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Leasehold could replace ownership
Property24.co.za - South Africa
Leasehold agreements regarding property are common in countries where land is limited, such as Europe and Asia, but are becoming more popular in South Africa, particularly where state or city-owned land is concerned. By Glenda Nevill

'I believe that the more demand and less supply of limited land could perhaps push South Africa into the concept of leasehold land,' says Bev I'ons-Raeburn, a director of strb Smith Tabata Buchanan Boyes.

Leasehold title allows a buyer to purchase a property for a fixed period of ownership. In the United Kingdom, where such agreements are more common, this period can range from 50 to 999 years.

Basically, a leasehold title allows the beneficiary rights over the property for a certain amount of time, without that person becoming the owner.

Legal Services: No surprises
Legalweek.com - UK
The Legal Services Bill contains few departures from the earlier White Paper. But it is no less far-reaching for its lack of the unexpected.

If a classic is a book everyone wishes they had read but no-one has actually read, then the draft Legal Services Bill may well be a classic of its kind. Running to some 250 pages, including notes, the draft Bill certainly looks (and weighs) the part.

Speed-reading of this classic may be required. The draft Bill was published on 24 May 2006, and the closing date for written submissions expired on 15 June, with the Parliamentary Joint Select Committee to produce its report by 25 July.

So does it contain any surprises? And how popular will it be?
Legal Week

First step taken to kick out illegal occupants
The Herald - South Africa
The Nelson Mandela Bay municipality has started taking legal action to evict hundreds of illegal occupants of RDP houses in the city.

Municipal spokesman Kupido Baron said six civil matters before the High Court yesterday were only the start of the municipality's strategy to deal with the illegal occupation and corrupt activities of people "close" to housing developments to enrich themselves.

The High Court agreed to serve notices of eviction on six families occupying low-cost houses in Kabah Langa, Greenfields, in Uitenhage.

Baron said the cases were "a testimony of our action to ensure that the rightful owners get their houses and do not end up destitute because of criminal elements."
The EP Herald

House hunting moving from Sunday to Monday
RodneyHayter.com - South Africa
The Internet is changing the way house hunting takes place, with many would-be homeowners starting their search on the internet during the week, before getting in their cars on a Sunday afternoon, and some even put in offers electronically without once going on site.

These findings have emerged from a review of internet traffic to South Africa's property portal PropertyGenie.co.za, which is supported by the country's leading estate agents and launched officially to consumers this month.

Rajhev Rajkumar, the general manager of PropertyGenie, said today that the search functionality of the Internet enabled local consumers to virtually "drive" dozens of suburbs before targeting one or two select properties to view, and for overseas buyers it enabled them to make informed buying decisions without having to get to the property in person.

Some agents 'buy' sole mandates
Business Day - South Africa
Residential property market is being badly distorted in many areas by agents who are "buying" mandates, says David Rogers, MD of SA real estate group Homenet.

Rogers says the worst offenders are "well-seasoned agents" working for some of the biggest names in the real estate industry.

He says "buying" a mandate is the practice of deliberately inflating an estimated selling price in order to entice a home seller to award a sole mandate to an estate agency group.

"This is happening all over and especially in areas where there is tough competition … for the same mandates. However, we find that the worst offenders are generally not the newcomers to the industry, but the very experienced agents often in the employ of well-known and respected real estate companies."
Business Day

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