Property 24/10 - 339

Sellers, the 'voetstoots' clause won't protect you anymore
One of South Africa’s largest conveyancing firms has issued a strong warning to property sellers not to rely on the “blind protection” of the ‘voetstoets’ clause if they don’t have approved building plans.

According to Liesel Greyvenstein, one of the directors of Greyvensteins Attorneys, a member of the national Phatshoane Henney Group of Associated Firms, there is a growing legal shift away from the protective blanket of voetstoots for second-hand property sellers with illegal or unapproved structures.

“The courts now place the responsibility of ensuring that there are approved plans for the property directly on the seller,” says Greyvenstein.

Cape Town to host its first property buyer show in April
In April the Western Cape will play host to a first-of-a-kind exhibition, The Property Buyer Show, aimed at first-time residential buyers and property investors looking to expand their portfolio. This exhibition is designed to walk buyers through the property buying process, and includes the finance zone, property zone, and a packed programme of seminars in the first-time buyer theatre and the property investor theatre.

“The Western Cape’s housing market has outperformed the national average and shown double-digit growth, with demand driven by a large migration of homeowners from other provinces who are attracted to Cape Town’s unique lifestyle offering and economic stability,” says Richard Stubbs, Event Director at Spintelligent, Clarion Events.

“The visitor experience will include opportunities to discuss affordability and interact with the lenders, see new developments and agent listings, compare prices, understand rental returns and make decisions about their purchase.”

Property matters: The ins and outs of a usufruct
The definition of a usufruct is a legal right given by an owner to someone who is not the owner, to use the owner’s property for a certain period, usually for the remainder of that person’s life.

Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, Adrian Goslett, says a usufruct would come into play where a husband passes away leaving his home to his children, but stipulates that his wife has use of the property and contents in it for the rest of her life or until she remarries.

The person who holds the usufruct, also known as the usufructuary, has the right to make use of the property and enjoy its profits and benefits provided the property is not damaged or altered in any way. At the end of the stipulated period, the usufructuary must hand the property back over to the rightful owner or heirs.

RICS Africa summit in Sandton on 22-23 February
South Africa’s financial hub - Sandton Central in Johannesburg - will play host to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) influential annual Africa Summit from 22-23 February 2017. The event, now in its third year, has established itself as a leading forum on Africa’s built environment and real estate sectors.

The 2017 RICS Africa Summit has been expanded into a two-day event this year, with a workshop and a technical tour on the first day, together with a gala dinner. The second day forms a power-packed conference with high-level local and international speakers from the built environment arena.

London-based RICS is a global professional body that promotes and enforces the highest qualifications and standards in the areas of land, real estate, construction and infrastructure. As a public benefit organisation, it operates in all the world’s major financial hubs in delivering international standards and policy influence.

What happens to your rental deposit?
It is general practice in today’s rental market for landlords to request a deposit from their tenants before they move into a property.

This is according to Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, who says according to Section 5 of the Rental Housing Act, No. 50 of 1999, a landlord is legally entitled to request a deposit from their tenants.

Goslett says the amount the tenant will be required to pay as a deposit is stipulated in the lease agreement, which the tenant will need to agree to and sign before they gain access to the rental property.

“Conventionally the rental deposit amount was equal to one month’s rent, however, in more recent years landlords have started asking for two months’ rent as a deposit. The increase has come about due to defaulting tenants and the lengthy, expensive process involved evicting them,” says Goslett.

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