The interest rate and buying property
The interest rates have remained at a 30-year low since November 2010 and are likely to stay there a while longer, says Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
Why is this important for the South African property market and homeowners? Goslett says the majority of South African homeowners and buyers are loan dependent and require financial assistance to purchase property. "This means that the interest rates will affect most consumers at some stage of their lives in some way.”
He notes that the interest rates have a massive affect on the property market and particularly consumers who are already homeowners. If a homeowner has chosen to fix their interest rate amount then they will be much less affected by the fluctuations of the rates over the term of their loan.
However, homeowners who haven’t fixed their rate will have reduced monthly repayments the lower the interest rate and increased repayments if it goes up.
Green building guide - book giveaway
A book that demystifies many aspects of energy efficient building in South Africa has been published by Bluebird Promotions and Property24 has five copies to give away to readers.
The book, entitled Energy Efficient Building in South Africa, is written by experienced writer and journalist, Paddy Hartdegen and is aimed at the layman who is embarking on the exciting task of planning and building a new home.
The book covers the essential financial aspects and the legal considerations that must be met before banks will grant you the necessary bond approvals, through to getting the proper planning permission from the authorities so you ensure that your house complies with the latest regulations, including the SANS 10400 XA.
There are many practical tips and suggestions for the layman and the extensive use of photographs keeps it filled with ideas that many people can apply when they start building a home.
Ekurhuleni property valuation begins
Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality evaluators have commenced with the work of valuing properties in order to inform the new Valuation Roll.
The current one expires in June 2013 says Sam Modiba, the Metro’s spokesperson.
Modiba explains that a General Valuation roll (GV) process is the valuation of all properties in the municipality to generate rates on an equitable basis.
The valuation capturing process has begun in earnest following the data collection process that started in November last year.
In Ekurhuleni the date of valuation at which all property values is fixed is 1 July 2012.
“The values must reflect the market value of the properties in accordance with the market conditions which applied at this date (1 July),” says Modiba.
What landlords & tenants should know
In renting property, the Rental Housing Act of 1999 is still paramount and is in almost no way superseded by the Consumer Protection Act (CPA).
According to Wayne Albutt, regional manager for Rawson Rentals, it is the Rental Housing Act and not the CPA that defines landlord and tenant rights.
He says widespread publicity concerning the CPA has led to some inaccurate, often unfortunate perceptions among those who would like to see consumers having greater powers (but who have often not studied the act seriously) - and nowhere is this more true than in the complicated subject of landlord-tenant relationships.
Tenants have sometimes picked up the idea that they are now in a laissez-faire, free-for-all situation and that they can behave in a thoroughly irresponsible and illegal manner.
However, he says the reality is that in property rental matters the Rental Housing Act of 1999 is still paramount and is in almost no way superseded by the CPA.
Albutt says landlords and tenants should take the time to “Google” this act, download it and study it.
Can landlord attach our belongings?
A Property24 reader asks:
My husband and I rented our ex-employer’s house for a period of almost 3 years. After the first written rental agreement expired, a new written agreement was never made. My ex-employer and I had a verbal agreement that we would rent the premises on a month-to-month basis, as he had potential buyers.
When we decided to vacate the premises, my husband paid the rent in cash and told him that we would be moving out at the end of the following month. When we moved out at the end of the month, he then asked what we were doing and said we never gave him any notice. My husband then reminded him of what he had said the previous month.
When we moved, a few items was left behind due to us not being able to transport them, but we told him we would be collecting these, only to be told afterward that we could not have them back.
KZN prepaid water and lights tokens
The netVendor solution, an internet based prepaid water and electricity tokens system is benefiting both landlords and tenants in KwaZulu-Natal
After the eThekwini Municipality introduced a new system whereby landlords, rather than tenants, are responsible for the payment of electricity and water usage, the KwaZulu-Natal property industry has been aflutter with activity with some landlords insisting on double rentals to cover the possibility of unpaid utilities.
To counter such kneejerk reactions, Just Letting, a division of Just Property Group, has become the first company to implement the netVendor solution throughout its network, starting in KwaZulu-Natal, as landlords are anxious about the impact the new system is going to have on their rental properties.
The netVendor solution is an internet-based, prepaid electricity and water revenue management and vending solution that manages the financial switching of funds, the distribution of top up vouchers and meter related information.