What to Consider When Purchasing a Sectional Title Property
Two of the most common forms of property ownership are Freehold and Sectional Title. It’s important for a purchaser to understand the difference between the two, and what to consider when purchasing a sectional title property.
Freehold is where you purchase a piece of land and the improvements thereon. You have title to the property, and you are 100% responsible for it. In some instances, a freehold property may be part of a Homeowners Association, where there are additional obligations such as architectural guidelines, and levies to cover security (in the case of a gated estate), maintenance of private open spaces, and so on.
When purchasing a sectional title property, you are not purchasing the land. You are purchasing a section of the buildings on a piece of land, and an undivided share in the common property (which includes the land and any common buildings). You own the section, and in some instances, you may also have certain rights, like exclusive use areas. As a member of the sectional title scheme and a co-owner in the sectional title scheme you take on certain responsibilities, and have certain benefits.
An owner in a sectional title scheme will pay monthly levies that usually cover external maintenance of the units, security, upkeep of the common areas, insurance, and a contribution towards a fund used to cover future costs. Your levy is calculated according to your participation quota – based on your unit size as a percentage of the total scheme, and your exclusive use areas.
You still pay your rates and taxes, and in many cases your electricity and water if separately metered. Your building insurance and maintenance issues are all taken care for you. When considering a purchase in a sectional title complex you need to be aware of the rules and regulations, as well as the financial position of the scheme. Are pets allowed? How many? What are the rules and how will they impact you? Where may you park?
It’s important to see the latest financial statements of the scheme as well. How well is the body corporate managed? Are there surplus funds to cover maintenance concerns? If not, it may be that a special levy must be raised to which you will have to contribute. Ask to see the minutes of the last AGM. Are there any plans for a special levy, and if so, how will this impact you? Should you speak to the managing agent?
A seller is meant to declare to a purchaser if a special levy will be raised and what this is, but they don’t always.
Just be sure what you’re buying in to.
Choosing the correct rental agency is just as important as choosing the correct location, property type and rental rate for your investment property. However the importance of an excellent rental agency seems to be often forgotten and many landlords find themselves frustrated and regretting their discussions entirely. This need not to be the case, you simply have to do your homework in ensuring you choose the best rental agency that you can find and afford.
Here’s a surprisingly simple way to increase the value of your rental property: get to know the neighbourhood!
The more involved you are, the easier it is to find areas of the community that you can help improve. Understanding and supporting the neighbourhood you serve will also encourage others to show pride in where they live.
Organise a neighbourhood clean-up: If you have problem spots like a place where people dump tires and trash, rally a group and tackle that first. If your neighbourhood is clean, make it even better by planting flowers or a community garden. Be sure to provide water and refreshments, and encourage people to mingle!
Attend events: Try everything from Neighborhood Association meetings to block parties to book clubs to supper clubs. If you can’t find any events that already exist, start your own club or regular gathering, and post flyers or invite neighbours personally. The goal is to attend a variety of events so you can meet a cross-section of neighbours.
Socialise online: Many neighbourhoods use Facebook, Twitter to share information about concerns, community news and events. For the extrovert, posting on these sites is a great way to create a presence in the online community. For the more introverted, reading and commenting on others’ posts might be an easy way to stay involved in a subtle way.
Go to church: You may already be a member
Volunteer your time: Many neighbourhoods have community centres, children’s centre and local non-profit organisations where you can get involved. Test out a few before you commit. Once you find one you like, you can keep it casual and help at events, or dig in and, perhaps, join the board of directors.
Talk to the local kids: Here’s an idea for getting to know your rental community: hang out with the kids! Young people often know a lot about their neighbourhood. Kids often have wonderful insight into their favourite neighbours — and what they love about where they live.
Don’t get overwhelmed by the idea of being part of a larger community than where you personally live. Expand your social sphere to include the neighbourhood of renters you are serving. To help manage your time and involvement, commit one day or one week per month for community activities. Mark, it on your calendar and stick to it!
The landlord is entitled to pass on the increase in his levies or rates and taxes as monthly charges, only if the lease specifically makes provision for this.
Early cancellation of a lease agreement
Usually a lease agreement is for a fixed period, for example 12 months. However the landlord does have the right to cancel the lease prior to the end of the fixed period.
The tenant has the right to cancel a lease early by giving the landlord 21 business days’ notice. The tenant must also remember he will be liable for a reasonable cancellation penalty.
The tenant remains responsible for the full payment of rent and utilities on the date they fall due. The tenant may not request the landlord use the deposit for rent during the cancellation period.
It is the landlord’s responsibility to place and maintain the property fit for the purpose for which it was let. The tenant is responsible for maintaining the property in the good condition it was given to him – fair wear and tear accepted.
Should the tenant have a dispute with his landlord there are remedies available to the tenant. It is advisable to have a written lease but the tenant still has rights if the lease is verbal
Lodge a claim at the Rental Housing Tribunal
Keep the payment of his rent up to date.
Tenant’s credit profile
Credit Bureaus collect and maintain information regarding how a person pays all their credit accounts, for example their loan accounts, store cards, cell phones and rent.
- A tenant has the right to accurate information being held on their credit profiles with the credit bureaus
- The tenant has the right to request 1 free credit report on themselves per year
- The tenant has the right to dispute any inaccurate information which a credit bureau may hold on their credit profile
The tenant has a responsibility to make full and timeous payment to the landlord to ensure and build a positive credit profile. This will assist him when it becomes time to move rental properties, or open new credit accounts.
For more info, check out Frequently Asked Questions for tenants
Useful Contact Numbers
Housing Rental Tribunal 011 630 5035
TPN Credit Bureau 0861 876 000
It’s that time again and knowing how tired you’ll be after doesn’t make the job more appealing even though you are super excited about your new make it all more bearable, see below for some handy tips and tricks!
1) Pack an overnight bag containing all the essentials. Chances are, you’ll be too tired to unpack your things. You’ll want your essentials within easy access, including a change of clothes if you’re going back to work the next day as well as all your toiletries. It’s also a great way to transport a laptop, which could run the risk of getting stolen during a move.
2) Clear Plastic Bins – they will save you from MUCH frustration. Pack the things you will need first/the most in them as the clear bin allows you to see inside; it also separates itself from the myriad of cardboard boxes.
3) Wrap your breakables (dishes, glasses, etc.) in clothing to save on bubble wrap. For extra padding, pack your glasses and stemware in clean socks. Pack plates vertically, like records. They’ll be less likely to break.
4) When you label what’s in your boxes, add what room they’ll be going into.You can even colour code the labels so each room has a different colour so it’s easier to spot what goes where. Remember to mark your boxes on the side as well and not just on top so when you stack them you don’t struggle to find what you are looking for.
5) Sandwich bags is a must! It’s perfect for keeping together and track of small parts, especially when you have to take stuff apart.
6) Take a photo of how your electronics are connected so you can remember how and where all the wires go.
7) Cut down on boxes by making all of your baskets, laundry bins, hampers, and suitcases work for you.
And Rule #8 It’s okay to swear at heavy furniture ;-)
Dodgy tenants will find creative excuses for not paying rent. Here are some warning signs that you might have a one on your hands, and what you can do about it.
When it comes to not paying rent, most rental agents have heard every excuse in the book. My bank burnt down (true story), I supply the government and they haven't paid me, my car broke down and I need to pay for repairs, I don't agree with the lights and water account, I’m sure I've already paid, and our personal favourite, I'm on holiday in Mauritius but will pay as soon as I return, have all been trotted out by tardy payers at some stage or another.
There are of course some solid reasons why a tenant doesn't pay rent on time. Those who understand the importance of paying on time will often make a point of calling the agent (or landlord) before month-end to explain their situation, as well as making the necessary arrangements to rectify their account. The chancers, on the other hand, will avoid all efforts to get hold of them and will come up with a new excuse every time the rent becomes due. Generally speaking - and unless the lease agreement states otherwise - rent is due on the 1st of every month.
“The problem is that landlords want to be paid on time and don’t want to hear excuses, particularly if they are paying an agent for a service that needs to be fulfilled.” Which continues to cause problems is the mistaken belief to which many tenants stubbornly cling: that they have until the 7th of the month to pay up. Generally speaking - and unless the lease agreement states otherwise - rent is due on the 1st of every month.”
Some tenants are always going to be problematic and are best avoided. So how do you do this?
There are clear warning signs that a landlord may be in for a choppy ride and these include:
• Complaints from the neighbours about noise or overcrowding.
• The tenant suddenly starts paying the rent after the 1st of the month.
• Half of the rent is paid at the end of the month, and the balance a week later.
• The tenant withholds the rent because of the water and lights account.
• A list of new defects or repairs is used to delay paying the rent.
• The tenant doesn’t answer calls or emails.
• The tenant makes excuses not to allow the agent to do a quarterly inspection.
Any estate agent or landlord to conduct these necessary checks to ensure that a ‘good’ tenant is placed in the home.
• Screen potential tenants thoroughly.
• Ask applicants for bank statements to determine how they conduct their finances.
• Ask for a reference and payment profile from their previous landlord.
• Take out rental insurance.
• Let the tenants know how much you appreciate the rent being paid on time.
• Carry out repairs promptly when asked to do so by the tenants.
Some tenants are going to take chances regardless of what the landlord or estate agent does. However, it is important to show a tenant that you mean business and remain firm. While compassion and understanding are important in any relationship, this doesn't mean that a landlord (or letting agent) should simply roll over and play dead, accepting every excuse and allowing the tenant to call the shots as to when he will pay the rent. Having a roof over your head is important and as such, every tenant should pay the rent first and worry about other bills later.
Creating a solid business relationship is vital and those who approach the letting process in a professional manner will generally have more success.
There are steps that should be followed and these include:
• Send the invoices for rent before the 25th of the month
• Send a WhatsApp, SMS or an email notifying the tenant that the invoice has been sent
• Clearly, state on the invoice that the rent must reflect in the agent’s or landlord’s account on or
before the 1st of the month.
It doesn't end there. A landlord or agent, acting on the behalf of the landlord, must:
• Keep the rental deposit in an interest-bearing trust account.
• Provide receipts for payments received.
• Provide a quarterly statement on the interest earned on the deposit.
• Ensure that the premises are safe, habitable and accessible for the tenant.
Bad tenants on the rise
It is scary but true, more and more tenants in South Africa are not paying all their rental fees.
With the gradual increase in interest rates, it has boosted the rental market. Many people simply can’t afford to pay the higher instalments or the higher deposits often demanded by the banks and are forced to rent rather than buy. this may sound like good news to investment property owners, but the risks that come from renting can be a cause for concern, and if you go by the TPN's latest residential rental monitor report, then things look really bleak on the tenant front.
According to TPN
Since 4th quarter last year, Good tenants dropped by 2.8% from 84.97% in the first quarter of this year.
It may seem low, it is still worrisome, since this in the 3rd largest deterioration to date, and these figures do not include late paying tenants, of the 82.17% good tenants only 62.27% of tenants pay on time, 4.73% pay within the grace period, while 10.17% pay late.
Partial Payment tenants are rising extremely fast to 11.79%, this shows that tenants are trying to make payments, but affordability is becoming more and more difficult.
Currently, 81% of tenants rent properties of R 7 000.00 or less a month.
Even though the TPN stats show an upward trend of tenants who rent R 3 00.00 or less, to renting R 7 00.00 per month the last 2 years, sadly this trend has reversed in the first quart of 2016.
Close to 10% of tenants who rent for R 3 000.00 or less, did not pay their rent.
This figure just gets higher and higher every quarter.
51.54% the Tenants who rent for R 25 000.00 or more paid their rent on time,
15.29% paid part of their rent, 9.02% did not even pay.
The Landlords with the biggest woes were the ones that rent their properties from R 12 000.00 to R 25 000.00, this group saw a 1.81% decrease in good standing tenants.
Provinces, with their good standing tenants percentage:
Western Cape 87.94% (the highest)
Free State 82.82%
North West 81.43% (the lowest)
The best way to minimise bad tenants is research and lots of it. credit records, references. This is why using a great reputable rental agency is so much better than doing it on your own, the rental agency will do all the checks to make sure you get the best tenant, they will make sure rent is paid on time, and they will do property checks regularly to protect both landlord and tenant.
- Cornell Smit
- Do you want to stay in the same place for a number of years. (if you have a job which requires you to move a lot, this would definitely affect you in the negative)
- Purchasing requires lots of unforeseen expenses…are you ready for this? (Garden services, maintenance etc.)
- Keep in mind that if you sell to soon, the property will have not much (or even none) growth potential.
- Are you financially ready to afford a home?
- Home loans are very difficult to obtain…any negative credits on your credit score will most probably result in you not been able to get a home loan.
- You’ll have to save up for a good deposit on the home…this will count in favour of you getting a home loan as well.
- Keep in mind all the legal fees that you would need have pay. (Bond registration, transfer duty etc.)
- If you wish to renovate…this too can be most costly.
- Your monthly instalment on your home loan will most likely stay the same for a number of years, or even decrease, where your rental payment goes up annually.
- You won’t be forced to move, like in some cases when you rent and the owner sales.
- You can renovate and remodel to suit your needs.
- You can loan most of the money needed to purchase a home and keep the profit on the whole purchase price when you decide to sell.
- Everybody wants to ultimately be a home owner and not pay someone else’s bond for him….
WHY IT REMAINS BEST TO LET YOUR PROPERTY THROUGH AN AGENCY AND WHY TO CHOOSE RENT RITE AS YOUR RENTAL COMPANY:
1. WE will advise you on a market-related rental for your property.
2. WE will show and advertise your property on our own cost.
3. WE scrutinise all prospective applications.
4. WE do proper credit checks and follow up on all applicants references.
5. WE compile the rental contract with all the necessary “legal lingua”
6. WE do in- and outgoing AS WELL as every
7. WE collect the tenant's deposit and keep it in an interest bearing account.
8. WE collect the monthly rental and follow up on late payments.
9. WE can pay your property related accounts on your behalf.
10. WE arrange quotes and approvals for all maintenance jobs.
11. WE handle and sort out all complaints on your behalf.
If you choose to let your property yourself, you will be sitting with all these above-mentioned tasks at hand…
Life is already stressful as it is…. Let US make YOUR letting experience as smooth sailing as it SHOULD be…………;-)
Purchasing a property is a very exciting time in your life, but can also be a very frustrating if you don’t go into the process with a full understanding of what will be required of you, and how it will impact you financially.
To avoid the frustration of purchasing a property and losing out because your finance is declined, the very first thing you need to do is get yourself pre-qualified by a mortgage broker. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you’ll go to your bank, or that your banker has already indicated you’ll be fine for your bond. Your banker at the branch has absolutely no involvement in your bond application process, and no influence either. So find out from a neutral party what bond you will qualify for.
Also, ask your loans consultant what loan-to-value you should qualify for. This will depend largely on your bank – but you will receive an indication of what deposit you will need. It’s important to note that the majority of 100% bond applications are rejected. That means you will almost certainly need a deposit – so budget at between 10-20% of your purchase price. The deposit needs to be available, and not tied up in medium to long term investments that you can’t access. Upon signing an offer to purchase, you will usually need to pay a minimum deposit, that is often set at 10% of the purchase price – so have this available. It’s invested in a trust account and you get the interest on it until transfer. It’s also important to know what transfer and bond cost you will need to pay.
On a property of R2.5 million, with a 90% bond, your transfer and bond cost are just over R178000. So you’d need this in addition to your deposit.
There is also another cost to factor in, you will need home insurance, the bank doing your bond will offer you this, but often pays to shop around for the best rates and terms. Don’t forget to find out what the excess is on the policy….
If you are part of a Home Owners Association or Body Corporate don’t forget you will have monthly levies to pay, so find out what they are and set up the debit order. Additionally, there are monthly rates and taxes to the local municipality, there is usually a delay of a few months after transfer until these accounts start coming through – so budget for this to avoid the unpleasant surprise of a four months’ rates bill later. The same applies to your water and electricity accounts.
Budget properly for your real estate investment and you’ll be sure to avoid unnecessary financial stress...
Compiled by: Cornell Smit
A COUNTRY THAT WORKS TOGETHER…STAYS TOGETHER.
THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO SAVE WATER – As a team, WE can beat the stream… of water wastage!
Due to poor winter rainfall, residents need to take special care to save water however possible they can. Here are a couple of tips for at home, in the garden and in the commercial sector.
Water saving measures at home:
- Shower rather than bathing. Switch tap off when lathering with soap…only switch on again when you rinse it off.
- Make sure that your dishwasher and washing machine is full before you start up a load.
- Flushing of toilet – place a 2L plastic bottle full of water in the water cistern of your toilet. – It could save you 7 300L of water per year!
- When washing dishes by hand, do not leave the water running when rinsing. Fill the twin tubs with soapy and clean water. One to wash, and the other to rinse.
- Install a system to pump your grey water to the garden.
In the garden:
- Plant FATPLANTS>>> they require little no water.
- Put a covering layer around trees and plants. Will soak up water.
- You are only allowed to water your garden once a day on the designated days for your area.
- Water at sunrise and sunset…the best time to do so is sunset as plants have more time to soak up the water.
- Make sure your taps aren’t dripping – this amounts to terrible water loss!
In the industrial & commercial sector:
- Ensure that people are aware of how to report major water losses from leaking or damaged pipes and hoses.
- Encourage the staff to report and look out for dripping taps and leaking toilets.
- Appoint a person to track water usage.
- Close taps lightly and get washers replaced when leaks are discovered.
By Lulu Le Roux
- Pay your bills on time.
Seems fairly obvious, I know, but many tenants believe they can pay every other bill before they pay the rent. Want to stay on our good side? Please pay your rent on time.
- Always try to be polite.
I will, too. Being polite and calm really does go a long way. You would not like it if I left you snarky or angry screaming messages on your voicemail. I know sometimes issues can seem to linger on and on, but we really are doing our best to get things resolved.
- Listen to our instructions.
We tell you things for a reason. If we show you how to trip a breaker or turn a gas valve off, listen. It may just save your butt. If we tell you there will be a hard freeze tonight and to please let your faucet drip, don’t call us the next day and complain that your pipes have frozen and you need to do laundry. I can’t control the weather, so you will just have to wait until it warms up.
- Help us.
We try to take care of our properties, but we can’t be everywhere all the time. Is there something we need to know about? Tell us. Is something broken? Let us know. Help us by being our eyes and ears.
- Tell the truth.
Did you or your kid flush something down the toilet and stop it up? Then tell us the truth so we can get the problem resolved as quickly as possible. After a dozen years in this business, we can almost always determine the culprit anyway.
- Please just leave me a message.
If we do not answer your call, do not hang up and call over and over again. There are times we simply cannot take your call. How do you think we are going to feel when we finally answer you after you have called five times in a row? It had better be a matter of life or death.
- Understand that we have a lot going on.
Sometimes other tenant’s issues may take priority. We know about your issue, and we will get to it just as soon as we can. We might, for example, need to make sure everyone has heat before taking care of your dripping bathroom sink.
- If you get in a bind, talk to us.
Communication is key! Tell us what is going on. Did you lose your job? Has your roommate gone off the deep end? We have been there before, and we know what it is like. But if you do not talk to us, there is no way we can help you. Please do not put your head in the sand and hope whatever problem you are having will go away. It will not, and things will only get worse.
- Treat my property and the people who do work for me with respect.
You would not believe how many people are just plain rude to the people we send over to try and fix their problems. Plus, how do you think we are going to react if we see that your place is a mess or that you are causing damage? Disrespecting our properties or our help is a sure way to create an adversarial relationship.
- Work with me.
We know you have a busy schedule. So do we, and trust us, we want your issue resolved as quickly as possible too because we have a dozen or so more to deal with. It all goes much easier if you work with us on times and arrangements. You might have to put up your dog for a day or allow us into your apartment on your day off. We hate to disturb you, but we will be done and out of your hair just as soon as we can.
- Trust me.
We are not going to steal your stuff or try and stiff you. Yes, we know some landlords might, but not us. If we say we need to get into your home, it is for a legitimate reason.
- Follow the rules.
They are there for a reason. They were explained to you when you moved in, and you agreed to follow them. It just makes life harder for all of us if you choose to ignore them. If you could not live with the rules, then you should not have moved in.
- Respect your neighbours.
Would you appreciate a loud party the night before you need to make a major presentation at work or before your final exams? No, you would not. Remember that you live in an apartment building, and you have neighbours — sometimes very close neighbours. Think about how your actions might affect them. I’m not saying do not have any fun; just try to be considerate.
- Hide your weed.
Just please do this. It is technically against your lease, and you really never know when there will be an emergency and who will need to access your place.
A lot of the above is just common courtesy and common sense. But for those few — and you know who you are — lease review and follow the above and let’s make your stay with us as pleasant as possible.
How to choose the right tenant for your rental property ….
Selecting the right tenant is the most crucial step when deciding to rent out your property. Consider these helpful tips on how to choose the right tenant.
When it comes to finding the right tenant to place in your investment property, there are a few key principles to take into account to ensure a mutually beneficial arrangement for both you and your tenant.
South African legislation can make your search for the right tenant a rather complex process. However, there are several methods that landlords can use to ensure they choose the right tenant and are protected from the risk of delinquent tenants.
Stipulating the terms and conditions:
The initial step that landlords should take before they advertise the rental property is determining the conditions of the rental agreement.
Landlords should be specific about what they want with regards to the conditions within the agreement, dealing with issues such as pets and whether or not the tenant is a smoker. It is essential for the landlords to stipulate in their advertisement that each tenant will be vetted before any rental agreement is entered into. Stipulating the terms and conditions of your rental property upfront, will help to narrow down the number of inquiries on the property to only those who meet your criteria.
Asking potential tenants to fill out a detailed application form can also help in narrowing down your selection. The application form should comprise tenant’s personal information like employment details, as well as any contactable references they may have. The application form should also request supporting documents like a copy of their identity document and a salary slip to verify their employment and affordability.
The vetting process:
Once you have received the application forms with the attached supporting documents, it is advisable to proceed with a credit check, a criminal record check and to contact any of the references provided by the tenant for verification.
Drawing up the agreement:
Once the vetting process has been complete and a suitable tenant has been selected, it is imperative that a comprehensive and legally-sound lease agreement is drawn up, which stipulates all necessary conditions in detail.
It is important for the lease agreement to be as detailed as possible in order to avoid any confusion or uncertainty regarding the required obligations for each party.
It’s essential for the terms and conditions on the agreement to be agreed upon and signed by both parties. The agreement should also include a pre-occupation inspection report that should be completed in the tenant’s presence. Details regarding aspects such as the deposit, rental amount, maintenance and upkeep should also be included in the agreement. Time frames should be allocated to the required clauses as well as penalties, should any condition be breached.
What is the landlord’s responsibility?
Even though a lease agreement has been signed, the property still remains the landlord’s responsibility. If a utility bill is not paid during the period of tenancy, the landlord will ultimately be required to settle the outstanding balance. It is essential for landlords to be aware of what is happening with their rental property and ensure that all payments are up-to-date. He adds that certain measures can be taken to minimise the risk posed by a defaulting tenant, such as prepaid electricity and water meters, for example. If this is not an option, a deposit for these accounts can be agreed upon beforehand.
The importance of home inspections:
Although landlords should always remain respectful of their tenant’s right to privacy, it is advisable that home inspections are conducted on a regular basis. The home inspection must be conducted at the tenant’s convenience and any issues that are a breach to the agreement should be dealt with as soon as possible. If problems are left, they will cost a lot more to rectify further down the line. For example, if a late or non-payment is not addressed immediately, within a short space of time the tenant could be a few months behind and incurring further utility costs. Aside from the escalating costs, legal action may need to be taken in order to get the tenant removed from the property, which will also be a costly and time-consuming exercise.
Professional rental management agents:
If you are willing to part ways with a percentage of your rental income, then hiring a professional rental agent is a good option for landlords who don’t have the time to manage their rental portfolio. Appointing a reputable rental management agent with the necessary expertise and resources can help ensure that your rental property is managed in the correct manner.
A professional management agent will assist the landlord with tenant selection, reference and credit checks along with the day-to-day management of the property. They will also be up-to-date with the latest legal and regulatory developments to protect landlords and tenants. Rental agents will have procedures and systems in place to professionally avoid any potential problems and deal with any disputes that may arise. If necessary, they will also have access to the legal resources and experience to deal with any situation efficiently. Many unnecessary and unpleasant situations can be avoided if the correct steps are taken when placing your home on the rental market. Taking the right measures from day one can be the difference between a landlord in trouble and one whose buy-to-let portfolio is producing a regular income and growing in capital value.
Property Rental companies take care of a wide range of details that many landlords would rather not have to deal with on their own. For example, the property agent takes care of advertising vacancies, screening potential tenants, writing up leases, collecting the rent, dealing with tenants' complaints and handling repairs. When the property agent is responsible for the day-to-day running of the landlord's property, only involving the landlord if there is a major repair or a legal issue, the landlord is free to concentrate on other, possibly more lucrative, areas (such as buying more buildings and expanding his business). Usually, property agents are paid a ten percent of the monthly rent for their services.
In addition to having management experience, property rental agents have to possess good communication skills, they must treat the tenants with respect and they have to take care of problems in a timely manner. The landlord should take the time to run a complete background check on the property agency, to make sure that the property has a good reputation and is ethical, as the landlord could be held responsible for any crime (blackmail, robbery, physical assault, etc.) committed by the property manager against a tenant in one of the landlord's buildings.
It’s the third night in a row that the pesky neighbours have been partying it up into the early hours of the morning. It may be the festive season, but with kids crying and dogs barking continuously for three nights, your cup of neighbourly patience has run out. Yet, when confronting these neighbours with a reasonable request of reducing their nightly disturbances, the laughter by your neighbour only adds to your growing anger and frustration at your impotence to stop the noise. But must I just accept my fate, sell my house and move, or can I legally address the cacophony?
Click on "Read More" to continue...
Rental Flats in Bad State – My Rights?
Who would be responsible for repainting the block, repairing and repainting the roof, cleaning the walls (they're filthy and full of mould), cleaning first floor windows, supplying hosepipes for common areas, etc.?
You live in a sectional title block of four flats owned by four different owners. There are tenants renting all four flats, none of the owners live on the premises. Who would be responsible for repainting the block, repairing and repainting the roof, cleaning the walls (they're filthy and full of mould), cleaning first floor windows, supplying hosepipes for common areas, etc.?
You have requested these things to be done as tenants, but the response from our landlord is "We will look into it" or "We don't have plans for this at this time and it would need to be discussed with all the owners." How do we go about getting these things actioned?
Continue reading for some pointers and click on "Read More"...
Can the Body Corporate Force Me to Evict Tenants?
I have tenants and they have been with me for a long time now, always on time with rent and the place is in superb condition.
The tenants and the Chairman of the Body Corporate are in constant dispute – it has now gone so far that I have received a letter from the Body Corporate lawyers that I need to give them notice & they must be out by the end of March & if they do not hear from me they will take the matter to High Court for an eviction order.
I am not sure what my rights are? I do not want to give them notice as they are the best tenants one can get – I am still waiting for the lawyer I have contacted. We had an arrangement that they would first notify us but they simply ignored it and went straight to the lawyer.
What can I do?
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Bricks and mortar provide us with protection from an increasingly harsh environment. But what if your haven
of safety - your home, could unknowingly be causing you harm?
Although a patch of mould may seem harmless as it first spreads into view, it can invade far more than the
musty corners of a room. In fact, it poses a very real threat to human health. In 2009, a celebrity couple died
only months apart, both from pneumonia and anaemia which was reported to have been a result of the extensive
mould found in their Los Angeles mansion...
What is mould exactly?
Mould is a type of fungus which causes the breakdown of various natural materials. Not all mould is bad
however, it is actually highly beneficial in the production of antibiotics - the mould Penicillium naturally produces
penicillin which has saved an estimated 200 million lives.
It can also be the very cause of disease due to one of three reasons: an allergic reaction to mould spores; the
growth of pathogenic moulds in the body or toxic mould compounds called ‘mycotoxins’ being ingested or
Click read more to find out more about different types of mould and the result symptoms of mould exposure...
A damage deposit is standard practice with rentals, but is often the thing that creates the most conflict, especially when tenants move out and amounts need to be set-off for repairs. If the matter isn’t handled properly it can quickly get out of hand end up at rental tribunal or even court.
To understand what is expected from tenants and landlords when it comes to a damage deposit, the rental housing act must be considered. In the act the following is specified:
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