Minde Schapiro & Smith

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About Minde Schapiro & Smith

This author Minde Schapiro & Smith has created 57 entries.

Does an Expired Lease Automatically Continue Month-to-Month? At What Rental?

“Close your eyes –Landlord knockingOn the back door”(Jack Kerouac; Northport Haiku) Your residential fixed-term lease expires but for whatever reason you don’t sign a new one. Nor does the lease say anything about what will happen on expiry. Is there still any form of valid lease in place and if so what terms and conditions apply? What rent is payable? To avoid confusion over the answers to those questions, the Rental Housing Act (“the RHA” – which, as its name suggests, applies

Employees: Your New Rights to Paternity and Parental Leave

“People who say they sleep like a baby usually don’t have one” (Psychologist Leo J Burke) It has taken over a year of confusion and delay around when new changes will be implemented, but finally your extended rights to parental leave and to an Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) claim have fully commence. Here’s an update/refresher – New mothers are still entitled to 4 consecutive months’ maternity leave.New “parents” (which would include fathers and same-sex partners) are entitled to 10 consecutive days’ “parental leave”.An

Can You Sue a Bad Investment Advisor? It depends…

“I always advise people never to give advice” (P. G. Wodehouse) If you want to send shivers down the spine of any investor, mention “Steinhoff”, or “Sharemax”, or any one of the many other spectacular corporate collapses that have plagued both local and overseas investors in recent times. Quite apart from the high-profile failures it’s been a hard few years for investors generally, and if your nest egg has taken a painful tumble recently you may well wonder whether you can sue

Report Your Traffic Accident with an Online Reporting Service

Traffic accidents, your fault or not, are traumatic affairs. Even minor dings come with their hassles – panel beaters, tow trucks, shock and recriminations, reams of paperwork, having to get a Crash Report Number for the insurers… That last bit has always been a major added stress factor, requiring a trip to the local police station (unlikely to be a happy experience) and yet more paperwork.  No longer – life just got a little bit easier with the new online reporting service

Your Website of the Month: Become a Client Whisperer

“It takes seven times more money, effort and time to get a new client than it does to keep an existing one” We’ve all heard of “dog whisperers”, “cat whisperers”, “horse whisperers”, even “elephant whisperers” – but “client whisperers”? Is that even a thing? It is, and with your clients being the lifeblood of your business, retaining them is fundamental to its profitability and success. For a take on how to do that – to your mutual benefit – read “The Client

Before You Start a New Small Business in 2020…

“Just do it!” (Nike) You and your fantastic business idea can’t wait to chuck up the 9 to 5 job and launch your own new venture. 2020 here we come! But is this the right time to do it? Of course no one knows for sure whether 2020 will see our economy glide happily into recovery mode or continue bumping along in the mud at the bottom. But one of the great things about starting a new small business is that it

Must You Pay Tax on Your Rental Income?

“Few of us ever test our powers of deduction, except when filling out an income tax form” (Laurence J. Peter of The Peter Principle) Letting out property can give you an excellent “annuity” income, and if that concept appeals to you and a buy-to-let property comes your way at the right price put an offer in right now; before the current ‘buyer’s market’ runs its course. In your financial planning however remember the tax implications, because as a landlord you must add

Your Written Contract Should Cover Everything – No Oral Evidence Allowed!

Here’s another warning from our courts to make sure that all your contracts are properly drawn to reflect both accurately and fully what you have agreed to. The problem with leaving anything out – or agreeing to something that isn’t then fully recorded in your contract – is a principle in our law known as “the rule of parol evidence”.  A recent SCA (Supreme Court of Appeal) decision illustrates the rule in action, and the facts will resonate with the many farmers,

January is “Divorce Month”: Beware the Dangers of DIY

January is “Divorce Month”: Beware the Dangers of DIY “What’s the only thing divorce proves? Whose mother was right in the first place” (Anon) The festivities are over, the bills are coming in and everyone is returning to reality. Couples who for most of the year only have to live with each other after work hours, have suddenly spent a whole lot more 24/7 time in each other’s close company. Little irritations have magnified, habits have got on each other’s nerves, in-laws

Your Website of the Month: Be (Cyber) Safe in 2020!

“The email of the species is deadlier than the mail” (Stephen Fry) Cyber-attacks in South Africa increased by 22% in 2019, and our exposure to serious online security breaches increases exponentially in line with our increasing use of email.  The fact is that we are all of us under attack by cybercriminals who become cleverer by the day at identifying our email vulnerabilities and at exploiting them. Defend your business with the tips in “Email in the age of cybercrime” on the LexisDigest website.  The