'No moving rule really one-sided', say frustrated property owners under Alert level 4
Frustrated people who had expected to move once Lockdown ended are struggling to come to terms with not being able to move during Alert Level 4 - with some facing financial complications as a result.
During a media briefing on Friday, 1 May 2020, Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula confirmed nobody would be allowed to move to a new residence, nor would removal companies be allowed to operate during the travel window period or during the remainder of Alert Level 4 - as restrictions continue to be implemented to stem the spread of the Covid-19.
Mbalula made reference to the Regulations section 16(5) which states, “Any persons who was not at their place of residence, or work before the lockdown period and who could not travel between provinces, metropolitan and district areas during the lockdown, will be permitted, on a once-off basis, to return to their places of residence or work and will be required to stay in such place until the end of Alert Level 4.”
Alert Level 4 Rules | How it affects Estate Agents and the Real Estate industry
While the deeds office will be open as an essential service there will be no show houses permitted during Alert Level 4 when South Africa's lockdown moves to Alert Level 4 tomorrow, on 1 May. The latest Regulations relating to the Schedule of Services and Framework of Sectors was gazetted and released on Thursday night, 29 April.
They repeal all previous Regulations issued in terms of the COVID-19 pandemic dealing with the forced lockdown in South Africa. The new Regulations speak only to Alert Level 4 from 01 May 2020.
But it's not as clear cut as all of South Africa moving to Alert Level 4.
"Government will be adopting a ‘risk-based’ approach with more severely affected areas set to face stricter regulations than areas that don’t have as many coronavirus cases. To ensure that the response to the pandemic can be as precise and targeted as possible, there will be a national level and separate levels for each province, district and metro in the country. As a result, legal advice will differ in each case depending on the severity of the lockdown level in an area," says Michelle Dickens, MD of TPN Credit Bureau.
Under the new rules the deeds office will operate, evictions will be allowed under certain conditions - but no moving to new places of residence will be allowed during this alert level.
Virtual property transactions | The new normal in real estate
The coronavirus pandemic is forcing many businesses to reinvent the way they operate. The traditionally interaction-heavy property industry is no exception. The Rawson Property Group has gone virtual, committed to keep connecting buyers with sellers and landlords with tenants during lockdown and social distancing. Some, however, believe this to be far more than just a temporary measure or ‘quick fix’ for current circumstances.
“There’s no doubt that we have needed to act quickly to continue to serve our customers in these challenging times,” says Tony Clarke, MD of the Rawson Property Group.
“No matter what is happening in the world, people still need a roof over their heads, which will always mean that they need to be able to keep buying, selling and renting property. We have also seen a rise in the urgency with which some of our clients are needing assistance.”
To enable the continuation of these services as seamlessly as possible, the Rawson Property Group has leveraged its award-winning technology to roll out 6 efficient products for their clients - virtual valuations, Rawson 3d virtual tours, Rawson virtual show houses, electronically signed documentation and online meetings. These, Clarke says, will serve as important stopgaps during lockdown and social distancing, and ultimately form part of a much larger service strategy as well.