Property 24/10 - 93

Do’s and don’ts of evicting a tenant
As a landlord, one of the worst situations to find oneself in is dealing with a problematic tenant who does not comply with the terms in the signed lease agreement. 

There are many reasons for wanting to get rid of tenants, such as causing major damage to the property, staying on the property after the lease has expired and continuously breaking rules of the contract. But the most common reason for wanting to evict a tenant is due to late or no payment of rent money.  

There are a number of laws within South Africa that govern rental agreements, including the Rental Housing Act (Act 50 of 1999), Law of Contract, common law, Consumer Protection Act (CPA) and the Constitution. 

However, evicting such tenants is not a simple process. There are certain do’s and don’ts dictated by  law that all landlords should be aware of in following the correct procedure and having their tenants removed from the property for good. 

Instant décor update

Are you tired of your home décor? Is your living space boring and uninspiring? There are many home improvement and DIY products that allow you to instantly update your décor, ,,,,e,,, whether your budget is small or large...

On a limited budget
Spruce up a plain room with a variety of fabrics in pillows, cushions, and draperies. Make sure the fabrics share at least one common colour to hold the look together. Your local home décor store will offer a wide range of affordable soft furnishing and décor accessories, which means that you can afford to give any room a new look without spending a fortune.

One person's trash
Just because a piece of furniture is old and worn doesn't mean it's past its prime. If it's still sound and has nice lines, use paint to transform it into an accent piece you'll be proud to use and display. Give wooden furniture pieces a sanding down to remove any old varnish and restore the beauty of wood with a few new coats or use oil instead.

Distressed property remains a reality
Economic conditions around the globe have remained depressed, and as such, consumers the world over are still battling to control their levels of debt and adjust to the financial demands of the increased cost of living. 

Peter Gilmour, Chairman of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, who heads up the group’s Distressed Property Division, says that in light of economic conditions, distressed properties will remain a reality during 2012. 

He says that during 2011, a fair amount of the distressed property supply was mopped up. The RE/MAX Distressed Property Division handled over 750 distressed property sales around the country through various financial institutions last year. These properties were valued between R500 000 and R4 million. 

What to ask when buying sect. title?
Those contemplating a purchase in a sectional title scheme often do not take sufficient trouble to investigate just how efficiently - or inefficiently - the scheme’s management is operating. However the quality of the scheme is almost invariably linked very closely to the quality of its management.

Typical members of the public when buying into a sectional title scheme are inclined to be rather too trusting on these matters. That is, however, not the case with the banks.  Before they award a bond to a buyer in a sectional title scheme they will ask three main sets of questions - and it is exactly these same questions which buyers themselves should be investigating before taking a decision to purchase a property.

If banks are not satisfied that certain requirements are being met they will be reluctant to grant bonds on properties in certain schemes, and this will then directly influence an owner’s chances of selling their property in the future.

Re-evaluate insurance and save money
It is wise for homeowners to re-evaluate their home insurance annually due to the fact that the property’s value and contents may have changed over the past year.  

Although home insurance is a vital element to homeownership, it doesn’t have to break the bank and there are ways that homeowners can get lower insurance quotes, says Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa

Like with most financial decisions, he says it is important for homeowners to shop around and get quotes from various insurance providers. This will enable them to compare all the options available, as well as what the products cover and provide. 

“It will be a way for homeowners to compare apples with apples and make an informed decision,” he says. 

Just this step alone could have homeowners saving money, while getting the best insurance policy that caters to their specific needs,” says Goslett. 

How to be a successful landlord
Owning rental property has long been regarded as one of the best ways to safeguard a long-term investment and achieve a decent return, but current conditions in the property market mean that landlords now really have to “work smarter” to come out ahead.

It is not that there is any lack of demand for rental property, says Jan Davel, MD of the RealNet estate agency group. “In fact, according to recent research published by Mike Schussler of, one in every five households in SA is currently renting a home – of which properties about 660 000 are in the formal sector and 1,6m not formally recorded.”

In addition, rental returns do seem to at least be keeping pace with inflation, he says. “According to the newly-launched PayProp Rental Index, the average home rental in SA is currently 6,6% higher than a year ago, whereas the rate of inflation is only expected to top 6% in the first part of this year before dropping back again into the Reserve Bank’s preferred 3% to 6% range.”

Sect. title and HOA meetings: Quorums
The concept of the quorum for a meeting might not be clearly understood by everyone. A quorum can be defined as the requirement for members to be present at a meeting in order for that meeting to begin and make valid decisions. The quorum requirement may be a minimum number of members in person or may be the presence of members holding certain positions or qualifications, or all of these. 

There are interesting similarities and differences in the quorum requirements for member meetings in sectional title schemes and home owners’ associations (HOAs). 

The standard management rules for sectional title schemes make the quorum number for general meetings dependent on the size of the scheme; the larger the scheme, the smaller the proportion of members required to form the quorum. Thus, in a small scheme of only 10 units, owners holding a minimum of half the votes have to be present before a general meeting can proceed to business. But in a larger scheme of 50 or more, owners holding only 20% of the vote need be there. 


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