Good afternoon, I hope all is well. I bo...

Asked by Gerhard on 25-05-2023 12:07:47
Question posted in the General Law category relating to Free State

Good afternoon, I hope all is well. I bought a generator privately after asking if the item was in 100% working condition a few weeks ago after getting home the generator did not want to start I immediately contacted the seller and informed him that there was problems after trying a few days to get the generator looked at by the seller I took in in to a repairshop and I was informed that the cost for repairs wpuld be more than what the generator is worth as everything is worn out, I asked the seller to pick up the generator and refund me however he is refusing. Is there something I can do?

Message from the Lawyer

Posted by Att. Patrick on 25-05-2023 12:44:07

Hi there and thank you for your question,

I am a practicing attorney based in South Africa and I will assist you with your question. Please feel free to ask as many follow up questions in order to clarify your question. If you have a new question, you must please open a new thread.

Please keep in mind that our discussions is for general information purposes only. Our engagement on this website does not create an attorney-client relationship. 

Do you mind if I take a moment to review your question? I will come back to you shortly!

Att. Patrick

Message from the Lawyer

Posted by Att. Patrick on 25-05-2023 14:01:52

So what I understand is that you knew that it was a secondhand generator, and you asked the seller to confirm that the generator was working at the time of the sale.

The seller told you that it was working, and you bought it, and when you took the generator home it was working nicely for a couple of weeks.

Then it stopped. 

Is that about right?

Message from the client

Hi no the generator didn't work from the moment I got it I also have messages where I immediately informed the seller that there is a problem

Message from the Lawyer

Posted by Att. Patrick on 25-05-2023 15:55:16

Okay, thank you for clarifying that issue. 

If the generator didn't work at all, from the moment that you got it, then the seller has breached the contract in that he misrepresented the truth about the generator to you. i.e. he lied about the status of the generator in order to induce you into buying it, knowing that it was not actually working 100%. 

This breach is sufficient to enable you to cancel the contract, return the generator, and claim the purchase price back from the seller. 

The first thing that you must do is to send him an email / letter and explain that he has breached the agreement because of this misrepresentation, when you specifically asked that the generator was working 100%, and that as a result of the breach you are cancelling, and you want your money back.  You must say in the letter that you are 'tendering the return of the generator' to him once he agrees to return your purchase price. 

If he refuses to pay you, and if the generator is less than R20k, then you must sue him in the small claims court!  But you will need to send the letter first, in order to get the process started. 

Answer Accepted

This answer was accepted on 25-05-2023 16:04:21

Message from the Lawyer

Posted by Att. Patrick on 25-05-2023 15:55:35

You take the matter to the Small Claims Court and issue summons from there. The clerk of the court will be able to assist you with the correct forms and assist you in completing the claim form.

You need to do this without an attorney that will save you time and money. You can read up here to find out more information from the Department of Justice's website. 

You can see for details on where to find a court near you and you can then institute the action. 

The good part is that it is a quick, cheap and simple procedure. The other good part is that attorneys are not allowed there. The court is headed by a commissioner who is entitled to make a decision which is then legally binding on both parties!

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