The voetstoots clause is included in the sale agreement when the purchaser agrees to buy the property as it stands with a full understanding of its defects. In this case, the seller has a duty to disclose all hidden (latent) defects to the buyer. At the same time, it’s the purchaser’s responsibility to carefully inspect the property before deciding to buy it. He must be satisfied that there are no visible or obvious (patent) defects. In essence, this means the “voetstoots” seller is not responsible for patent or latent defects that have been disclosed.

But what happens if certain defects go undisclosed? If these are discovered by the purchaser after he has bought the house, he can still claim for compensation from the seller. He must, however, be able to prove that the seller knew about the defects and failed to disclose them. This can prove to be quite a challenge.

Attorneys are therefore often reluctant to sue the seller under common law. Instead, they turn to the CPA. This means it could be the estate agent and not the seller who faces legal action!

CategoryQ and A

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