Property 24/10 - 515

SA needs a simpler electricity tariff structure, as cost hikes mount
Many South Africans have been working from home over the last three months. Together with the electricity tariff hikes in effect from 1 July, most residential users will be in for a shock when it comes to their electricity bill. Complex tariffs are not only frustrating, but are hindering attempts by the consumer to manage their electricity costs in a time when, for most people, every cent counts.

Bulk electricity prices are also set to increase by around 15% next year after a court victory for Eskom in its battle with National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa).

Eskom and Nersa were at ends in court over Nersa’s decision to deduct a R69 billion equity lifeline from Eskom’s allowable revenue, which has since been ruled illegal. This will see the first of three hikes will start in April next year, at 9.8%, in addition to a 5.22% tariff increase that Eskom had already set for 2021. However this could still be contested, but it's clear municipalities will be responsible for absorbing the bulk electricity price hike, and how they pass this on to residents remains to be seen.

What are a tenant's rights when a landlord decides to sell?
A tenant's lease agreement should legally be honoured when a house is sold, but a distressed sale complicates conditions somewhat - here's what you need to know.

Some landlords, under financial strain due to the Covid-19 Lockdown, are deciding to cash in on their investment by selling their rental properties. So what happens to the tenant when the landlord decides to sell the home?

Under South African law, a landlord is entitled to put their property up for sale at any time, but that doesn’t mean that tenant rights and obligations are automatically forfeited. Selling a rental with a tenant in residence isn’t always an ideal situation, but the laws and processes in place are designed to treat all parties as fairly as possible.

'Lease agreement stands, even when the property is sold'

I owned a home with a friend, how do we resolve outstanding municipal bills now that we're selling?
A Property24 reader wants to know what the best course of action to resolve outstanding municipal bills would be, in a joint home loan that has gone bad?

A property24 asks: My husband and his friend had a joint bond but because of not keeping up with payments they had to sell the property, however they still owe the bank money even after selling it due to outstanding municipal bills. Is there a way in which the bank can divide the outstanding amount among them officially and each pays his part of the owings? The house is under new ownership at the moment.

SA Home Loans replies:
When a property is sold the Municipality has the first right to collect any amounts due to it before the sale can proceed and the property transferred to the new owner.

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