Property 24/10 - 187

Builders welcome Development Bill
The Master Builders Association of the Western Cape (MBAWC), a registered trade association for employers in the building industry, has welcomed the Infrastructure Development Bill that was recently introduced to Parliament by Minister of Economic Development, Ebrahim Patel.

According to Patel, the Bill is intended to strengthen the capacity of government to implement the rollout of infrastructure, and is thus at the heart of our efforts to improve the lives of citizens.

MBAWC executive director, Rob Johnson, says they hope that should the Bill be adopted, it will result in more work for their members, greater opportunities for future employment, a sustainable industry, less red tape and the elimination of nepotism and corruption.

CPD courses only offered by EAAB
Annette Evans, regional manager for the Institute of Estate Agents, Western Cape, draws attention to a recent announcement by the Estate Agency Affairs Board regarding the Continuous Professional Development (CPD) courses offered.

Various property courses are currently being presented by a number of educational bodies and are presented as being CPD accredited, she says. What many are saying is that CPD points will be accrued in accordance with the EAAB’s recommended cycle.

The EAAB says that at present no courses or service providers, except for the EAAB themselves, have been accredited to provide these workshops or courses. Any non-accredited courses which are being presented without the necessary accreditation, means that they will not result in legitimate CPD points for the attendee and are being presented under false pretences, says Evans.

Agents are asked to please report any of these education providers and to keep copies of the advertisements they come across, so that there is physical proof. These should be sent to the EAAB’s legal department.

Construction industry in 2014
According to Richard Williams, chief executive officer of the Gordon Verhoef and Krause Group of Companies, 2013 has been a tough year for most contractors as we start to emerge from the worst of the recession.

“We believe that 2014 will be better than 2013, but that growth will be gradual and possibly erratic.”

Williams says they are slowly coming out of the recession but must understand that its effects will be with us for a couple more years, if not longer.

Already, he says we have already seen a number of business closures and he believes there will be more to come before we see the last of the recession’s effects on the industry.

Margins have been tight and although ‘suicide tendering’ has abated to a degree, it is still evident in the market, which is not good for clients or for contractors bidding at sustainable prices, he notes.

Gas compliance certificates
There are an increasing number of people using gas in their homes, whether for a stove or fireplace, however, while there has been much talk of all the compliance certificates (electricity, water, etc) needed for the sale of a home, they do not have up to date gas compliance certificates.

This is according to Lanice Steward, managing director of Knight Frank Anne Porter, who says when the sellers are asked if there is a gas certificate, there isn’t one.

A little known fact though, she says, is that if there were to be a fire in a home with a gas installation in it, if there is no up to date compliance certificate, the insurance company could possibly reject the claim.

She says the majority of insurance companies would require this certificate to prove that the installation was safe and had been serviced regularly.

According to an insurance consultant, gas certificates should be renewed every year, and all the safety aspects of keeping gas in a home need to be adhered to strictly.

Property inheritance and wills
All too often, a testator will draw up a will in which it is not clear what the position of a relative or a friend who has been allowed to live in a property (typically the main residence) will be once the benefactor dies.

Should he/she be paying rent? Is he or she responsible for the upkeep of the property? Is the arrangement temporary, semi-permanent or lifelong?

Grant Gunston, senior director of the Cape legal firm Gunstons explains that a lack of clarity in these matters can lead to claims from the other beneficiaries who, understandably, have come to feel that although they have inherited the property they are receiving little or no benefit from it because a privileged individual has been allowed to occupy it.

“In our experience when an estate is to be wound up and there are no longer senior family members to hold the family together, heirs all too easily end up at loggerheads with one another over this matter.”

Inside South Africa's shopping malls
Morningside Shopping Centre north of Johannesburg is set for trading success this festive season with food, jewellery, gifts and cosmetics retailers reportedly best positioned to enjoy the benefits of this festive shopping.

According to general manager Nelia Teixeira-Scott, fashion, health and beauty retailers at Morningside Shopping Centre have reported excellent trade.

“Restaurants in the malls, especially those catering to the higher LSM market, will see a definite boost in trade – restaurants at the mall are doing exceptionally well and many are pre-booked for festive parties and lunches.”

The mall’s shoppers are among some of South Africa’s affluent consumers – its upmarket patrons are also less susceptible to the prevailing economic pressures, positioning it for a healthy boost in festive season sales.

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