Q MY BOSS WANTS TO GIVE ME A WARNING
My boss and I have the same qualifications and the only difference is that she has more work experience. She has now accused me of not meeting her working standards and wants to give me a warning. As we have the same qualifications, can she set performance standards for me? ANONYMOUS, KIMBERLEY
AIn terms of the South African labour laws, an employer or an employee in a higher role at work has the right to set-up performance standards that they deem acceptable and these standards should not just be what they personally want, but what the company requires.
If you have not been made aware of the punishment should you not meet the standards, you can write a letter of grievance against your boss.
Q IS MY HOUSE SAFE?
I’m in the process of entering into a financial transaction and I have been requested to put my house as surety. I need to know what rights will this creditor have over my house? ANONYMOUS, PRETORIA
AWhen a house has been pledged as security for a loan, the creditor acquires limited rights in the property of the debtor as security for the payment of what is owed. The creditor does not have any right to impose conditions on what should happen to the house.
The right of the creditor only occurs if the debtor fails to pay the debt. When the debt is paid in full, the surety comes to an end. But should the debtor fail to pay, the creditor acquires the right to attach the house and sell it. This is the right a creditor gets as a result of the suretyship.
Q EARLY TERMINATION OF LEASE CONTRACT
I have been a tenant in a flat for a year and I want to cancel the lease contract before it expires. Is this possible?
ANONYMOUS, CAPE TOWN
AA tenant can give notice to terminate the lease agreement at any time. In terms of the Consumer Protection Act, a tenant has to give 20 days notice to the landlord. The landlord has a right to impose a penalty fee for early termination.
In calculating the penalty fee, the landlord can determine how much rent is still outstanding up to the termination date of the contract, but he or she cannot sue you or request that you pay money for future rental.
If the parties cannot agree on the penalty fee, the matter must be referred to the rental tribunal.
Q I’M FACING EVICTION
My partner and I signed a cohabitation contract whereby he agreed that I will stay in his house and that he will financially support me. He has now passed away and the executors of his estate want to evict me. ANONYMOUS, BRITS
APartners who do not want to marry but decide to live together, can enter into a cohabitation agreement. This agreement must state what will happen should the relationship end or upon death. In the event of death, if the cohabitation agreement is silent about whether the surviving spouse can continue to live in the partner’s house, the surviving partner cannot rely on the agreement to continue living there. A cohabitation agreement comes to an end once a partner dies.
Nthabiseng Monareng holds an LLB from Wits University and is studying for her LLM. Nthabi has more than 10 years experience in the legal field, specialising as a family law expert. She’s written books on family law and is a family law mediator.