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Commercial Law

Commercial Law. The contract of Sale. Definition:. The seller ( vendor ) promises to deliver a thing ( merx ) to another person known as the buyer( emptor ) for payment of a certain price ( pretium ). Formalities. Generally no formalities – but:

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Commercial Law

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  1. CommercialLaw The contract of Sale

  2. Definition: • The seller (vendor) promises to deliver a thing (merx) to another person known as the buyer(emptor) for payment of a certain price (pretium)

  3. Formalities • Generally no formalities – but: • Parties may agree that no sale unless certain formalities complied with • Some Statutes require formalities

  4. Statutory Formalities • Sale of land – signed & in writing • Credit agreements – in writing & signed by both buyer & seller • Sale of business – sale to be advertised

  5. The 3 essential elements of sale • Agreement to deliver • Agreement on the thing sold • Can include a hope (spes) • Agreement on the sale price • Price must be ascertainable & in money

  6. Rights of the Purchaser • To receive delivery of the merx • Does not mean seller must deliver, but must make available • Preservation of the merx pending delivery • Seller must look after goods until delivery. Risk passes on sale being perfecta but seller liable for negligent loss or damage • Purchaser to be protected against eviction • Sellers warranty against eviction • Purchaser entitled to merx free from latent defects

  7. Duties of the Buyer • To pay the purchase price • General rule – pay in legal tender upon delivery • To pay the seller’s necessary expenses • Costs of caring between sale & delivery, transfer costs • To accept delivery of the merx

  8. The Passing of Risk • General Rule • The risk passes from the seller to the purchaser as soon as the sale is perfecta. • The parties may agree to change this, for example, for risk to pass on delivery • When is the sale perfecta? • Agreement on price • Merx identified • Any suspensive conditions fulfilled

  9. Forms of delivery • Actual delivery • Symbolic delivery – eg: keys to vehicle • Delivery with the long hand – eg: pointing out cattle • Delivery with short hand – purchaser already in possession • Constitutumpossessorium – seller retains on behalf of purchaser

  10. Special Sales • Auction • CIF • FOB • FOR • Execution

  11. Ownership • Reivindicatio – action for recovery of possession by true owner • Passing of ownership • Seller must be owner at delivery • Seller intends to pass ownership • Buyer intends to acquire ownership • Seller must deliver to purchaser • Purchase price paid or credit granted

  12. Transfer of ownership • Immovable property – on registration of transfer • Incorporeal property – on cession • Movable property – on delivery • If cash sale – price paid & delivery • If credit sale – on delivery

  13. Warranties • May be express or implied • A contract of sale always implies the following warranties: • Warranty against eviction • Warranty against latent defects

  14. Latent defects • Defect existing at time of sale but unknown to ordinary buyer even if apparent to an expert • There is an implied warranty that goods are fit for the purpose for which sold • If latent defect - entitled to remedy unless: • Voetstoots or “as is” sale (parties agree to exclude) • No defect at time of sale • Buyer aware of defect and accepted • Prescription

  15. Requirements for claim of latent defect • There is or was a material defect in the goods • The defect was present when the sale was concluded • The defect was latent (not easily noticable on inspection) • Purchaser was unaware of the defect at the time of purchase

  16. The Aedilitian Remedies • Actioredhibitoria • Available if latent defect renders goods useless or if purchaser would not have purchased the goods if aware of defect • Purchaser tenders return of merx & claims purchase price plus interest & costs of maintaining merx and cost of any improvement to merx • No compensation

  17. The Aedilitian Remedies • Actioquantiminoris • If defect not so material as to render goods useless or if purchaser would still have purchased goods (but maybe at lesser price) • Buyer sues for reduction in purchase price • No compensation

  18. The Aedilitian Remedies • Actio ex empti • Allows buyer to claim compensation in certain cases: • If seller fraudulent • Seller a manufacturer, expert or professes skill • Seller has given an express warranty

  19. NB • The Consumer Protection Act prohibits the use of a voetstoots clause • This only applies to contracts covered by the Act • Other specific legislation relating to certain types of sale • Share Blocks • Sectional Title etc

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