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8 November 2018

What kind of Security do Municipal Deposits give a Municipality?
South Africa - Schindlers
This article considers the legal question of whether a deposit of money made by a tenant with a landlord on the one hand, or a deposit of a customer of a municipality/Eskom on the other, constitutes a pledge in terms of our law. This is important because if it does, then the landlord or municipality will have a secured claim against the insolvent estate of the tenant or municipal debtor respectively in the event of that entity’s insolvency to the extent of the deposit. This means that in terms of our laws of insolvency they will rank above other creditors in relation to a claim to that deposit and will essentially be “first in line” to recover an amount of money not exceeding the deposit amount to settle any claim that might be owed to them at the time of insolvency by the insolvent debtor.
Schindlers

Residential maintenance and upgrades
South Africa - FNB
While agents surveyed have perceived only marginal declines in average home maintenance levels in recent surveys,they have pointed to a significant slowdown in the level of “value adding upgrades” to homes.
The FNB Estate Agent Survey has recorded a noticeable weakening in agent perceptions of overall home maintenance and upgrades levels in the 1st 3 quarters of 2018. However, this was mostly due to a perceived decline in the level of upgrades to homes and less due to a weakening in regular home maintenance levels.

Using a 2-quarter moving average to smooth the data mildly, we depict agent perceptions regarding levels of home maintenance and upgrades, and we have 5 categories/levels of home maintenance and upgrades in the survey.
Property Insights HomeMaintenance and Upgrade Perceptions

Modern online auctions under scrutiny
UK - TodaysConveyancer
The Homeowners Alliance (HOA) has looked at the potential pitfalls of buying and selling by auction.

Commenting on the trend, HOA Chief Executive Paula Higgins said: “It is good to have new ways to help homeowners buy and sell their properties. However, we are concerned that estate agents and online platforms are using the modern auction method to pull the wool over homeowners’ eyes and get commission up to 10 times what they would charge selling the traditional way. There is nothing wrong in principle with the modern auction, but it needs better regulating to ensure it works for the benefit of homebuyers and sellers rather than against them.”

With the number of failing house sales on the rise, online ‘e-bay style’ auctions are being advertised as a quick way to sell a home.

Offering an alternative to the dreaded property chain, unlike traditional property auctions, ‘modern’ or ‘conditional auctions’ allow buyers to bid online, while still providing the time needed to sort mortgage finance. A reservation fee is paid to secure the deal, and both buyers and sellers face financial penalties if either side pulls out.
TodaysConveyancer

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