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Month: October 2015

MEDE-EIENAARSKAP EN DIE ACTIO COMMUNI DIVIDENDO

MEDE-EIENAARSKAP EN DIE ACTIO COMMUNI DIVIDENDO

A3_BSo jy en jou “BFF” besluit dat dit ‘n uitstekende belegging sal wees om daardie oulike meenthuis saam te koop in Mouille Punt. Alles gaan goed vir ‘n paar jaar en dan kom die groot stryery. Nou wil “BFF” kop uittrek & eis betaling van haar halwe aandeel. Hoe nou gemaak?

Hierdie is ‘n al te bekende scenario en word goed vasgevang in die uitdrukking “communio est mater rixarum “, vertaal as “mede-eienaarskap is die moeder van geskille “.

Mede-eienaarskap van onroerende eiendom word uitdagend wanneer een of al die mede-eienaars besluit om weg te stap & die partye kan dan nie kan saamstem oor hoe die eiendom moet onderverdeel word nie.

Dit is waar die actio communi dividendo inkom. Volgens hierdie regsremedie het ‘n mede-eienaar die vermoë om sy aandeel in die eiendom vervreem & dienooreenkomstig daarvoor vergoed te word. ‘n Hof is bevoeg om enige van die volgende bevele in hierdie omstandighede te maak: a) Onderverdeling van die eiendom, indien dit prakties sou wees;b) Verkoop van die eiendom en verdeling van die netto opbrengs tussen mede- eienaars;c) Oordrag van die eiendom aan een van die mede-eienaars teen betaling aan die ander mede- eienaars. Die bogenoemde is nie uitputtend nie & die howe het ‘n diskresie om enige bevel te maak wat regverdig en billik in die omstandighede is, byvoorbeeld waar een van die mede-eienaars okkupasie van die eiendom geniet, of die uitgawes ten opsigte van die eiendom gedra het (bv instandhouding en belastings), kan die hof enige aanpassing maak, wat die betaling wat mede-eienaars sou ontvang betref.

Dit is noemenswaardig dat waar ‘n eis vir onderverdeling van ‘n eiendom wat gesamentlik besit word hangende is, die mede-eienaars nog steeds hul aandeel mag vervreem. In Vorster en ander teen Vorster en ander ( CA366 / 2011 ) [ 2013 ] ZAECGHC , is bevind dat daar geen basis bestaan “where one or more co-owners have instituted claims for partition of a jointly owned property the co-owners may not alienate their shares until finalization of the pending claims. … such barring of an owner from alienating his or her share of the property would make no sense, for the (proposed) alienation would effectively be giving effect to the pending claim.

Die hof bevind verder dat :

“any right to claim under actio communi dividundo does not entitle the respondents to acquire the appellants share at their (the respondents’) price. The right of a co-owner to alienate his or her property freely and without reference to co-owners is entrenched in our law.”

Die enigste geval waar ‘n mede-eienaar verhoed sal word om aan te dring op verdeling van die eiendom is waar hy ‘n ooreenkoms met die ander mede-eienaars gesluit het om dit nie te doen binne ‘n bepaalde tydperk nie. Die onderliggende beginsels van die actio communi dividendo is volledig in Matadin v Parma en Ander (4638/2009) [ 2010 ] ZAKZPHC uiteengesit, waarin die Hof gelas het dat die betrokke eiendom op openbare veiling verkoop moet word, met ‘n reserwe prys en die netto opbrengs verdeel moet word tussen die mede-eienaars .

So, selfs al is die howe in staat om tot jou redding te kom as jy jou mede-eienaarskap in ‘n eiendom wil beëindig, is daar niks wat jou verhoed om jou onverdeelde aandeel te verkoop nie.

Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies

CO-OWNERSHIP & THE ACTIO COMMUNI DIVIDENDO

CO-OWNERSHIP & THE ACTIO COMMUNI DIVIDENDO

A3_BSo you & your BFF decide that it would be a great investment to buy that quaint townhouse in Mouille Point as an investment. All goes well for a few years & then comes the big blow out between you. Now BFF wants out & demands payment of her half share. What to do?

This scenario is an all too familiar one and is well captured in the expression “communio est mater rixarum”, translated as “co-ownership is the mother of disputes”.

Co-ownership of immovable property becomes challenging when one or all of the co-owners decide to step away & the parties then cannot agree on how the property should be subdivided.

This is where the actio communi dividendo comes in. This action affords a co-owner the means to have his undivided share in the property separated & to be compensated accordingly. A court is competent to make any of the following orders in these circumstances:

  1. a) Subdivision of the property, if this is practical;
  2. b) Sale of the property & division of the proceeds between co-owners;
  3. c) Transfer of the property to one of the co-owners against payment to the other co-owners.

The above is not exhaustive & the courts have a discretion to make any order that is fair and equitable in the circumstances, for example where one of the co-owners has enjoyed occupation of the property, or carried expenses in respect of the property (e.g. maintenance, rates & taxes), the court may make any adjustment between the co-owners as to the payment received for their share in the property.

It is noteworthy to mention that where a claim for subdivision of a jointly owned property is pending, the co-owners may still alienate their shares. In Vorster and Others v Vorster and Others (CA366/2011) [2013] ZAECGHC, it was held that no legal basis can be found to support that “where one or more co-owners have instituted claims for partition of a jointly owned property the co-owners may not alienate their shares until finalization of the pending claims. … such barring of an owner from alienating his or her share of the property would make no sense, for the (proposed) alienation would effectively be giving effect to the pending claim.”

The court held further that:

“any right to claim under actio communi dividundo does not entitle the respondents to acquire the appellants share at their (the respondents’) price. The right of a co-owner to alienate his or her property freely and without reference to co-owners is entrenched in our law.”

The only instance where a co-owner is precluded from insisting on partition of the property is where he has entered into an agreement with the other co-owners not to do so within a specified period.

The underlying principles of the actio communi dividendo is fully discussed in Matadin v Parma and Others (4638/2009) [2010] ZAKZPHC in which it was ordered that the property in question be sold by public auction, with a reserve price & the net proceeds be divided and paid to the co-owners.

So, eventhough the courts will come to the aid of a co-owner who wishes to part ways with his undivided share in the co-owned property, nothing stops a co-owner from alienating his share in the property, should he be in a position to do so.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. (E & OE) 

OPENBARE OORLASTE: WETLIKE REGTE IN TERME VAN WETGEWING

OPENBARE OORLASTE: WETLIKE REGTE IN TERME VAN WETGEWING

A2_BPersone wat ontwrigtende dade van onaanvaarbare gedrag in openbare plekke pleeg, mag gewaarsku en daarna deur die owerhede in hegtenis geneem word. Die oortreder sal aanspreeklik wees vir ‘n boete, gevangenisstraf of beide by skuldigbevinding. Hoe word hierdie toepassing van ons regte behaal deur ‘n gewone burger?

‘n Openbare oorlas is ‘n kriminele misdaad; dit is ‘n daad of versuim wat belemmer, skade berokken, of die regte van die gemeenskap verontrief. Die term openbare oorlas dek ‘n wye verskeidenheid van geringe misdade wat die gesondheid, morele waardes, veiligheid, gerief, gemak of welsyn van ‘n gemeenskap bedreig.

Wetgewing bied verligting in hierdie verband, spesifiek in die verordeninge van die plaaslike munisipaliteite. ‘n Verordening is ‘n wet wat deur die Raad van ‘n munisipaliteit aangeneem word om die sake en die dienste wat dit bied binne sy regsgebied te reguleer. ‘n Munisipaliteit verkry die magte om ‘n verordening goed te keur van die Grondwet van die Republiek van Suid-Afrika.

Met betrekking tot openbare oorlaste sou ‘n mens kyk na Verordening op Strate, Openbare Plekke en die Voorkoming van Stoornisse, 2007. Die grootste deel van hierdie verordening lys sekere handelinge wat as verbode gedrag geag word en daarmee gekriminaliseer word. Verskillende aksies, insluitend bedel, die gebruik van beledigende of dreigende taal, om onder die invloed van dwelms of alkohol te wees en ‘n versteuring te veroorsaak deur te skreeu, gil of enige ander harde en aanhoudende geraas of klank, insluitend versterkte geraas en klank te maak, word daarin gelys.

Indien enigiemand se gedrag binne hierdie definisie val en hy enige of verskeie verbode handelinge van openbare oorlas uitvoer, moet die owerhede onmiddellik in kennis gestel word. Die owerhede het die mag om die oortreder te gelas om die gewraakte gedrag onmiddellik te staak, by versuim waarvan hy aan ‘n misdryf skuldig sal wees.

Artikel 23 bepaal dat enige persoon wat oortree of versuim om te voldoen aan ‘n bepaling van hierdie verordening of versuim om enige instruksie deur die owerhede wat hierdie verordening afdwing, te gehoorsaam, aan ‘n misdryf skuldig sal wees. Die oortreder sal aanspreeklik wees vir ‘n boete of gevangenisstraf vir ‘n tydperk van hoogstens ses maande, of vir beide ‘n boete en sodanige gevangenisstraf.

Dit is dus voor die hand liggend dat deur die identifisering van sekere handelinge van onaanvaarbare, aggressiewe, dreigende, beledigende of obstruktiewe gedrag van persone in die openbaar, die oortreder gelas kan word om onmiddellik sodanige gewraakte optrede te staak of in hegtenis geneem te word vir die nie-nakoming van enige opdrag om die optrede te staak.

Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies

Verwysingslys:

  1. http://openbylaws.org.za/za/by-law/cape-town/2007/streets-public-places-noise-nuisances/
  1. http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Public Nuisance
  1. http://openbylaws.org.za/
  1. https://www.capetown.gov.za/en/bylaws/Pages/Home.aspx
PUBLIC NUISANCES: LEGAL RIGHTS IN TERMS OF LEGISLATION

PUBLIC NUISANCES: LEGAL RIGHTS IN TERMS OF LEGISLATION

A2_BPersons who commit disruptive acts of unacceptable behaviour in public places may be warned, arrested and subsequently prosecuted by the authorities. The offender shall be liable for a fine, imprisonment or both upon conviction. How is this enforcement of our rights achieved by an ordinary citizen?

A public nuisance is a criminal wrong; it is an act or omission that obstructs, damages, or inconveniences the rights of the community. The term public nuisance covers a wide variety of minor crimes that threaten the health, morals, safety, comfort, convenience or welfare of a community.[1]

Legislation offers relief in this respect, in specific by-laws of local Municipalities. A by-law is a law that is passed by the Council of a municipality to regulate the affairs and the services it provides within its area of jurisdiction[2]. A municipality derives the powers to pass a by-law from the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.

With regards to Public Nuisances one would look to By-law Relating to Streets, Public Places and the Prevention of Noise Nuisances, 2007[3]. The main body of this by-law lists certain acts that are deemed prohibited behaviour and are therewith criminalised. Various acts including begging, using abusive or threatening language, being under the influence of drugs or alcohol and causing a disturbance by shouting, screaming or making any other loud or persistent noise or sound, including amplified noise or sound are listed therein.[4]

Should anyone and his conduct fall within this definition and perform any or multiple prohibited acts of public nuisance, the authorities are to be alerted immediately. The authorities have the power to instruct the offender to immediately cease the offending behaviour, failing which he will be guilty of an offence.

Section 23 states that any person who contravenes or fails to comply with any provision of this by-law or disobeys any instruction by the authorities enforcing this by-law, shall be guilty of an offence. This offender shall be liable to a fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months, or to both a fine and such imprisonment.

It is therefore evident that by identifying certain acts of unacceptable, aggressive, threatening, abusive or obstructive behaviour of persons in public the offender may be ordered to immediately cease such offending conduct or be arrested for not complying with any order to do so.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. (E & OE) 

Reference List:

  1. http://openbylaws.org.za/za/by-law/cape-town/2007/streets-public-places-noise-nuisances/
  1. http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Public Nuisance
  1. http://openbylaws.org.za/
  1. https://www.capetown.gov.za/en/bylaws/Pages/Home.aspx

[1] http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Public Nuisance

[2] https://www.capetown.gov.za/en/bylaws/Pages/Home.asp

[3] http://openbylaws.org.za/za/by-law/cape-town/2007/streets-public-places-noise-nuisances/

[4] Section 2 By-law Relating to Streets, Public Places and the Prevention of Noise Nuisances, 2007