Property 24/10 - 375

Estate agents should view digital disruption as an ‘enabler’
The arrival of digital real estate solutions like LeadHome and PropertyFox does not spell the end of every property agency in South Africa, but rather numbers the days of those agencies that do not offer an exceptional service to their clients.

This is Charles Vining, Seeff’s MD in Sandton’s view on digital disruption on the real estate marketing space. “While the launch of internet banking certainly changed the way that many clients do their banking, it has not shut the doors of all traditional bank branches and the same can be said about the arrival of online marketplace Airbnb - it has surely created a digital industry and new possibilities, but it has not closed down every hotel or guest house in the country.”

He says start-up tech companies in real estate pride themselves on a stress-free and more affordable experience, and these are attractive selling points as some people have had previous bad experiences and are looking to test a new method.

Rural shopping malls deliver value for communities and investors
Shopping centres based outside of large city centres are bringing convenience, choice and in many instances, community upliftment to the rural areas in which they are situated.

Typically tenanted by supermarkets, clothing, banking and furniture retailers, these South African developments are also providing excellent returns for investors who care about social impact.

Rural shopping developments can provide much-needed impetus for transport infrastructure as well as municipal infrastructure for essential services such as electricity, water and sewerage. They too can spur social responsibility initiatives that provide youth and skills development programmes that seek to help the surrounding communities that need it the most.

Rental property maintenance: Landlord vs tenant responsibilities
Maintaining your property is one of the key aspects to keep the landlord-tenant relationship in good standing.

This is advice from Sunell Afrika, rentals manager at, who says in her experience one of the biggest causes of a breakdown in relationships between landlords and tenants is due to a “lack of maintenance or repair”.

Landlords have a duty to keep the unit they rent out “reasonably fit for the purpose for which it was let”, according to the Rental Housing Act, which goes on to say that the landlord is “responsible for repairs and maintenance as defined in the lease or as found at the ‘incoming inspection’ of the property”.

What happens if one of your tenants absconds?
It’s quite common for landlords to rent apartments and houses to multiple tenants, but they need to make sure they’re covered in the event of one or more of these tenants moving out before the lease expires.

“We see this all the time with students dropping out before the end of the academic year and moving out of their shared accommodation, for example, or young people who decide to go travelling or to relocate for work and leave their former flatmates or housemates behind,” says Greg Harris, CEO of Chas Everitt Property Rentals.

“We have also encountered instances of properties being rented by engaged or even married couples who each pay half the rent until something happens and one partner decides to move out.”

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