The lessor’s tacit hypothec : a constitutional analysis

Siphuma, Nzumbululo Silas (2013-12)

Thesis (LLM)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The lessor's tacit hypothec improves the chances of the lessor to recover rent in arrears. This real security right arises by operation of law and attaches to the lessee's movable property found on the leased premises when rent is due but not paid. The extension of the lessor‟s tacit hypothec to third parties' property is the remedy's most controversial feature. The extension is supposedly based on one of two theoretical justifications, namely implied consent and the doctrine of estoppel. According to the implied-consent theory, the extension is based on the premise that the third party consented (explicitly or by implication) that his property can serve as security for the payment of the lessee's arrear rent. The basis of the second theory, the doctrine of estoppel, operates as a limitation on the rei vindicatio of the third party. Over the years discourse has shown that there are uncertainties surrounding these justifications. Recent debate has also shown that if constitutionally challenged, the extension of the lessor's tacit hypothec could amount to arbitrary deprivation of third parties' property. The aim of this thesis is to establish whether and how the existing common law principles that provide for the extension of the lessor's tacit hypothec over property belonging to third parties are affected by section 25(1) of the Constitution. Consequently, the thesis describes, analyses and scrutinises the general principles regulating the lessor's tacit hypothec, and more specifically the extension of the lessor's tacit hypothec to third parties' property, in view of section 25(1) of the Constitution. Taking into considering the recent statutory protection of third parties' property, the thesis concludes that the extension of the lessor's tacit hypothec does not constitute an arbitrary deprivation of third parties' property because correct application of the common law principles that provide for the extension and the statutory protection that has been introduced to exclude a large number of cases from the reach of the extension adequately protect third parties' property interests. Therefore, the requirements of section 25(1) are satisfied.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die verhuurder se stilswyende hipoteek verbeter sy kanse om agterstallige huur van sy huurder in te vorder. Wanneer die huur opeisbaar word, maar die huurder versuim om tydig te betaal, kom hierdie saaklike sekerheidsreg deur regswerking tot stand en dit dek alle roerende sake wat op die verhuurde perseel gevind word. Die uitbreiding van die stilwyende hipoteek na eiendom wat aan derde partye behoort is die remedie se mees kontroversiële eienskap. Hierdie uitbreiding van die hipoteek se toepassingsveld berus na bewering op een van twee regverdigingsgronde, naamlik die derde se geïmpliseerde toestemming en die leerstuk van estoppel. Volgens die geïmpliseerde toestemming-teorie kan die hipoteek na derdes se bates uitgebrei word op die veronderstelling dat sodanige derde partye toegestem het (uitdruklik of by implikasie) dat hulle eiendom as sekuriteit vir betaling van die huurder se agterstallige huur mag dien. Die tweede teorie steun op die beperking wat die leerstuk van estoppel op die rei vindicatio van die derde party plaas. Oor die jare het debatte aangedui dat daar onsekerhede rondom hierdie regverdigingsgronde bestaan. Onlangse debatte het ook aangetoon dat, indien dit grondwetlik getoets word, die uitbreiding van die hipoteek moontlik mag neerkom op ‟n arbitrêre ontneming van die derdes se eiendom. Die doel van hierdie tesis is om vas te stel of en hoe die bestaande gemeenregtelike beginsels wat die stilswyende hipoteek na bates van derdes uitbrei deur artikel 25(1) van die Grondwet beïnvloed word. Die tesis bespreek, analiseer en toets gevolglik die algemene beginsels van die verhuurder se stilswyende hipoteek, en meer spesifiek die uitbreiding van die hipoteek na bates wat aan derdes behoort, in die lig van artikel 25(1) van die Grondwet. Met inagneming van die beskerming wat derde party se eiendom in terme van onlangse wetgewing geniet, bevind die tesis dat die uitgebreide toepassing van die stilswyende hipoteek nie op ʼn arbitrêre ontneming van derde partye se eiendom neerkom nie omdat korrekte toepassing van die gemeenregtelike beginsels wat vir die uitbreiding voorsiening maak, in kombinasie met die wetgewende uitsluiting van ‟n groot aantal sake wat aan derdes behoort, voldoende beskerming aan die belange van derdes verleen. Die vereistes van artikel 25(1) word dus bevredig.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/85835
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