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What does the voetstoots clause mean?

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A sale agreement with a voetstoots clause means that the buyer acknowledges being aware of the condition of the property and has inspected it, says David Campbell of Meumann White Attorneys.

But many buyers do not realise this. They also assume that the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) invalidates such clauses.

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“Under the CPA such clauses are only invalid if the seller sells property in the ordinary course of his business. While there are certain situations in which a seller will not be able to rely on a voetstoots clause, these are limited.”

As a general rule, purchasers should be aware that they can have an independent party inspect the property on their behalf in order to determine whether there are any issues with it. “After registration of transfer purchasers often become aware of issues of which the seller was not even aware.”

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