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I am a qualified Attorney. I specialise in Property Law, Commercial Law, Corporate Law and Trusts.
 
Please visit our website at www.prop-law.co.za for more details.
 
I am an elected Committee Member of the Property Committee of the Association of Pretoria Attorneys and through my involvement, I like to ensure that I am constantly at the "sharp-end" of Conveyancing Practice.

I am the elected Chairman on the Gauteng Council of SAPOA. The South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA) is the biggest and most influential institution in the property industry. SAPOA members control about 90% of commercial property in SA, with a combined portfolio in excess of R150 Billion (about $22 Billion). I am also on the National Council and the National Legal Committee of SAPOA.
 
Member of the Institute of Directors South Africa and Member of the Sirdar Governance Panel.

21 April 2011

Realestateweb - Picvest - our investors` assets are rock solid - Investment insights - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

Realestateweb - Picvest - our investors` assets are rock solid - Investment insights - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

The strangest aspect of this statement by Picvest is that there is absolutely no explanation as to why the properties have still not been transferred to investors and why investors' funds have been channeled into another company (namely Bosman & Visser).

This was probably drafted by Picvest's newly appointed Public Relations company (Fleischman-Hillard) because it contains a lot of hollow promises about how investors' interests are so dear to Picvest's heart but zero response to the allegations in recent press articles.

20 April 2011

End of the road for Sandton’s landmark Village Walk? - Property | Moneyweb

End of the road for Sandton’s landmark Village Walk? - Property | Moneyweb

Sandton’s popular Village Walk shopping centre (see images) is due for a major overhaul which will include the demolition of parts of the precinct for re-development. The final plans are yet to be approved by the Metropolitan Properties’ board before timelines for the project will become available. The adjacent Balalaika Hotel will also be refurbished. Metropolitan Properties’ managing director, Vuyani Hako, says part of the plans for the centre will be beefing up retail and the office component.

SIU investigating R2bn housing contracts - South Africa | Moneyweb

SIU investigating R2bn housing contracts - South Africa | Moneyweb

I think that if they opened up this market to more players by creating a transparent tendering process, then by virtue of the fact that greater competition is present, then better services will be delivered. I am not referring to price competition but to product quality competition. In other words, those tendering should also be judged on the quality of their product and not only on price. There is too much cutting of corners by instant developers looking to make a quick buck. The only reason that they get away with it is because of some corrupt officials who are supposed to be monitoring the process.

I am a big admirer and supporter of Minister Tokyo Sexwale and I therefore hope that he can turn this department around.

Gareth

19 April 2011

SAPOA seeks clarity on Consumer Protection Act

Property practitioners, rental agents and brokers have been urged to err on the side of caution until questions regarding property leases and the new Consumer Protection Act (CPA) have been resolved.

The South African Property Owners Association (Sa...

Read the rest of this story at

http://mg.co.za/article/2011-04-18-sapoa-seeks-clarity-on-consumer-protection-act

Picvest (previously PIC Syndications)


Please view our website at:
www.prop-law.co.za


I have had a good response to my postings about PIC Syndications. People would like to know what's happening and (hopefully) get some sort of assurance from me that their investment is safe.

Unfortunately, I don’t know enough about it to give investors proper legal advice or an unqualified legal opinion. I was commenting on an article on the Moneyweb website (www. Realestateweb.co.za).

The problem is that investors are contractually bound and would have to follow the mechanisms of their contract to withdraw their funds. I have not had insight into the agreements and therefore can’t speculate on what mechanisms are contractually stipulated.

However, I can broadly speculate that Investors MAY be able to claim a breach by PIC, since they invested in property that has never been transferred. It may therefore be possible to cancel and claim repayment based upon the breach. I am not aware of any “class action” by investors. However, if there is sufficient interest from investors, I would be happy to look into it.

Investors have a couple of options:

1. Julius Corbett wrote the original article for Moneyweb and he may have further information that was not included in the article (julius@moneyweb.co.za).

2. If you wish to instruct my firm, we can act on your behalf.

3. You may have a claim against the Law Firm into whose Trust Account the deposit was made since they paid it out without effecting transfer of the property.

4. You can contact the public relations firm appointed by PIC, namely Fleischman-Hillard in order to ascertain when they will be making an announcement.

5. Lastly, you can contact the FAIS Ombudsman. This is free of charge but you will need to drive the process yourself and then can only recover from your financial advisor (if he has the money to pay).

Gareth

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House prices show positive growth in March - Property | Moneyweb

House prices show positive growth in March - Property | Moneyweb

Property prices showed positive year-on-year growth in March, according to the latest results released by ooba – South Africa’s leading bond originator.

The March oobarometer price index reveals that the average house price rose 1.1% year-on-year to R860 492 from R850 864 a year earlier. The growth in the average purchase price amongst first time buyers also showed an increase, with year-on-year growth of 4.5% to R623 179 in March 2011 from R596 357 a year earlier.

18 April 2011

Absa plans big home loan push : Property News from IOLProperty

Absa plans big home loan push : Property News from IOLProperty

Realestateweb - Picvest CEO lays complaint against Andre Prakke - Investment insights - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

Realestateweb - Picvest CEO lays complaint against Andre Prakke - Investment insights - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

Further developments since the article that I published about Picvest (previously PIC Syndications) earlier today. Where there is smoke ...

I find it inexplicable that the properties have not been transferred yet, when it was already confirmed last year that the syndications are fully subscribed?

I find it inexplicable that the attorneys transferred investors' trust funds prior to registration of the transfers of the property.

I find it inexplicable that Trust Funds were transferred to a third party (i.e. Bosman and Visser).

Hopefully explanations for these seemingly inexplicable facts will be forthcoming soon. Somehow I doubt it!

Gareth

Zuma returns from fruitful BRICS summit - Political economy | Moneyweb

Zuma returns from fruitful BRICS summit - Political economy | Moneyweb

Realestateweb - Picvest investors` precarious position revealed - Investment insights - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

Realestateweb - Picvest investors` precarious position revealed - Investment insights - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

The latest discovery is that investors in the four most recent (and most valuable) syndications - Highveld 19 to 22 - do not own any property. This is a strange situation for a company whose motto is "Where property is the basis of wealth."

There is a large amount of money at stake. The total value of the four syndications is R3.5bn. Most of this amount will have been funded by public investors, with a high concentration of senior citizens.

MY COMMENT

This is not the first time that PIC has been in the news. I find the history lesson at the end of the article most distressing because it appears as if PIC and Sharemax were "born of sin", so to speak. It seems as if DW was dissolved as a result of the managers selling property to the syndications at highly inflated prices and simply re-emerged as PIC and Sharemax. With all the financial and corporate regulation that we have in South Africa, I don't know how the authorities allowed this to happen. It seems as if the two companies merely continued where their predecessor left off. Sharemax has already collapsed and based on the info in this article it seems to be only a matter of time before PIC follows. In both cases, it is virtually certain that investors will not recover their funds.

15 April 2011

Machanik’s criminal trial postponed due to lack of funds - Special investigations | Moneyweb

Machanik’s criminal trial postponed due to lack of funds - Special investigations | Moneyweb

This article does not really add any earth shattering news about the Wendy Mechanik case but I have added the link here because of some of the comments on the Moneyweb site. It is clear that some of these comments are from her former employees/agents. I don't know enough about the details of the case to pass final judgment but these people have suffered as a result of Wendy's actions and even if she has somehow repatriated funds into her Trust Accounts it does not alleviate their suffering.

Gareth

P.S. Have a great weekend.

Realestateweb - More first time home buyers show confidence in market - FNB - Top Stories - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

Realestateweb - More first time home buyers show confidence in market - FNB - Top Stories - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

There were more first time home buyers in the first quarter of 2011, indicating improved confidence in the property market, FNB Home Loans strategist John Loos said on Wednesday.

"The increase in first time buyer demand relative to the overall market demand is a good confidence indicator due to the greater degree of flexibility that an average first time buyer has in terms of timing his/her entry into the market," Loos said in a statement.

12 April 2011

Realestateweb - Massive mall auction called off - Auctions - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

Realestateweb - Massive mall auction called off - Auctions - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

Century Property Developers have taken over the BelAir and Lonehill malls north of Johannesburg after a deal was struck between liquidators, the buyer and Absa Bank.

Realestateweb - New Consumer Protection Act no threat to reputable organisations - Property talk - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

Realestateweb - New Consumer Protection Act no threat to reputable organisations - Property talk - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

I conducted a series of presentations to groups of Estate Agents on the likely impact of the Consumer Protection Act on the SA property industry. The presentations were organised by Colliers International. My notes from the presentation are available on Slide Share on my LinkedIn page at:http://za.linkedin.com/in/shepperson

Please remember that these notes are a little outdated because the recently published Regulations were not yet known at the time of the presentations. The notes may nevertheless prove interesting and if you have any specific questions, you can always contact me directly.

Gareth

Realestateweb - Concourt rules in favour of home owner in arrears - South Africa - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

Realestateweb - Concourt rules in favour of home owner in arrears - South Africa - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

The Constitutional Court on Monday ruled that only a judge -- and not a high court registrar -- could decide if a bank could sell a person's home in execution.

In a unanimous judgment, the court ruled that "where execution against the homes of indigent debtors who run the risk of losing their security of tenure is sought after judgment on a money debt, further judicial oversight by a court of law of the execution process is a must".

"It is declared that it is unconstitutional for a registrar of a high court to declare immovable property specially executable when ordering default judgment," states the ruling.

08 April 2011

Realestateweb - Rosebank precinct booming - Commercial - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

Realestateweb - Rosebank precinct booming - Commercial - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

Old Mutual Property Group's project leader, Debbie Caplin, says R5bn is being invested in properties surrounding Rosebank's "The Zone" mixed use project in northern Johannesburg. Caplin was speaking at the official opening of the upmarket R850m project to extend The Zone, known as Zone 2 and OMIGP (Old Mutual Investment Group Property Investments).

Rosebank's Zone 2 is fed by the Gautrain and the bus rapid transport system. It comprises two floors of retail space, a 158-room Holiday Inn, a four-level basement parking garage and loft offices. Caplin says on the leasing side, the complex has let 75% of retail space and 52% of office space. She said: "It has been tough but we're seeing a lot more activity in the market and are confident that we'll be fully let by the 4th quarter of 2011."

07 April 2011

Investec wants to operate in India - Financial | Moneyweb

Investec wants to operate in India - Financial Moneyweb

Investec (JSE:INL) has hired a handful of people in India in a bid to start an advisory business that will look at merger and acquisition opportunities and international finance for Indian companies looking to operate in Europe and Africa.

“We have got a few people on the ground there and we are waiting for regulatory approval. We have to get approval to become an adviser ... Strategically we have made an application for certain licences in India so that we can do advisory work,” Investec CEO Stephen Koseff told Moneyweb.

Realestateweb - Joburg launches inner-city property scheme - South Africa - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

Realestateweb - Joburg launches inner-city property scheme - South Africa - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

Investec sets out to build another Growthpoint, Metboard - Property | Moneyweb

Investec sets out to build another Growthpoint, Metboard - Property Moneyweb

Many negatives confront the property sector but the impending listing of Investec (JSE:INL) Property Fund shows that institutions still have a good appetite for listed property stock.

Sam Leon, CEO of Investec Property Fund, is not too worried about macro matters. All he knows is that on a micro level he is happy with the R1.77bn portfolio he is bringing to the market. His vacancies are lower than 5% and he reports that the quality of the tenants is superior

“Compared to the other funds, it is reasonably small but it is a platform from which to grow.”

04 April 2011

Realestateweb - Steady renewal of optimism in commercial property market - South Africa - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

Realestateweb - Steady renewal of optimism in commercial property market - South Africa - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

Realestateweb - Global property player enters SA - South Africa - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

Realestateweb - Global property player enters SA - South Africa - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

Consumer Protection Act clarified - Soapbox | Moneyweb

Consumer Protection Act clarified - Soapbox Moneyweb

Presidency was not behind Companies Act delay - South Africa | Moneyweb

Presidency was not behind Companies Act delay - South Africa Moneyweb

What the new Consumer Protection Act will not cover - South Africa | Moneyweb

What the new Consumer Protection Act will not cover - South Africa Moneyweb

Realestateweb - PIC Syndications: Georgiou "defaults" - Commercial - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

Realestateweb - PIC Syndications: Georgiou "defaults" - Commercial - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

01 April 2011

Realestateweb - Future of housing lies in high-density property - Absa - Investment insights - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

Realestateweb - Future of housing lies in high-density property - Absa - Investment insights - South Africa's fastest-growing property website

Beware of Greeks Bearing Bonds Business: vanityfair.com

What a brilliant and insightful look at the Greek debt crisis. I found the article very interesting and a little worrying. Hopefully some strong leadership in Greece will avert further economic meltdowns because any splutter is likely to adversely affect real estate worldwide.

 Beware of Greeks Bearing Bonds Business: vanityfair.com

28 March 2011

Court rules on cohabitation relationships - South Africa | Moneyweb

Court rules on cohabitation relationships - South Africa Moneyweb