Property 24/10 - 153

When selling choose the right lawyer
When it comes to selling a property, choosing the right attorney for the job can make all the difference when it comes to how long the transfer process will take. 

This is according to Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, who says in the property transfer and registration process there are usually three different conveyancers involved; the bond attorney, the bond cancellation attorney and the transferring attorney. 

He says the bond attorney will act on behalf of the financial institution that is providing the finance to the buyer. Goslett explains that once a buyer has received bond approval from the bank or finance provider, the bond attorney will register the bond in the name of the buyer for the specific property in question. 

A bond cancellation attorney acts on behalf of the current bondholder and once guarantees have been provided for the outstanding bond amount, they will proceed to cancel the current bond on the property that is in the seller’s name, he says. 

State of the office property market
In 2012, the South African property market saw capital growth of 1.9 percent, 9.8 percent income return and a total return of 11.9 percent.  Of the three sectors, the office sector was the worst performer with vacancies recording a high of 12.5 percent and low rental growth of 3.6 percent, according to the Sapoa/IPD Index Results 2012.

Writing in the report, Jess Cleland, research director at IPD South Africa says the office vacancies are still stubbornly high and the sector underperforming on almost every metric.

She points out that operating costs are still rising above inflation with municipal charges showing the highest cost year-on-year.

The report reveals that although the sector underperformed, some locations recorded the highest capital growth such as Rosebank, Cape Town CBD, Sandton CBD, West Rand and Midrand.

Sect. title provision of surplus funds
It’s been about six years since your apartment complex was painted, however, despite this the gutters are in need of urgent repairs, the roof is leaking like a sieve and the intercom needs to be upgraded. 

The only problem is there are not enough funds to cover even half of this required maintenance. The Board of Trustees are discussing the Body Corporate’s options: Do they raise a special levy? Do they take out a project loan? Do they wait for funds to be raised by increasing the levies and run the risk of the building falling into further disrepair and costing more in the long run? 

Let’s take a step back. In terms of Section 37 (1)(a) of the Sectional Titles Act 95 of 1986, a body corporate shall establish a fund for administrative expenses; sufficient for the repair, upkeep, control, management and administrative activities of the common property, and most importantly, including reasonable provision for future maintenance and repairs. 

Before buying property, read this
It’s all too easy to focus on finding your dream home and securing finance, without paying much attention to all the other steps in the process. But there are many steps, and it’s important to know your rights and responsibilities when making the biggest financial commitment of your life.   “A property is such a vast and variable investment that there is always potential for unpleasant surprises,” says Jenny Rushin, provincial sales manager at ooba, Western Cape. “If you know what problems could potentially surface, and what to do if one does, you’ll be better prepared to deal with it than someone who plans only for plain sailing.” 

When you buy a property, the most important thing for you to know is that the property is purchased “voetstoots” or as is. This means that any patent defects (visible problems) and latent defects (problems you can’t see) are the buyer’s concern – unless the seller hides or does not disclose the problem before the sale. 

“This is why it’s always a good idea to inspect a property carefully before you make an offer,” says Rushin. 

Agents should attend EAAB road show
There are many changes taking place in the real estate industry and some say there is confusion in the ranks.  However, the Institute of Estate Agents in the Western Cape intend to continue their drive towards bringing the best service and possible training to all estate agents.

Annette Evans, head of marketing at the IEA Western Cape and head of PropStats, says that there is a drive to boost their membership and they are waiving the usual joining fee for a limited time. The monthly membership is R45 per month.

This fee entitles members to unlimited access to the PropStats data platform as well as discounted rates to training and seminars arranged by the Institute, which covers a variety of legal updates and motivational talks.

“The IEA, Western Cape has always seen itself as the 'middle-man' between agents and the EAAB," Evans says, and in order to represent estate agents properly, they should become members so that the Institute can act on their behalf effectively.

Ekurhuleni valuation deadline extended
The deadline for inspection and lodging of objections to the valuation roll has been extended, and property owners now have until 17 May 2013, to do the aforementioned, according to the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality (EMM).  The closing date of the public inspection period for the valuation roll for the financial years 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2017 was initially advertised as 19 April 2013 but has been shifted due to the post office strike and possible late delivery of section 49 notices to property owners.

The roll was published on 4 March and is available for inspection at the selected municipal offices on Mondays to Fridays during office hours from 08:30 to 15:30 or visit for more information.

“Upon the inspection of the Valuation Roll, property owners can exercise their rights, in terms of section 50 of the Municipal Property Rates Act (MPRA) and object to their value or any other property value that is deemed to be incorrect,” says Sam Modiba, EMM spokesperson.

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