Patent and Latent defects

Patent and Latent defects

Author: Keegan Cloete

There are two types of defects which are latent and patent defects. Patent defects refer to defects that are visible at first glance of the immovable property. These patent defects include cracked ceilings, cracked tiles and broken windows for example that are clearly visible at first glance. 

Whereas a latent defect is not picked up at first glance of the property. Latent defects include cracked walls, geysers and leaks in ceilings for example. Expert opinions and inspections of the property are important as to what areas needs attention of the property. It is therefore important to get advice from experts in the relevant field, in order to correct the defects.

Voetstoots clauses are usually inserted in an agreement of sale to protect the seller from any claim that might arise after purchasing the immovable property. Most sellers are aware that they are responsible for any defects that might arise before the transfer of the property.

Voetstoots means that the property is sold ‘as is’ and protects the seller from all defects that might exist after the sale of the property. Once you have acquired the immovable property and become the owner thereof, the defects that are apparent becomes the owner’s problem and not that of the seller, unless the contrary is proven. Therefore, it is imperative to inspect a property or get advice from an expert in the field that is required in order to do a thorough inspection before signing the agreement of sale as purchaser.

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