The cooling off period in sale agreements allows property buyers to change their minds, should they later realise that they do not want to do through with the sale.

In South African Property Law, in terms of Section 29 of the Alienation of Land Act, property transactions of less than R250 000 are subject to a “cooling-off” period of five days, calculated from the date of signature of the Offer to Purchase.

Protection against direct marketing

The South African National Consumer Protection Act (CPA) came into effect on 1 April 2011. The Act is aimed at promoting fairness, openness and good business practice between the suppliers of goods or services and consumers of such goods and services. The Act only applies to contracts signed after 1 April, and won’t affect anything signed before then.

  • Suppliers or service providers that directly market any goods or services to consumers must inform them of their right to cancel the agreements within the cooling-off period of five (5) business days.
  • Suppliers or service providers, which directly market any unsolicited goods or services to consumers, are not permitted to solicit payment for these items, subject to certain conditions.

What is direct marketing?

Direct marketing is a form of advertising which allows businesses and non-profit organisations to communicate directly to customers through a variety of media platforms including text messaging, email, websites, online adverts, database marketing, fliers, catalogue distribution, promotional letters and targeted television, newspaper and magazine advertisements, as well as outdoor advertising.

Reference:

“Your Guide to Consumer Rights and How to Protect Them.” The Consumer Protection Act (Act No. 68 of 2008). The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa.

Estate Agency Affairs Board of South Africa

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

Does the “cooling off” period apply to all sale agreements?