Property 24/10 - 213

Biometrics in allocation of RDP houses
Gauteng Department of Human Settlements will soon introduce biometric technology in the allocation of RDP houses to eliminate corruption and manipulation of waiting lists.

The new advanced technology, which will modernise the delivery of houses in the province, is already in use by other departments such as Home Affairs. The system will also rid endless days of waiting for an RDP house because of impediments such as corruption and manipulation of waiting lists.

“Through this modernisation of housing delivery, we will urgently deliver completed housing projects that are not the subject of dispute based on corruption and manipulated waiting lists,” Human Settlements MEC Jacob Mamabolo said at a post State of the Province Address, last Thursday.

Zero deposit leases gaining favour
There is a mounting awareness amongst those looking to rent of the option nowadays to enter into a zero deposit lease. As a result, rental management agents are reporting not just an upsurge in the numbers responding to advertisements for zero deposit properties, but that prospective tenants are increasingly making direct enquiries about their options to secure a zero deposit lease.

With some agents reporting receiving at least 50 percent more respondents for zero deposit leases versus traditional leases, it stands to reason that agents and landlords have an ever-expanding potential to secure the top tenants this way.

This is according to Martin Goodman, Director of Rentshield, who says they are moving into more innovative times in the residential letting space. Agents are increasingly seeing that the perception that a tenant with a zero deposit lease is more likely to default, is nothing but a myth.

Buying international property
Buying an international property is an excellent way for investors to diversify their current property or investment portfolios, provided the necessary considerations are taken into account.

This is according to James Bowling, CEO of Monarch&Co, a market leader in facilitating citizenship and foreign property investment, who says many investors in today’s market are looking for ways to either diversify their specific property market exposure by disinvesting from their current country of residence and investing in different prime property destinations, or to diversify into property from equities and other similar asset classes to create a more balanced portfolio.

Another driving factor for many investors who want to buy property overseas is the numerous benefits they may acquire from buying real estate through a residence or citizenship program, particularly in countries within the European Union (EU), he says.

Herold Gie ‘Winter Speaker Series’
One of Cape Town’s law firms, Herold Gie Attorneys, has recently announced the launch of its ‘Winter Speaker Series’, an informative series of speaker events serving to address legal topics of interest for small to medium enterprises.

Each event will examine a particular area of law and be presented by one of the firm’s top practitioners. The first of three sessions will be presented by Pension Law expert Karin MacKenzie, at Herold Gie’s Head Offices at Wembley Square on Thursday 10 July at 5:30pm.

Previously a senior staffer at the Pension Funds Adjudicator, Karin has headed up the Pension Law department at Herold Gie since 2009. She has published and presented extensively on this complex and far-reaching area of law over the past fourteen years. She has gained a reputation as a pension lawyer amongst both clients and peers. The seminar will deal with employer participation in pension funds.

Check paperwork when buying ST unit
When buying a sectional title unit with a garage one would assume that when it came to selling that unit, all the paperwork would be in order and transfer would go through without a hitch.

However, in a case dealt with recently by Meg Dugmore, who specialises in sectional title sales at Knight Frank Residential South Africa, it was found that the garage had not been transferred to the current owner from the previous one.

The failure to transfer the garage in this case was actually a conveyancing error. The section number of the garage was correctly recorded on the original sale agreement, but somehow it managed to fall through a legal crack and was overlooked.

Usually, each part of a sectional title scheme is given a section number and these numbers will then be marked on a section plan of the development. The apartments and garages are given separate section numbers as these are usually sold separately to the buyers and sometimes kept by the body corporate (to be used as exclusive use areas) or by the developer (who might rent them out).

Special levy shock - can't afford it!
A Property24 reader asks:

I have a query regarding Special levies and specifically what my rights are and what notice period should be given to homeowners to pay a special levy.

My wife and I own a sectional title property and in June 2014 we were told that there is maintenance, waterproofing and painting to be done in our complex. They calculated a total amount and assigned the cost to the homeowners based on property size. This amount ranges between R20 000 and R30 000 per unit. They want us to pay this up front by 1 August 2014 or in instalments of +-R2600 a month for 12 months.

This was not previously discussed; our last AGM was in June last year and the next one is apparently later this month in July (still to be confirmed). I checked the minutes of our last meeting to make sure and this was not mentioned.

Financing tips for buying property
Advising first-time buyers about home financing is a serious business.

This is according to BetterBond Home Loans SA’s CEO, Shaun Rademeyer, who says they realise that the information which many first-time buyers need goes well beyond what their home loan options might offer.

He says they often don’t know, for example, if they have budgeted properly for a home purchase and if they’ll be able to afford their home loan repayments every month.

Others may need to know, he says, how much cash they’ll require to cover the ‘hidden’ costs of a home purchase such as transfer duty and bond registration costs, and yet others may not have allowed for the ongoing costs of homeownership such as municipal property rates, estate levies and maintenance. He says home loan consultants are trained to provide all this information and more, helping to smooth the way to a successful home purchase.

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