In terms of property law in South Africa, many disputes have arisen from the fact that purchasers and sellers of properties do not understand what the voetstoots clause actually means.

To buy “voetstoots”, means that the buyer is buying the property “as it stands”. In other words, with defects and all. Naturally this situation is preferable to the seller, whilst it is on the other hand in the best interests of the purchaser to ensure that what he or she is buying, is of good quality.

With that being said – a seller is only liable to the purchaser for defects if the seller knew about a defect and did not tell the purchaser about it.