ARTICLES COVID-19 [2020]

Author : Kagiso Mahlangu

What happens to property transactions during lockdown?

As companies and individuals come to terms with what lockdown means, many are getting over the initial shock and starting to wonder what happens to their property transactions that were under way as lockdown was declared.

With most stakeholders closed during the lockdown period, most property registration transactions are on pause.

Companies are still bound by the agreements they have already signed. The next step is for parties to start agreeing on extensions for the fulfilment of conditions where necessary. For instance, an occupation date may need to be adjusted in line with lockdown dates.

It’s important to check the terms of the agreement to see if there are any provisions which deal with what happens if one party can’t fulfil their contractual obligations due to unforeseen circumstances beyond their control. This is known as force majeure, and many companies are currently invoking it to address a number of contractual conundrums, not only those relating to property.

This does not, however, absolve parties from their responsibilities.