Property 24/10 - 208

On becoming a property entrepreneur
For those who didn’t know, in Gauteng, there is an organisation called the Gauteng Partnership Fund (GPF) whose vision is to be the partner in the mobilisation and optimisation of funding as well as a leading catalyst in the development of affordable housing in Gauteng.

Being the economic hub of South Africa, scores of migrants coming from all corners of the country and beyond our borders come to the cities within the Gauteng province seeking better employment opportunities.

But of course, this is the case in other cities as well as urbanisation is happening at a rapid pace. As a result, affordable housing is in short supply and it is for this reason that GPF’s role is to bridge the gap between government and the private sector on affordable housing projects.

Get your home loan at Capitec
Johannesburg Stock Exchange listed and South Africa’s fastest growing full service retail bank, Capitec Bank, announced at its AGM on 30 May that it will launch a home loan offering in answer to market demand.

Capitec Bank has concluded a co-operation agreement with SA Home Loans to pilot the introduction of home loans throughout branches in Gauteng for a period and thereafter in the rest of the country, whereever SA Home Loans has the necessary support infrastructure.

With 5.4 million clients, R10.0 billion in equity and R46.2 billion in assets as of 28 February 2014, the bank offers affordable, simplified and transparent banking with personalised service.

Credit amnesty to impact rental market
The credit information amnesty, officially named Removal of Adverse Consumer Credit Information and Information relating to Paid up Judgements, is upon us as of 1 June 2014.

This legislation was put forward in order to assist with the rehabilitation of consumers who currently have negative credit information stored against their names. The intention of the removal of adverse information is essentially to allow benefiting consumers to re-enter the job or rental market with a clean slate.

However, Michelle Dickens, managing director of TPN credit bureau, says there are some deeply worrying aspects to the amnesty. "I fully stand behind the sentiment of rehabilitating consumers in terms of their credit behaviour. But with this method, there is in fact no actual rehabilitation taking place, just the granting of an amnesty. Which begs the question, what then incentivises consumers to pay back their debt?”

SA retail is a 'tale of two centres'
As South Africa’s commercial and industrial property markets have remained relatively subdued in recent months, the retail sector has recently come to the fore as a somewhat unlikely champion in helping the overall property market retain its reputation as one of the country’s key economic drivers, says Ken Reynolds, Gauteng regional executive for Nedbank Corporate Finance.

While one would have thought that the steadily increasing pressure on consumer pockets would have had a negative knock-on effect across the retail sector, recent activity in retail property finance and development appears to tell a different story.

Of course, as is the proverbial case with all good things, this growth in the retail sector is now starting to show signs of coming to a gradual end, and those seeking viable retail opportunities – whether from a development or investment perspective – are going to have to be increasingly discerning in terms of where they look, he explains.

SARS third party submission deadline
This past weekend marked the final date by which South African estate agents were obligated to comply with the SARS third party submission notice issued early last year. The IT3(b) notice compels agents to submit details for all interest earned by tenants, as well as all income generated by landlords as a result of renting out a property.

Louw Liebenberg, CEO of PayProp, says if one delves into the 164-page specification document from SARS, it essentially comes down to being able to show per landlord, per month the detailed breakdown of income and expenses.

The notice details that should an estate agent have more than 20 records, then SARS insists that the records be electronically provided directly via their https protocol, requiring individual agencies to build their own reports to the detailed specifications of SARS. “Even the smallest of agencies, handling just ten properties, will have to comply with the new regulations,” says Liebenberg.

Landlords confuse rental mandates
When renting out a property, the landlord should have signed a mandate with his agent if he has employed one, which sets out the terms of the service contract between them, but there are many cases where some ‘forget’ or confuse what type of mandate they have.

This is according to Gail Cawood, rentals manager for Knight Frank Residential SA, who says the contract is usually for a fixed term, and there would typically be three types of mandates: a managed lease for an unfurnished house with full administration of the property, a managed lease for a furnished house, also with full administration and a non-managed lease, which has no administration service offered.

The commission for the non-managed lease is a once-off fee, which is usually a percentage of the year’s lease amount, i.e. if the rental is R5 000 per month, the year’s rent would be R60 000, and if the agent charges 7.5 percent, the commission would be R4 500.

Can I force reneging buyer to perform?
A Property24 reader asks:
I received a cash offer to purchase my property from an agent. This offer put me in a position to subsequently make an offer on a property I wanted in a nearby estate. The offer documents for the sale of my property were handed to my conveyancer but the buyer did not come up with the guarantees as stipulated in the contract. He had promised to produce the full cash amount within a week.

I have been looking for a suitable property in the estate for 7 years and may lose my dream home as I do not have the cash offer as promised. What are my legal rights? Can I force the buyer to see it through?

Jaco Rademeyer, from Jaco Rademeyer Estates, responds:
Before it can be said that a contract has been concluded between two or more parties, it must be clear that the parties have reached an agreement on all aspects of the contract.

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