Weekly Property News
08 April 2011

Dear Reader

Four South African police officers were handed medals for recognition for their bravery that was performed in “extremely dangerous circumstances”.

According to the National Police Commissioner, Bheki Cele, the good deeds of officers who are heroes and heroines of the Police Services are often overlooked with the focus being on those officers committing less respectable deeds. I could not help to wonder how many estate agents should be awarded medals for their bravery for operating successfully in “extremely dangerous circumstances”. With the poor economy, prices of houses, granting of bonds and now also the new Consumers Act it takes commitment and determination to succeed in the real estate industry.

Headlines: Two more big estate agents have been linked to alleged corruption as the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) announces a three month amnesty period, board chair Thami Bolani said on Thursday. "Since last week Wednesday we have had two more reports against two major companies," Bolani told media in Johannesburg. The amnesty period for estate agents would start on April 15 for three months, but if there was sufficient demand it could be extended for up to six months. EAAB probes major agents

Market news: Marginal monthly price growth was evident in two of the three categories of housing measured by the Absa house price indices. Price growth in the value of middle-segment homes (small, medium-sized and large houses) in the South African housing market for which Absa approved mortgage finance (see explanatory notes), remained at a relatively low level on a year-on-year (y/y) basis up to March 2011. Growth in house prices remains low in March

The editor

In This Issue
Featured Property

Eastern Cape, Port Elizabeth, Summerstrand
House: Bed: 5 | Bath: 3.50 | Garages: 2

Stylish home with impressive street appeal. Excellent flow of living areas. Entertainers delight. Very clever architecturally designed home matched with gorgeous kitchen with rosewood cupboards and granite tops. Exquisite bathrooms and airy study on mezzanine floor...

Local News

Growth in house prices remains low in March

Marginal monthly price growth was evident in two of the three categories of housing measured by the Absa house price indices...

Investec Property Fund to relist on JSE

Investec Property Fund has announced that it will relist on the JSE with effect from April 14...

EAAB probes major agents

Two more big estate agents have been linked to alleged corruption as the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) announces a three month amnesty period, board chair Thami Bolani said on Thursday...

More bang for your buck

When it comes to assessing value for money, the value of a home is about more than just the cost per square metre...

Don't sign before you sell

Even though the economy is improving, the latest statistics show that around one-fifth of all home sellers are still looking to downscale to smaller homes that are less costly to run and maintain...

Residential property marketing

The new Consumer Protection Act could take three years of court actions to become fully defined, says Rawson Properties Chairman...

Tax allowances when owning five or more units

The fact that buy-to-rent investors, possibly new to the property scene but now buying into Rawson Developments’ three Rondebosch projects...

Plumbing certificate now needed to transfer a home

Any idea that the Cape Town City Council might back down on its new ruling that a certificate has to be obtained from an accredited plumber before a home can be transferred to a new owner can now be dropped: the ruling has become law and will be enforced, says Anton du Plessis, CEO of Vineyard Estates...

No more hiding behind the "voetstoots" clause

Property developers who have in the past delivered sub-standard products and gotten away with it, relying on the protection of the "voetstoots" clause, will no longer have that shield, in terms of the new Consumer Protection Act (CPA)...

Changing the share of the levy contribution

A rather large home owners’ association (HOA) has another HOA as a subsidiary, which in turn has a sectional title scheme as one of its subsidiaries...

Long term budgeting essential

One of the proven successes at the property management company, IHFM, said its general manager, Michael Bauer, recently has been the implementation of two to five year budgets for maintenance and repairs...

The need for neighbourly tolerance

The South African property world has in the last decade seen a proliferation of litigation regarding ‘infringements’ and ‘disturbances’, says Tony Clarke...

Trustees cannot avoid responsibilities

The Sectional Titles Act recognises that the trustees of sectional title bodies corporate, unlike the directors of independent companies, are unpaid volunteers and may lack the full experience required for their positions...

Penalty interest rates for levy defaulters

It cannot be too often emphasised that levies are the lifeblood of sectional title schemes, says Johann le Roux, business development director of the levy funding and collection company, Propell, which operates throughout South Africa and was recently bought by Baedex...

Outdoor living spaces add real value

Lapas, patios, stoeps and verandas - all are great places for South Africans to do one of the things they like best, which is spending time outdoors with family and friends...

Machanik agents in dire straits

Estate agents formerly employed by embattled property mogul Wendy Machanik are having to beg and borrow to survive...

Focus On

Nelson Mandela Bay, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Nelson Mandela Bay – uniting Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage and Despatch.

Just as Nelson Mandela brought freedom to our nation, Nelson Mandela Bay is a destination that gives you the freedom to choose from an array of world class offerings...

>> Properties in the Eastern Cape

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In the Area

The areas we are going to take a closer look at this week are;

  • Johannesburg
  • Eastern Cape
In the area 1 - Johannesburg

Joburg launches inner-city property scheme

A programme to address urban decay and rejuvenate the Johannesburg CBD was launched by the city's mayor, Amos Masondo, on Wednesday...

In the area 2 - Eastern Cape

E Cape property on the up

The Eastern Cape residential property market appears to have a more comfortable existence these days, after having seemingly battled its way back from a severe slump that coincided with a severe recession...

To the editor

Dear editor,

I am firmly on the side of the Consumer Protection Act, I believe South African Consumers have needed protection for some time now. I also appreciate that any Act cannot take into consideration every single possible exception or difficulty. BUT, I have 2 problem areas that radically affect the operation of the long term rental industry.

Firstly : the application of the 5 day cooling off period.

Specifically whether a general advertisement for a rental apartment, placed on a generally accessed free website, is regarded as “advertising” ? And therefore whether any approved applications resulting in a lease, generated from this advertisement, would be subject to the 5 day cooling off period? And following on from this, having to ensure that no rental leases are signed after the 26th of the month for occupation from the 1st? I would love somebody to advise on this.

Secondly : cancellation of a lease during the lease period.

Firstly there is confusion as to whether a residential property lease falls under the Act? We have already been told totally opposite advice.

Further, if a residential property lease does fall under the Act, what will constitute a “reasonable penalty” as stated in the Act? An owner is charged commission by the Rental Agent for the placement of the tenant for the full lease period which is taken from rental in the first month of the lease. If a tenant cancels the lease after 6 months of a 12 month lease, would the remaining 6 month commission be regarded as a “reasonable penalty” deductible from the tenant’s deposit? The owner of the property would definitely expect the rental agent to ensure that he is not double charged.

Judy Blakey

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