Thursday, December 22, 2011

No double speak

Clients of Mc Naught and Company will know that our legal contracts, wills and documents have always been written in plain simple and easy-to-understand language. This was one of my priorities as a newly-qualified attorney... taking contracts, tearing them apart and reducing them to simpler wording.

The good news is that the Government have recognised this need and it is now law that all legal contracts should be written so that the average South African will be able to understand them. The Consumer Protection Act which recently came into effect provides in Section 22, and the National Credit Act provides in Section 64, for documents to be written so that persons with average literacy skills and minimal experience as a consumer could be expected to understand them.

The new Companies Act also has similar provisions and requires plain language to be used in documents.

Consumers who are upset with contracts that are difficult to understand can complain to the relevant Ombudsman appointed for this purpose and it is intended to stop misleading or deceptive business practices. Fines can be imposed along with other appropriate decisions. The consumer may be entitled to cancel the offending contract or have it set aside by the courts. The court may also make any order it deems just, give money or property back to the consumer, compensate the consumer for any loss and cancel or alter the terms of the contract in favour of the consumer.

So there you have it! Consumers are being looked after.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Skydrive for documents

Our Skydrive is linked to our website and we are building a library of useful documents which may be downloaded and used free of charge, or where registration is necessary, with payment of the applicable fees.

The latest in our bundle of documents are Divorce Settlement Agreements, Joint and Sole Parenting Agreements in situations where agreement needs to be reached over custody and maintenance of children of parents divorcing and for the division of property owned by the parties. Click on our link to our Skydrive here for the list of documents available to download and to download them at a click of your mouse. You can also check out more info on marriage and divorce on our website.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Christmas Mince pies

Yummy Christmas Mince Pies being made by Lynn, our conveyancing lady at the Toti office. More please!!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Making your Life Even Easier!

Mc Naught and Company constantly strive to make the lives of our clients and loyal business associates even easier.

Thanks to the technical know-how of the team at Dot Creative, transfer and mortgage bond costs can now be sent straight from our website to any mobile phone by sms.

Check out this novel, free service here.

Let us know what you think of this new service by posting replies to this post!

Friday, November 11, 2011

We honour

Our Bluff staff take a minute out of our day to honour those whose contribution to the war effort during the 1st World War preserved the world we know today. It was poppy day, or Armistace Day or Remembrance Day as it is variously known, although it proved impossible to find poppies around town and I had to make my own. We honour the sacrifices made to bring peace to the world.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Some useful documents available free

Mc Naught and Company's focus is on conveyancing and so where possible we prefer not to handle contested court cases. This includes Divorces, although we will help you get a divorce cheaper if you have settled your differences with your wife or husband. To assist, we have loaded a simple Divorce Settlement Agreement on to our SkyDrive as well as a Parenting Plan to take care of custody matters. Please feel free to download these documents free of charge and use them. Once signed, we will handle your divorce on an uncontested basis with pleasure.
Following the same link you will also find other useful documents, including a free will, antenuptial marriage contracts, property sale agreements and the like.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Transferring your property to family

We often get requests to transfer a property from a parent to a son or daughter. There are several reasons why you may wish to do this:

1. You may have several children and one of them has taken over responsibility for paying the rates, levies and maintenance of the property and feels that it would be unfair for the other siblings to inherit;

2. You are worried that if you die with the property still in your estate you may have to pay estate duty and executor's fees based on the value of the property;

3. You can no longer afford to stay in the property but selling it would leave you worse off.

4. One or more of your children have undertaken to pay your debts or expenses in return for taking ownership of the property now.

5. There may be good tax savings transferring it now - it may also not be cheaper so please check carefully with your attorney or us for correct advice.

Unfortunately it is not free to transfer the property to a relative even if no money is being paid for the property. This is because the revenue services (Sars) view the transfer of ownership of a property as an opportunity to collect taxes based on the value of the property. Taxes include transfer duty, Vat and Deeds Office fees. In addition the attorneys attending to the change of ownership also charge for the work involved. If there is an existing mortgage bond over the property, even if it has been fully paid up, there is also a cost involved in cancelling the mortgage bond as it is registered against the title deeds of the property. It may also be necessary for the relative to whom the property is being transferred to raise finance against the property to pay the costs. There will be a charge to raise this finance. Our offices can give a quotation with pleasure and you can also get this information quickly by checking the transfer costs calculator on our website, inserting the value of the property as the "purchase price" even if no money is changing hands... follow the link here....

Somewhere to live

Another important consideration when transferring propertry to a relative is making sure that you will have somewhere to stay after the registration. Either a usufruct can be registered against the property, or a contract can be drawn up between the parent and relative, even if you think it is not important. We have had cases in our office where the child to whom the property was trasferred has died first and the parent has been left with a fight with the in-laws over the occupation of the property.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

New Sectional Titles management

The Sectional Titles Schemes Management Act, 2011, has recently been promulgated. This extracts from the Sectional Titles Act all of the provisions relating to Body Corporate management and the new Act now provides for this.

In order to provide for some conformity in the way Body Corporates are managed whether first registered under the previous 1971 Act, or the later 1986 Act or in future, provisions are set out to make uniform rules applicable to these schemes, making the scope for variations to Rules smaller. Any proposed amendment to Rules also now needs to be approved by an Ombudsman appointed in terms of the Act. This will ensure that no rules that contravene the Act will be able to be passed at a meeting of a Body Corporate.

Provision is also made for the appointment of an Sectional Titles Schemes Management Advisory Council to advise the Government on continuing problems facing the industry and the need for changes to legislation affecting the sectional title property industry.

A copy of the Act can be downloaded free off our Skydrive. Follow the link.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Boks win 13 - 5!

South Africa have beaten Samoa 13 - 5 in our last pool game. It was a tight game, but experience told - well done boys! The Springboks have won a four of their pool games to finish top of Pool D and will likely meet Australia in the quarter finals

SA Leads at half time!!

Well done to the BOKS leading Samoa 13 - 0 at half time!

Habana scored our only try of the first half, and was aided by a conversion from Morne Steyn, and a penalty each from both Morne Steyn and Francois Steyn.

Lets keep it up in the second half!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Good News for the Market!!

The SA Reserve Bank today left the REPO rate unchanged which means that the prime lending rate remains at 9%.

This is good news for the property market, considering that many economists were talking about the possibility of a rate hike on the back of higher consumer inflation.

Whilst the interest rate remains at these historic low levels, it is the perfect time to enter the property market!

Contact Mc Naught and Company for assistance with your next property purchase.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Steering clear of the rocks... better transfer process

Our August newsletter is hot off the press - click on the pic to enlarge and see how we steer our ship away from rocks, unlike the Phoenix which ran aground near Durban earlier this month.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Index of useful Stuff

Access to Information- In terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act, you are entitled to obtain information regarding your business dealings with us. Follow the link here to our information brochure and manual download where the procedure to obtain this information is explained.

Authentication of documents - if documents are to be signed outside South Africa for use within a Deeds Office or other official capacity here, the signature of the document/s needs to be "authenticated". This process is explained if you click on the link here then scroll down to the story appearing below it.

Conveyancing Steps- once a sale agreement has been signed, what are the next steps to obtain registration in the buyer's name and payment to the seller. Click on this link to view or download the Conveyancing Steps checklist.

Divorce/Parenting Agreements- The most cost effective way to get divorced, is to reach agreement on the way your property will be divided and to reach agreement on the custody and maintenance of your children. Here you can download sample agreements or if you have reached agreement, we can help you complete these documents and reduce the costs of getting divorced.

Marriage/ANC Contracts- the document you need to sign to give us the required information to register an Antenuptial/ANC or Civil Union contract can be downloaded off our Skydrive - just click on the link and select the ANC contract, either with, or without the Accrual System. If you would like to know more about the different ways to get married, rather follow this link to our website to read more about it or contact our offices for a consultation.

Mortgage bond HELP- Needing help getting a bank loan/mortgage bond to finance your property purchase? Click the link here to find our handy guide.

Sale Agreements- if you want to download a private property sale agreement, click on the link and chose the PRIVATEW.SAL document off our Skydrive which can be downloaded and printed out free of charge.

Will- a free will can be downloaded off our Skydrive - just click on the link and select the will.

Click on any clickable title or red word to go to the required link.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Authentication of documents signed outside South Africa

If a document is to be signed outside of the Republic for use within the Republic, there are certain prescribed procedures to be followed for the document to be "authenticated" - this usually requires a trip to a Notary public and in some countries to our Embassy or Consulte for the appropriate official to attach an authentication certiciate before the document can be used here. The full rules are as follows:

Authentication of Documents


In this rule, unless inconsistent with the context –

"document" means any deed contract, power of attorney, affidavit or other writing, but does not include an affidavit or solemn or attested declaration purporting to have been made before an officer prescribed by Section 8 of the Justices of the Peace and Commissioners of Oaths Act, 1963 (Act 16 of 1963);

"Authentication" means, when applied to a document, the verification of any signature thereon.

  1. Any document executed in any place outside the Republic shall be deemed to be sufficiently authenticated for the purpose of use in the Republic if it be duly authenticated at such foreign place by the signature and seal of office –

    (a) of the head of a South African diplomatic or consular mission or a person in the administrative or professional division of the public service serving at a South African diplomatic, consular or trade office aboard (Para (a) substituted by GN R17663 of 13.12.1966); or

    (b) of a consul-general, consul, vice-counsul or consular agent of the United Kingdom or any person acting in any of the aforementioned capacities or a pro-consul of the United Kingdom; or

    (c) of any Government authority of such foreign place charged with the authentication of documents under the law of that foreign country; or

    (d) of any person in such foreign place who shall be shown by a certificate of any person referred to in paragraph (a), (b) or (c) or of any diplomatic or consular officer of such foreign country in the Republic to be duly authorised to authenticate such document under the law of that foreign country (Para (d) substituted by GN R17663 of 13/12/1966.); or

    (e) of a notary public in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland or in Zimbabawe, Lesotho, Botswana or Swaziland; or

    (f) of a commissioned officer of the South African Defence Force as defined in section 1 of the Defence Act, 1957 (Act 4 of 1957), in the case of a document executed by any person on active service
  2. If any person authenticating a document in terms of subrule (s) has no seal of office, he shall certify thereon under his signature to that effect.
  3. Notwithstanding anything in this rule contained, any court of law or public office may accept as sufficiently authenticated any document which is shown to the satisfaction of such court or the officer in charge of such public office, to have been actually signed by the person purporting to have signed such document.
  4. No power of attorney, executed in Lesotho, Botswana or Swaziland, and intended as an authority to any person to take, defend or intervene in any legal proceedings in a magistrate's court within the Republic, shall require authentication: Provided that any such power of attorney shall appear to have been duly signed and the signature to have been attested by two competent witnesses.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

We're new and live on the net

Our new website is up and away!!! Wow, it's taken weeks of hard work, programming by our webmasters, finding photos and writing articles, editing and more editing. There's also loads of free stuff you can download off our linked Skydrive like sales agreements and wills, as well as useful info and costs calculators.

So go on and click on the link here, and see how much more we have to offer.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mc Naught and Company launches New Website!

After much development and design in conjunction with Dot Creative, Mc Naught and Company have today proudly launched our new and improved website.

This modern and progressive site provides a single port of call for a large number of legal queries and portrays the progressive views of the partners and staff.

Monday, July 04, 2011

National Credit Act

The National Credit Act has now been in force for a few years and it is time to reflect on the implications and effect of the Act. Everyone will remember the mortgage bonds and loans that were being thrown at the public before the Act was implemented. Over time, the value of not lending recklessly has been appreciated and our banks are far more cautious than previously in granting loans to people who may not be able realistically to afford the repayments.

July newsletter published

Our July newsletter is hot off the press and on it's way to our clients and friends. Click on the newsletter here to ennlarge and read it.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Checklist for Purchases

Buying a house may be the single biggest investment you make. To ensure a non-risky investment be aware of what to look out for before you sign…

Before buying a property, you or your lawyer should do the following:

1. Check that there are no pre-emption rights over the property you’re planning to buy and that there are no plans to construct anything (e.g. roads, railway lines, airports, shops, factories) that would adversely affect its value, enjoyment or use. Also, check that you are paying a fair market related price by getting an online property valuation that will give you actual sold prices of similar homes in the suburb, street or complex as well as an indication of the area trend. If you are concerned and wish to confirm the property ownership you can similarly get an indepth property ownership profile.

2. Check whether there’s a zoning policy in the town or area that may affect the property.

3. Check whether the property is subject to a compulsory purchase order.

4. Check whether there are any rights of way (e.g. for a neighbour) over the land and, if so, whether these are permanent or renewable.

5. Ensure that building permits and planning permissions are in order and that a property was built in accordance with plans and permits. Any modifications, renovations, extensions or additions (such as a swimming pool) must be included on the plans and be authorised. Building plans must be checked against the cadastral plan at the land registry.

6. In cases where a property has been inherited, check whether each inheritor has agreed to the sale. Heirs who haven’t been contacted may have the right to contest the will.

7. If a property was previously owned by a bankrupt company, ensure that the liquidator won’t reverse the sale and claim it for the creditors.

8. Check that there are no encumbrances, e.g. mortgages or loans, against a property or outstanding debts which you might inherit.

9. Enquire at the municipal offices whether there are any unpaid taxes such as property tax or other charges outstanding against a property.

10. In the case of a community property or sectional title property, check that there are no outstanding levies for the last five years (it may be possible for a vendor to pay the current year’s levy and ignore previous bills) and obtain copies of the scheme rules and the latest accounts of the body corporate (which should state whether there are any impending levies for repairs for which you would be liable).

11. Check that all bills for electricity, water, telephone and gas have been paid for the last few years. Receipts should be provided by the vendor for all such services.

12. If you’re buying land for building or planning to extend an existing building, obtain a certificate from the local town hall stating what can be built on it and what the property and the land can be used for. It’s important to check the size of dwelling that can be built on a plot or how far an existing building can be extended.

13. If the property is a listed building, check that there are no state pre-emption rights or restrictions on use or resale.

You should also ask your lawyer about your rights (e.g. to the return of your deposit and any other funds already paid) if it isn’t possible to complete the sale for any reason after an agreement of sale has been signed.

Mc Naught & Company are experienced in handling all of the above important points and ensuring that you are safeguarded in your important acquisition! Contact us now!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Best by Far

Mc Naught and Company collected the Southlands Sun Best Legal Services 2011 Award at a function last night. Here partners Dave Mc Naught and Mark Leathers show off their award. Thanks to all staff for their commitment to service excellence and going the extra mile to have made this Award possible.

Other local businesses honoured include Re/Max Bluff with Hein and Elsie showing off their Award.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Useful Stuff

This is our collection of links to some information you may find useful.. just click on the link:

Mc Naught and Company Facebook page

Mc Naught and Company SkyDrive with documents that may be downloaded off the internet eg Sale Agreements, Wills, Antenuptial Contracts, Divorce Settlement Agreements

Standard Bank


Wednesday, June 01, 2011

June Newsletter published

It's already into the second half of the year can you believe!! Here's our June newsletter.. hot off the press.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Racing fun

Having a fling (on the horses) at Greyville Race Course are friends from Seeff , Acutts and Re/Max on a beautiful autumn evening - did you see the yellow moon come rising up over the sea? Awesome stuff.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Improving Our Team

Always looking to improve our skills base, we have been joined by a new conveyancing paralegal in our Bluff Office. Karishma will be attending to work on property transfers and we look forward to having her on the team!
Karishma Mahadow - New Conveyancing Paralegal

Monday, April 11, 2011

April newsletter published

You can read all about it in our April newsletter - is your business now compliant with theConsumer Protection Act.. it goes beyond just compliant with sales agreements, leases and mandates, but also deals with the nature of your business structure and whether your business has been registered or not...

Thursday, April 07, 2011

New photos for the Office

The Bluff office renovations are finally coming to an end with the framing and hanging of some new photos of the staff and friends of Mc Naught and Co. Here Dave puts up some new pics in our staircase. ... Gail, Hein, Barry and Hettie, and partner Mark, with Lisa, Val, Sharon, Tracey and Dave's mom Molly.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Hot off the Press

Here's a pic of our Mc Naught and Co. car licence disk holders being printed. We have distributed over 20 000 diskholders at the Bluff post offices and at the Licencing Department Winkelspruit.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Consumer Protection Act effective 1 April 2011

The Consumer Protection Act kicks in today, 1st April 2011 and it's no April Fools Joke.

In terms of the Act Consumers are given new wide powers to return certain goods purchased, to demand good service and to terminate fixed contracts such as cellphone contracts, leases and and property sales mandate earlier than the intended termination date.


You can now download, by clicking on the hightlighted word download, our guide to the implementation of the Act with regard to leases, as well as our Seminar notes for the property seminars we conducted earlier this month for real estate agents and those in the property industry.  Also available are compliance documents which can be attached to existing leases or sole selling mandates to ensure compliance with the Act. on request by email to with your own lease or mandate in word format, we can integrate our recommended changes into your own documents so that a separate addendum will not be necessary.

All documents for download are also available by clicking on the download picture on the side-bar to the right.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Consumer Protection Act Seminar - 23 March 2011

Mc Naught and Company were joined by representatives from a number of estate agencies from all down the coast at our Consumer Protection Act Seminar.

We look forward to tackling this new exciting time of consumer protection together with our loyal business partners. Thank you all for attending!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Getting ready for the Consumer Protection Act

Mc Naught and Company partner Mark Leathers addresses the issue of consequences and penalties for non-compliance with the Act

Real Estate delegates prepare for the imminent implementation of the CPA

Mc Naught and Company partner Dave Mc Naught checks his notes before addressing the delegates

Client Liaison officer Bobby Bodenstein prepares the conference

Mc Naught and Company conveyancing staff Lynn Mc Naught serves a delicious lunch after the Seminar

Mc Naught and Company have been holding a series of Seminars in anticipation of the promulgation of the Consumer Protection Act which is due to commence on the 1st April 2011.

Here Agents and Auctioneers are being briefed on the steps to be taken to ensure compliance with the Act in the provision of services to sellers and buyers of property. A set of the Seminar notes is available for download off this site and Mc Naught and Company are available to amend company documents to help them get ready in time for the implentation of the new legislation.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Dave's First Notarial Deed

Dave puts the seal on the first Notarial Deed he has executed as a Notary Public. It was a Notarial Deed of Encroachment - some buildings on one property encroached slightly into another and the Deed established a new title deed condition on both adjacent properties authorising the encroachment. This was a pre-requisite to regularise the buildings and obtain plans approval.

Once executed, Dave sends the Deed with the title deeds of the properties to the Deeds Office in Pietermaritzburg and the Notarial Deed gets registered and the new condition is endorsed on the properties' title deeds.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Supporting Our Team

Dave, Mark and his fiance Lisa were guests of Express Pest Control and Fumigation at the Sharks 26-12 victory over the Blues in Durban on Saturday. We are all proudly Sharks!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

It's the end of our financial year

The end of February marks the end of our financial year and the 1st March 2011 is Mc Naught and Company's 27th birthday - next week we enter our 28th year. Wow! Well done all.

Enjoying a drink at the office are staff Val and Tracey-Lee with partners Mark and Dave and Re/Max Jaco and Gail.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Major Boost for the Property Market

At last!

A change to the transfer duty payable on purchases of new property!

All sales of immovable property where no VAT is payable will be subject to transfer duty at the following rates:

R0 to R600,000.00           -    No transfer duty payable
R600,000.00 to R1 mill     -    Transfer duty calculated at 3%
R1 000 001 to R1.5 mill    -    Transfer duty calculated at 5%
Above R1.5 mill                -    Transfer duty calculated at 8%

Therefore a buyer purchasing a property for R1 million today will save R13,000.00 compared to if they had purchased the property before this change! The duty for purchases by Companies, Close Corporations and Trusts has also been reduced to equate to that of natural persons. You can download your full costs table here.

Mc Naught and Company are completely up to speed on the new budget and can advise you on how these changes will affect you. Contact us now!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Consumer Protection Seminars 9 and 16 March

Book Now for our new Consumer Protection Act Seminar to help you get ready for the implementation of the Act on the 1st April 2010.

The Seminar is a hands-on Seminar dealing with your particular Real Estate Sales and Mandate documents to ensure compliance in time for the implementation of the Act.

There will be two morning seminars, one on Wed 9th March and the other a week later on Wed 16th March. Those participating are invited to email their sales and mandate documents to Dave who will present the Seminar with partner Mark and we will work on updates to the documents which will be discussed in further detail at the Seminar. - email address for your documents.

Bookings for either Seminar can be made by phone on 031-9037307 or fax 031-903-6150 or email to The cost is R50 per delegate which includes Welcome coffee/cake and lunch at 1pm.

You can download the Booking Form by clicking on the link here.


February Newsletter published

Transfer and Bond costs table effective 23 Feb 2011

We have updated the Transfer and Bond Costs table to take account of the reduction in Transfer Duty effective 23rd February 2011. Click on the link here to get your own copy of the new table.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Having a great time

Mc Naught and Co partners Mark and Dave with Trainee Attorney Patrick (Toti office)at our Flying Start Cocktail function at the Bluff office last night.
 Danielle, Ann, Trish and Rob of Seeff Bluff

Dale of Express Pest Control puts up a brave face after his injury

  Estelle, Ronel, Amanda and Kevin from Acutts Bluff

Bobby, Llewellyn and Pat
More fun at the More fun at the Bluff Office party!! Thanks to BeanBagBohemia for the superb catering at our "Flying Start Cocktails" function to kick off 2011 with a bang and welcome Mark who joins Dave as a partner at Mc Naught and Company.

Barry and Hettie Nel (Re\Max Bluff)
Ashvir and Jacqui from Betterbond together with Bobby
Tracey from Mc Naught and Company together with Jacqui from Betterbond
Tracey-lee, Sharon and Val

Llewellyn and Val (Bluff bonds)