(The so-called protection afforded to devious Sellers)
Most people will agree that buying immovable property is generally one of the biggest financial decisions a person will make, yet very few people go the extra mile to ensure that there are no major defects in their prospective home purchase. A dishonest Seller can leave you with badly burnt fingers, a severely bruised ego and a dented chequebook.
When you purchase property, there is an implied warranty at common law that the property sold is free of defects. A Seller can however contract out of that implied warrantee by stating that the property is sold as ‘as is’, by including a voetstoots clause in the sale agreement. Most sale agreements contain a voetstoots clause, which may exonerate the Seller from liability for defects, which the Purchaser may later discover.
In this article we will explain the voetstoots clause, the difference between a latent and a patent defect, and how a Purchaser may be protected against a dishonest Seller.