Property24

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Speed of high-tech roll-out a big challenge for SA homes market
“Are South African homes, and homeowners, suitably enabled for the fast-approaching super-tech world?”

Put another way: “Will home renovations and homeowners manage to cope with – and reap the benefits of – the avalanche of new technology that is starting to roll across the residential property landscape?”

Johannesburg/Sandton-focused residential real estate principal Ronald Ennik raises these questions at a time when, he says, “the face and pace of South African home design, construction and maintenance is changing faster than ever before.”
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Buy-to-let property: These expenses are tax deductible
There are very few investment channels which rival residential property for the man-in-the-street according to Rowan Alexander, Director of Alexander Swart Property, who recently answered listeners’ questions about buy-to-let property during two sessions on Cape Talk radio.

“There was particular interest and questions from listeners concerning the aspects of a property investment that are tax deductible,” says Alexander. “This subject needs further exposure as a better understanding can make buy-to-let property much more attractive.”

The first point to be grasped is that there are two distinct types of taxation on property investments.”
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What happens to the deposit if a buyer cancels a property sale?
Non-refundable deposit clauses in sales documents are frequently misunderstood by those buying or selling property.

Rowan Alexander, Director of Alexander Swart Property, says quite often, sellers are advised by estate agents to include a non-refundable deposit clause in the sale contract - and are led to believe that this will entitle them to the deposit and other sums paid into the conveyancer’s trust fund by the buyer, should he or she break the sale agreement resulting in cancellation of the sale.

"It has been established in South African law for some time that any penalty or demand for liquidated damages in a property sale agreement as a result of the buyer pulling out of a signed contract, will, if taken to court, be subject to the Conventional Penalties Act."before.”
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Has a neighbour ruined the value of your property?
Many residential property owners in South Africa have been through the frustrating experience of finding that the value of their home and the pleasure they derive from it, are suddenly greatly diminished by what their neighbour does with his property.

In some cases, says Rowan Alexander, Director of Alexander Swart Property, the problem will be due to breaking the law or municipal regulations. For example, additions to the original building or the erection of a new building will, on investigation, be found to be contrary to what the law allows.

The neighbour might proceed without planning permission from the local authorities, or has disregarded zoning rulings or restrictions such as height and distance from the boundary. Owners of such buildings can then be reported to the local authorities who have the power to stop work and/or order a demolition.
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