When buying a property, the buyer may be asked to sign a contract which includes a “Voetstoots” or”As Is” clause.
They may also be asked to sign a “Disclaimer” document from the estate agent. Neither of these documents should be signed, as they give away the buyer’s rights to claim compensation at a later date – up to 6 months – for any patent or latent defects.
Any contract to purchase a property, regardless of the supplier e.g. estate agent, private seller or auction property must contain the clause “Subject to a satisfactory Home Inspection Report”. As of February 2022, the laws regarding the “Voetstoots” clause have changed. Every buyer has the right to have full disclosure of the condition of a property before they go through with the purchase.
In order to find latent and patent defects it would be necessary for the buyer to employ the services of a Professional Home Inspector. The Home Inspector typically performs the inspection before the final signature on the Offer to Purchase. This would give the buyer the information in regards to the condition of the property, as well as the ability to calculate the cost of any repairs necessary. This could be used as a negotiating tool on the asking price of a property.
A patent defect is normally an easily identified visual defect e.g. broken or cracked windows, broken or cracked wall or floor tiles.
A latent defect is normally not an easily identified defect e.g. damage to roof trusses, rising or weather damp, property out of square.
Home Inspection Services South Africa offers pre-sale and pre-purchase inspections.
Contact us today to conduct a comprehensive home inspection for you!