6 months ago my wife and I took the plunge and moved from Johannesburg to Durban following the chilled, outdoor lifestyle. We wanted to settle in and see if costal living was for us before investing in property. After about 3 months, we decided to start looking for a house that we could see ourselves living in for the next 10 to 20 years.
After a couple weeks of looking and seeing a number of places, we found a great place in Gillitts. With it only being 30 minutes from work and having a great big garden and pool, we were sold. Our offer was accepted in December 2006 and we’ve been looking forward to moving ever since.
John Rocher, the previous owner, and I verbally agreed that we would take occupation on the 1st of April this year. He called me at the end of March asked for an additional 3 weeks as his new house was not ready. Agreeing to this, I postponed our movers, arranged an additional months lease at the place we were renting etc.
Now, having postponed everything for an extra 3 weeks, and having given up our lease, John decides that he is not moving out as previously agreed. We therefore have no place to go as of this Friday. According to the lawyers, we have no leg to stand on as all arrangements were verbal. There was no documented proof of this arrangement.
My wife and I are now forced to place our household contents in storage and move into a holiday flat in Umhlanga. John now agrees to the 10 May but we are yet to get this in writing. Paying for storage and 3 weeks (hopefully only 3 weeks) in a holiday flat are things we really never planned for.
I honestly cannot believe that anyone would act in such a manner. I suppose the expensive lesson is to ensure that all agreements are documented and signed by both parties.
It is sad that we have to suppress our natural instinct to trust.
Comment posted by Ryan CrawCour
at 1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
that was a lesson i learnt with my first attempt at purchasing a house ….
thought verbal agreements were binding in a court of law; but problem is how do you get the parties to agree on what was said, unless there is a recording of the conversation; but often these are inadmissible too unless both parties knew upfront of the recording.
sometimes i think it is just easier to rent (but only with a rental agreement signed in blood, of course :P)
April, 2007 4:57 PM (http://ryancrawcour.spaces.live.com/)