Under the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) 68 of 2008, consumers have the right to fair value, good quality and safety. So how does this apply to property transactions? In simple terms, the CPA doesn’t have a strong role to play when it comes to the sale and purchase of immovable property, especially residential property. This is because of the limitations imposed by the CPA itself. For example, the Act applies only to transactions where the seller sells property in the course and scope of his ordinary business. In other words, it mostly doesn’t apply to a sale where the seller is an individual owner of the property but does not actually sell houses for a living.
The CPA only applies to the sale of immovable property where the seller is a property developer or investor who buys, renovates and sells houses as a business.
So what happens if there are defects to the property? Common law is applied and it takes two positions regarding the liability of the seller, namely, the inclusion and exclusion of the “voetstoots” clause. Read how “voetstoots” works in the answer to the next question.