We provide innovative legal solutions to SA-REITS funds, listed funds and property owners. Amongst our clients are Atterbury Property Holdings Ltd, Attacq, Growthpoint Properties Limited, Old Mutual Property (Pty) Ltd, Pareto Ltd, Sasol Pension Fund, Shoprite Checkers Properties Ltd, Tsogo Sun, Vukile Property Fund Ltd.
Legislation has changed dramatically over the past decade and has had an adverse or in some instances challenging effect on the property market with the introduction of laws such as the Prevention of Illegal Eviction and Unlawful Occupation Act, the Consumer Protection Act (“CPA”), the new Companies Act (Business Rescue Chapter 6) and the Labour Relations Act.
Implementation of valuations and rate bills from Local Council and disputes regarding utilities and rates and taxes. The recent case law introducing aspects of Ubuntu into the law of landlord and tenant emphasises fair negotiation and management.
A strict interpretation on the “no set off” provision in recent case law renders an unreserved reliance on this provision by landlords precarious.
CPA risks as it unfolds in private property, which is open to the general public such as shopping centres, makes for interesting questions regarding risk, indemnities and service provider liability. Co-marketing of products and services on platforms containing the owner’s logo may bear certain risks. How far may a property owner assist an independent security service provider in his/her duties before creating obligations? Is the branding of independent security personnel uniforms by the property owners still advisable?
The firm provides legal assistance to client’s in the commercial, retail, residential, industrial and agricultural spheres.
The unchecked impact of Section 197 of the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995 (“LRA”) on the sale of a property, where staff is employed, as a going concern may result in a labour dispute.
Strike and picketing rules in a retail environment may embark on the rights of the landlord and other tenants. Latest amendments to the LRA enable a landlord to participate in the establishment of picketing rules. Awareness and obligations can be confirmed in lease agreements whichrequires an innovative and proactive approach.
Gideon Pretorius played a key role in conceptualising the Tribunal for Commercial Property; (www.tribunalcp.co.za).
Specific Arbitration Rules applicable to the Tribunal aim to reduce delays and create a platform for fairness and cost effective resolution of disputes.
The Tribunal functions totally independently from the firm and is a unique and innovative alternative to the Court process which sometimes create delays and may be procedurally manipulated by parties thereto.
The new Companies Act 71 of 2008 has established an alternative to liquidation being business rescue under Chapter 6 thereof.
Business rescue places a temporary moratorium on any legal proceedings against a distressed company and simultaneously places the company in the hands of a business rescue practitioner with the aim to ensure the survival of the company or sale thereof as a going concern to the benefit of interested parties such as creditors and employees.
We are able to provide clients with advice in relation to the entire process of liquidation, sequestration, rehabilitation and business rescue proceedings and the impact thereof on on-going obligations resulting from lease and other agreements.
In our view, the business rescue practitioner needs to be closely monitored and were necessary kept to the relevant time limits to avoid prejudice to the Landlords.
Our firm has a long standing relationship with Tim du Toit Inc (JHB & Cape Town) who attends to all our conveyancing and notarial requirements.
The firm provides legal assistance to the public pro bono (“for the public good”) an annual basis in terms of the directives of the Law society of South Africa and recognizes the need therefore in a society where the gap between rich and poor is the greatest in the world.