Property 24/10 - 456

Homes, cars and offices: Where are South Africans spending their money?
South Africans have had a disruptive start to the year, thanks to rising fuel prices, long periods of load shedding, and a national election. Many are “feeling the pinch” and facing financial uncertainty. How has this period of economic worry translated into consumer confidence in the residential homes, commercial property and motoring markets?

Three experts give their opinion:

1. The car market
“Motorists are searching for more affordable cars, as they face tough economic times,” says George Mienie. This much has emerged from an analysis of search data on South Africa’s largest motoring marketplace, AutoTrader.

Property buyers and sellers, don’t just sign any document
The process of buying and selling property, involves the signing of legal and binding documents. All parties directly involved need to be fully aware of the contracts they are signing and exactly what those contracts entail according to Mike Greeff, CEO of Greeff Christie’s International Real Estate, who says whether you are a buyer or seller, during the property transaction process you will have to go through the document signing process.

This requires assiduous attention to detail when reading and understanding the document. During this time, Greeff says it is important to enlist the service of a qualified and experienced agent who will assist you during the property selling or buying process, and who will be able to explain these documents to you. At the behest of the agent, should he or she not be able to explain all aspects to you satisfactorily, they should put you in touch with an attorney who will.

Greeff says to keep the following three things in mind before crossing all the t’s and dotting all the i’s:

SA property trends: Cape Town still number one in value
A survey recently carried out by Lightstone has revealed a range of statistics that will be of interest to anyone keeping track of property trends in South Africa today according to Rowan Alexander, Director of Alexander Swart Property, who says that Lightstone calculated that of the 8 million registered properties in South Africa, 83% are residential.

These 6.7 million homes have a combined value of R5.4 trillion, with Gauteng accounting for some R2 trillion of this figure. 67% of the total are freehold properties, 18.3% are in estates (a figure almost double that of 15 years ago) and 14.2% are sectional title units. The average value of the estate homes is roughly three times that of normal freehold properties.

FAQ: Can your landlord evict or make you move out?
Shaun du Bois, master practitioner in real estate and principal at Just Property and Peter Mennen, head of legal at TPN Credit Bureau, answer frequently asked questions on evictions.

What process is my landlord required to follow if he wants to evict me?
According to Section 14 of the Consumer Protection Act, a landlord can make you move out before the end of the lease period if you breach the terms of the lease and fail to remedy this breach within the required period or if the terms under which the landlord may terminate are stipulated in the lease and do not constitute an unfair practice (Section 4(5)(c) of the Rental Housing Act.

The Prevention of Illegal Eviction (PIE) Act also protects tenants against unfair practice and the landlord must follow the letter of the law. The legal landscape is complicated and due diligence must be done before any evictions are made.

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