!

Beware of voetstoots clauses!

If you believe that the voetstoots clause is no longer applicable to home sales, you are mistaken. Estate agents and home sellers are using the voetstoots clause in 98% of the “offer to purchase” agreements. Furthermore, the voetstoots clause protects both the seller and the agent in case of legal ramifications for defects. The seller is not selling his home in his normal course of business. As a result, the Consumer Protection Act does not protect you!

In conclusion, just imagine what is wrong and can go wrong with the house you just bought if you don’t take the correct action!

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 Inspected once, Inspected Right!®

THE HOME DETECTIVE » Home buyer » Voetstoots