25 Jul

What Is Common Property

A sectional title is a property divided into sections, of which each section is owned privately. Last week we touched on common property within a sectional title, and what the common property entails. This week we will go into a little more detail regarding common property, and what this property is in the legal sense.

Shared Ownership 

Common property is owned as an undivided share. This means that no owner has particular ownership of any part of the property. However, in monetary value, the proportion of the common property owned by each owner is proportionate to the quota of their respective sections owned. This means that if an individual owner owns 50% of the property value in sectional titles, in monetary value he/she owns 50% of the common property.

The Sectional Title Deed 

The deed to the sectional title outlines the laws regarding the use of the common property. It is here that the quota system is explicitly discussed, but also simultaneously explains the disposal of the property in association with the undivided property as a single unit. Furthermore, if insurance is taken out for a sectional title property, then that insurance also covers the undivided share of the common property ‘belonging’ to the sectional title owner. This is not necessary explained in the title deed, but rather applies in every event.

Common Property Resolution 

The owners of the sectional titles may, by a unanimous vote, direct the Body Corporate to either sell or lease a portion of the common property. This is done by a property resolution, and the resolution is drafted to include any necessary information referring to the property. This is the only time that a land’s deed can be changed from that of common property to otherwise. The Body Corporate is required to reregister the land and involve a Surveyor-General to agree to the repurposing.

There are a few more intricate and complex laws regarding common property, some of which are not understood widely by the entire Body Corporate or the owners of the sectional titles. Therefore, it is important that Body Corporates hire the services of attorneys to assist them in cases regarding sectional titles, and litigated procedures that involve property. In these events, make sure that you contact Ivan Zartz Attorneys. We are always willing to help!

20 Jul

What Is A Sectional Title?

In an effort to enlighten all our readers, we’d like to take the opportunity to revisit an old question; what is a sectional title? This is an important question and is never as easily understood by the layman. So you would be forgiven for not knowing the minutia, and really, you shouldn’t need to know the minutia, but only the basics.

A sum of its parts

A sectional title, to put it rather simply, can be either a single building, a piece of ground, or a collection of buildings on a piece of property. If and when the building or property (and attached buildings) gets divided into sections with common property, this is considered to be a sectional title. However, a sectional title is more about the trusteeship between sectional title owners or property directors than the property itself, and the relationship and decisions between members of the trustee are largely governed by law.

Sectional titles have become exceptionally important in urban South Africa, where the demand for economical housing has driven the market to develop more apartments, townhouses and complexes, all likely to be subdivided and separately owned.

Common Property 

All the owners of the individual titles or sections are invested in the co-ownership of common property. Quite simple to understand; common property is all the property within a sectional title that can be used by all owners, trustees, and tenants. The Body Corporate of the sectional title is usually responsible for the maintenance of the common property, and they are also responsible for drafting rules and regulations determining the use of common property.

As can be expected, sectional titles involve many parties, agreements, and laws. As such, there is often misunderstanding between Body Corporate members or trustees of the sectional title. Sometimes disagreements lead to legal conflicts. In such cases, it is recommended that parties make use of sectional title attorneys to assist them. Ivan Zartz Attorneys is one such practice, available to anyone who requires help with regards to sectional title law in South Africa.

If you require our assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us!

12 Jul

Moving Overseas And The Custody Of Your Child

If you have  child with a partner that you are now separated from, then your ability to move overseas is severely strained by the legal requirements associated with the Hague Convention, International Law, as well as the new laws regarding child travel to and from South Africa. Here are a few tips for separated parents that plan to move overseas with their children:

Limits To International Relocation 

It is important to keep in mind that if you travel overseas with a partner, then there will be restrictions regarding your movement out of the country with your child (whether brought to the country with your partner or born on foreign soil). In countries that are party to the Hague Convention, permission from both parents is required to move with your child elsewhere. This may even be the case if there was a written agreement before the move took place regarding the movement of children in the event of a breakup.

Father’s Domicile 

The domicile of the child’s father at the time of marriage is an important factor regarding relocation of a child after a divorce. The Hague Convention upholds the right that the laws inferred at the time of divorce are those in which the father/husband was domiciled at the time when the marriage contract was signed, even if the contract was signed in a different country. This may have far-reaching consequences for children and their relocation. For instance, the power of the prenuptial agreement is limited in the UK, and the courts in the country do not necessarily have to enforce the decisions made in the agreement.


When moving overseas, even with a foreign partner that you love dearly, make sure that you keep a permanent residence in South Africa in the event that you feel you need to move back to the country with your children. When appealing to a foreign court to be able to move back to the country, proving that you have a permanent domicile will greatly improve your chances of relocating. This may be tricky regarding expenses, but co-owning a home with close family members (like your parents) can help you in this case.

Consult a Professional

This is the most important tip! Do not, under any circumstance, attempt to leave a foreign country with your children in tow. You are likely to be found guilty in a foreign court of child abduction according to the Hague Convention international laws. Consult with a legal professional and child custody attorney whether in the country of residence or your domicile country. Don’t be found guilty of a crime when you actually have the best interests of your children at heart.

For more information regarding child custody in South Africa, why not contact Ivan Zartz Attorneys. Make us your first choice regarding all cases of child custody in South Africa. Simply fill out the enquiry form on the contact us page, and we will get back to you.

Take a look at our child custody as well as our Hague Convention page for more information regarding these issues in the country.

07 Jul

4 Reasons Why A Debt Collection Attorney Is Better Than An Agency

Your business is in a spot of trouble; your debtors are yet to pay their debts, and time is of the essence. Many of you may want to avoid the trouble of using a debt collection attorney and rather consider the cheaper option of a debt collection agency. Here’s why you might want to stop and consider this choice a little more carefully.

Repetition Repetition 

A debt collection agency is likely to follow the exact same process as yourself; contacting the debtor telephonically and issuing letters of warning. If this has not resulted in payment, why would it be any different if a debt collection agency performs the exact same function? It would not only be a waste of money, but it would just prolong the issue. At the end of the day an agency will eventually make use of debt collection attorneys themselves.

Illogical Fear Of Courts 

Many people fear approaching a debt collection attorney because of the realisation of having to go to court. Most of the time the debt collection attorney will head all legal action, requiring little effort from the plaintiff. Aside from providing important information and making an appearance in court, all other duties will be undertaken by the debt collection attorney.

A Debt Collection Attorney Has More Power

By taking the matter to the court, the issue is resolved quickly, especially when using an experienced attorney. By enforcing the state’s hand in dealing with the matter, a final decision made in court will mean that the debtor will have to pay his/her dues or face harsh restrictive credit measures, fines or worse.


The belief is that debt collection attorneys charge more than debt collection agencies. This is often true, but both parties will charge fees according to the length of the debt collection process, hourly rates and flat rates. Additionally, both agencies as well as attorneys are admissable to receiving a portion of the debt owed. Because the legal profession is so time dependent, it is in the attorney’s best interest to reach a conclusion with regards to the case as fast as possible, costing you or your business less.

Make sure that you contact a debt collection attorney as soon as a debtor shows signs of protracted nonpayment. Keep an eye on the Ivan Zartz Attorneys blog page where our next blog will highlight the signs that may signal your need for a debt collection attorney.

For the services of the best debt collection attorney in  South Africa, contact Ivan Zartz Attorneys today.

05 Jul

3 Things A Debt Collection Attorney Cannot Do

As a debt collection attorney in South Africa, it’s easy to pick up on all the illegalities within a multi-million rand industry. Debt collection attorneys go well beyond their mandate to try and claim from those they cannot claim from. Is it not worth spending your money on a debt collection attorney who does the job properly? Nevertheless, here are three things that debt collection attorneys in South Africa do, but really shouldn’t.

1. Attorneys who use threats of imprisonment 

This is a no-no within the industry, but it is shocking to realise the number of agencies and attorneys that use this dirty tactic. In a country like South Africa, people are genuinely fearful of the legal system, and will do anything to escape the clutches of the police; even if they are truly exempt from such treatment. An attorney may not use the threat of imprisonment.

2. Attorneys who constantly harass debtors 

Too many people are uneducated to the facts of what is considered harassment or not. To be clear, if an attorney repeatedly contacts you, calls you out of office hours, or contacts your place of work, this is considered harassment. If a debt collection attorney has to continually call you, then the chances are they do not understand their legal profession and the other measures of debt collection.

3. Attorneys who divulge your credit/debt history 

No one other than yourself, your creditor, your financial institution, your legal representative and the debt collection attorney or agency are allowed to know your credit status without your expressed permission. Any information divulged otherwise is illegal.

These tactics are commonly used to ‘squeeze’ money from the debtor. Make sure you understand what debt collection attorneys are allowed and not allowed to do. Alternatively, isn’t it time you used a debt collection attorney who understands the industry to head your unresolved cases of debt collection?

Contact Ivan Zartz Attorneys today for a debt collection attorney who can follow up on your debtors legally and effectively.