Property 24/10 - 204

Property is gateway to wealth creation
Property has been, and remains the best way for the average South African to accumulate wealth.

This is according to Mmusi Maimane, the DA’s candidate for Premier of Gauteng, who says his parents owned the title deed to their home in Dobsonville, enabling them to borrow against it, as well as investing in their home. He says without it, he would not have been able to take the opportunities that came his way later in life. He says he is thankful for that title deed, because it was the genesis of the success he has been able to achieve.

Bruce Swain, MD of Leapfrog Property Group, says as someone who has been both a buyer and a seller in the property market, as well as having been a real estate agent for years, he completely supports Maimane's claim. He says he has seen it time and again, entering the property market gives people a valuable asset to work with and is an invaluable means to increasing their wealth.

7th annual GBCSA opens for bookings
The 7th annual Green Building Council Convention is officially open for registration. Taking place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 10 to 12 September 2014, this year the GBCSA is ‘bringing it home’ under the theme ‘it’s time for Africa’.

Sponsored by Nedbank Corporate Property Finance - and one of the highlights on the South African property and sustainability calendar, the Green Building Convention is highly regarded for delivering an engaging programme by securing thought leaders from around the globe who deliver inspiration and insight into the latest trends worldwide.

IT & sectional title scheme management
When two or more people share ownership of property, what laws regulate their interactions concerning that property? The Sectional Titles Act, 1986 (the Act) codifies the common law of co-ownership for sectional title schemes.

The Act allocates responsibility for maintenance. It spells out how to calculate each co-owner’s undivided share in the common property, their voting power and the extent of their liability for the related costs. The Act details how property alterations like extending sections, adding sections and land, and creating exclusive use rights must be carried out.

These enduring principles were first introduced in South Africa in the early seventies, were updated and extended in the late eighties, revised in the late nineties and have received detail tweaks each year since then. The passage of time and the exponential growth and use of information technology in recent years has not substantially affected their relevance. Not so with the prescribed rules.

When a tenant terminates the lease
When tenants give notice that they’re terminating their lease, they should keep in mind the date that they have agreed to vacate the property, because if they don’t move out on the agreed date, they could become liable for the rent for that month.

This is according to Gail Cawood, letting manager for Knight Frank Residential South Africa, who says lease agreements usually have a clause that covers the notice period needed by the landlord or tenant to continue with the lease (a Knight Frank agreement would be 40 to 80 working days before the end of the lease period).

If the lease ends and the tenant has not given a specific date, it is taken that the lease continues on a month to month basis unless the tenant specifically asks that this not be the case or he enters into a new lease for another fixed period.

State of the SA property market
The South African residential property market is at last showing signs of a healthy recovery, having slowly but steadily recuperated from the recession of 2008, according to Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property group.

He notes that increasing sales volumes, rising values and growing demand all underline the recovery to more normal trading conditions.

“This promising situation signals just how dynamic the residential property sector is – constantly on the move, with buyers and sellers entering into transactions for a wide variety of conventional reasons such as relocation for work or lifestyle, first-time ownership, downscaling or upscaling, acquiring a sound investment, or simply putting down roots,” he says.

In property, a signed deal is binding
In property matters signed agreements are binding no matter how much one or other of the parties involved would like to see them cancelled or reversed, explains Denver Vraagom, conveyancing attorney at Gunston Attorneys.

He says in a recent case, the above was highlighted also showing how essential it is for buyers to check every aspect not only of the property they are buying but also of the neighbourhood in which it is situated.

In this particular case, says Vraagom, the seller sold his home without first finding an alternative home to purchase and move into.

This put him under pressure to purchase (and may have led to his not taking sufficient care with the investigation of a new home). His problem, however, seemed to have been solved when Vraagom was told that he had now bought elsewhere.

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