Good dayI currently have a situation whe...

Asked by Tasha7 on 28-02-2019 11:59:45
Question posted in the Consumer Protection Law category relating to Western Cape
Question value: R 100.00

Good day

I currently have a situation where I applied to purchase a vehicle at a car dealership of which my application was unsuccessful.They then offered me a leasing contract with their sister company of which the first 3yrs would be a leasing contract and thereafter another 3yrs would be a rent to own contract. Now that the 3 yrs has passed by they advised that they can no longer offer the rent to own contract as they no longer have that option available. I have been struggling for almost a year to get the rent to own contract from them. Each time I enquire, their response is either they currently don't have that option available or it is not a viable option. I have approached the Auto Mobile Ombudsmen and NCR but unfortunately they cannot assist as this is not within their jurisdiction. In the meantime I saw the same company advertising rent to own cars on their website whereas they told me this option is not available but will contact me as soon as it is. Of which they still didn't. Their sister company that I initially signed up with, no longer has a website and as an existing client I can no longer log in to my online profile and it seems that they are solely operating under the new group name now. What am I to do in this situation as I constantly have to extend the lease agreement in order not to "lose" the car? Now they also sent me an e-mail to extend my lease but must do so for minimum 2 years whereas they are advertising rent to own options on their website.

This is not fair practise as they are currently advertising on their website that they have rent ot own options available but are not offering me this even though this was the initial agreement when I signed up. Why I don't know as I have never defaulted and stuck to the terms and conditions during the 3yrs.


Tasha Lawrence  

Ask your OWN Legal Question!

Answer to the Question

Posted by Att. Patrick on 01-03-2019 11:17:49

Hi there and thank you for your question,

The one thing that you can't do is to force a company to do business with you. I understand that when you signed the initial 3 year lease, that it was the intention that you then enter into a further 3 year rent-to-own contract. But, if you didn't enter into the 3 year rent-to-own contract, and the company is refusing to enter into it with you now, you can't actually force them to do so. This is unfortunately just the position in our law.

I think that the truth of the matter is that this company (or at least the sister company) can't get the required financing together to enable it to offer the 3 year rent-to-own contract to you. Perhaps the bank is saying that the car is too old, or the interest rate is too high, or something. What is clear is that the company is not telling you the truth.

If the Ombud and NCR won't assist you, then I think that you have come to the end.

You must make a decision -

1) Either, you continue with the leasing of the car; or

2) You refuse to renew the lease agreement, and give them back the car, and get a car from one of the dozens of other companies who offer rent-to-own contracts!

I would like to offer you a solution to forcing this company to do business with you, or at least to tell you the truth about why they are not offering you a 3 year rent-to-own contract, but there is nothing that I can offer.

If you think that this company is treating you differently because of your race, or religion, or something like that you can approach the Equality Court and ask the court for assistance. But then you need to be SURE!

If you think that the company is refusing because of the age of the car, or financing, or something else, then I would advise against going the Equality Court route because you'll lose the case, and you'll need to pay the court fees!

Rather, tell them that you've had enough and you won't continue this way anymore. Tell them to give you a 3 year rent-to-own contract or you're out of there!

If there is a part of the answer which you need more advice on, or clarity please continue in this same thread instead of opening a new question.

Att. Patrick

Please remember this is a dialog if you have follow up questions please use the REPLY button and ask. If I did not answer the question you thought you were asking, please respond with the specific question you wanted answered. I hope you found my answer helpful, and you have finished asking your questions, please click on the GREEN ACCEPT button in order to mark the question as closed.

Answer Accepted

This answer was accepted on 04-03-2019 11:54:49

Information provided by client

Hi Patrick

Does this mean that I still can't make them give me the rent to own contract even though I have the initial offer on e-mail? I have the proof of the offer

Answer to the Question

Posted by Att. Patrick on 01-03-2019 14:19:10

Yes, even though you have their initial offer. 

In our law you need an agreement, and there needs to be a meeting of the minds in relation to that agreement. There needs to be a formal offer (contract) and the acceptance of that offer. 

If the email is actually a legal offer, then you can simply accept it. 

BUT, I think that the email wouldn't contain all of the requirements to be a proper offer which you can simply accept. Rather, the email would be a suggestion as to what you could do in the future.

Also, in our law you can't have an agreement that you will agree on something in the future. Your email might be that. i.e. you agree now (5 years ago in your case) that in the future you will agree. 

That won't work. No. 

My previous advice stands.

If you would like to view the entire answer, you will need to either login or register a FREE account.


DISCLAIMER: Advice or answers from Lawyers on SA Legal Advice are not substitutes for the proper advice of an Lawyer. SA Legal Advice is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Lawyer who assists with your question is not your Lawyer, and the response above is not to be considered to be legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains. The responses above are from individual Lawyers, not SA Legal Advice. The site and services are provided “as is”. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service.