AA - 2020

3 steps to POPIA compliance – 16 July 2020

South Africa has become the latest African country to legislate the protection of personal information, with the country’s Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) in South Africa that came into effect on 1 July 2020…

6 reasons why you should pay a deposit when buying property – 11 September 2020

As a first-time home buyer, the most important thing to consider is whether or not clients can afford to take this big step. While it is still possible for a bank to grant clients a 100% home loan which does not require a deposit, we strongly encourage our first-time home buyers to consider putting down a minimum deposit of at least 10% of the value of the property to ensure that their home loan repayments are reduced and more manageable…

A Complete Guide to Working from Home in 2020 – June 2020

One wonders how many office-based businesses, having been forced to work remotely during the lockdown, will now abandon or minimise their office spaces on a permanent basis rather than return to the “old normal”. Regardless, if you and your staff are currently working from home, you need to configure the arrangement for maximum productivity and quality of life…

A Letter from IEASA’s President – Christo Weilbach – 24 April 2020

At this stage I am sure that everyone’s nerves are raw and that frustration and uncertainty is high on the agenda. We are in uncharted waters and we need to swim. At least Estate Agents are known for their resilience and I know that our profession will come back from this stronger than before…

Agent commission: What am I paying for? – September 2020

Sellers often feel estate agents get too big a piece of the pie, mainly because they don’t know and can’t see what the agent is actually doing for commission earned. This sometimes leads sellers to avoid using an agent when selling their homes…

An in-depth look at the Rental Housing Act. – 7 May 2020

The Rental Housing Act 50 of 1999 essentially regulates the relationship between landlords and tenants and it provides for dispute resolution by the Rental Housing Tribunal. It is important for landlords and tenants to familiarise themselves with the contents of the Act together with the Amendment bill to see how changes affect the parties involved…

ARE VIDEO WILLS VALID IN SOUTH AFRICA? – 15 September 2020

There is no precedent on the validity of video wills in South Africa. In order for a will to be valid and accepted by the Master of the High Court in this country, it has to comply with the requirements as set out in section 2 of the Wills Act 7 of 1953…

ARTICLE PUBLISHED / FEAR OF EXPROPRIATION – FOE? – 26 July 2019

Earlier this month, the Expropriation Bill was approved by Cabinet and sent to Parliament for adoption. This prompted a revived deluge of negative press, fears of government-approved land grabs and visions of a fast forward to Zimbabwe-style land losses. None such perceptions are warranted or correct…

Bank mortgage lending is drying up in South Africa – 29 May 2020

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) says that banks have adopted a relatively conservative approach to mortgage lending. Banks will understandably be taking a cautious approach in the short-to-medium term as a result of the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic…

Big standoff between retailers and landlords loom – 7 May 2020

Shopping centres and large retail outlets are bleeding. With most having to keep their doors closed during the lockdown period, revenue has slowed to a trickle – or to nothing at all. Even for stores that may trade, feet through the door is becoming a long-forgotten concept as many shoppers turn to online orders and home deliveries…

BREAKING THE BOND – 14 July 2020

One of the tricky issues to be resolved during a divorce could be when the couple owns a property jointly and even more so when a mortgage bond is registered in both their names..

COMMENCEMENT OF BUSINESS RESCUE BY BOARD RESOLUTION – 19 May 2020

When thousands of South African companies shut their doors on 26 March, the sad reality was that many that would never open again. As the economic effects of the measures imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19 are being felt across the board, companies in financial distress are forced to examine their options. Chapter 6 of the Companies Act provides for a company or close corporation to enter into business rescue as an alternative to liquidation…

COMPLEX ELECTRICITY TARIFFS AND THE KNOCK-ON EFFECT ON LANDLORDS – 20 July 2020

With many South Africans working from home, residential users will be in for a shock when it comes to their electricity bills. The electricity tariff hikes came into effect from the 1st of July 2020 and these complex tariffs are not only frustrating, but they are hindering attempts by consumers to manage electricity costs at a time when, for most people, every cent counts…

CSOS ANSWERS FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS BY MEMBERS OF COMMUNITY SCHEMES – 9 July 2020

On 23 June 2020 CSOS acting Chief Ombud, Ndivhuo Rabuli, published a directive and answers to 43 frequently asked questions that have bearing on homeowners’ associations and body corporates. The questions range from general questions to specific questions relating to registration of community schemes, levies and fees and annual financial statements…

Don’t Pay Double Commission! – September 2020

With many property sellers allowing multiple estate agencies to market their properties in their attempts to sell during what is still (for the moment at least) a buyer’s market, now is perhaps a good time to remind both sellers and buyers of the double commission danger…

DON’T RISK THAT YOUR BUSINESS BECOMES THE NEXT EXPERIAN – 21 August 2020

South Africa’s largest data breach has now been contained, according to the Experian credit bureau. During 24 to 27 May this year, it had released the personal details – including identity numbers, telephone numbers, physical and e-mail addresses of more than 23 million individuals and nearly 800 000 businesses – to an individual, now the ‘fraudster’, who presented himself as authorised to have that information…

EAAB – Latest Update – 31 May 2020

THE EAAB’S COMMITMENT TO CONTINUED SERVICE DELIVERY: IT IS TO BE NOTED – that the EAAB will not at this stage be opening its doors to the public or Property Practitioners on 08 June however, communications will be sent out and placed on the EAAB website advising the official date for reopening its doors…

EAAB didn’t renew PI cover for estate agents – 16 July 2020

It was recently confirmed that the professional indemnity cover, that the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) arranged for all estate agents in 2017, lapsed about a year ago and wasn’t renewed without the regulator informing the industry of this yet…

Electronic signatures now legal for home sales? – 5 November 2020

A recent Eastern Cape High Court decision – Borcherds and Another v Duxbury and Others (1522/2020) [2020] ZAECPEHC 37 (22 September 2020) — has focused the law on the ever-increasing use of electronic signatures. Unfortunately, the judgement, instead of giving guidance and certainty, introduces confusion and doubt into this fast-growing category of technology…

Four tips for being a smart renter – 30 April 2020

Most of us will be a renter at some point during our lives. It may be a stepping stone for somebody leaving their parents’ home for the first time. Or, you may choose to be a renter rather than a home-owner for the long term simply because of the appeal of the flexibility and lower short-term costs that come with being a tenant. As a tenant, there are various tips and strategies to follow to safeguard yourself…

HIPSTURBIA – A GENERATIONAL PROPERTY TREND – 10 November 2020

With a vast number of factors influencing where and how we choose to live, one of these is most certainly when we were born and, the context in which we grew up. Millennials, between the ages of twenty-four and thirty-nine, account for almost 30% of the total population according to Statistics SA, representing the largest generation to enter the country’s workforce (51%)…

HOUSEHOLD MORTGAGE ADVANCES SHOWING EARLY SIGNS OF ACCELERATION – 2 November 2020

The commercial property-driven corporate mortgage advances growth rate has significantly outpaced the strongly residential driven household mortgage advances category since early 2014. However, the strong recent divergence in strength between the now relatively strong residential property market and the weaker commercial property market may see household mortgage advances become the relative ‘outperformer’ in the near term…

HOW REAL IS YOUR RIGHT – 25 May 2020

The allocation of rights to the exclusive use of a part or parts of a sectional title scheme’s (“scheme”) common property is somewhat of a contentious topic in communal living in South Africa…

In Times of Great Change, Make Sure Your Will is Updated ! – May 2020

Particularly in these times of pandemic, deadly infections and uncertainty, no one can ever say with any confidence that we will still be alive tomorrow, or next month, or next year. Now more than ever having a valid and updated will in place is no luxury to be attended to “when I have the time” or “when I am older”…

Is buying off-plan the best avenue to enter the property market? – 25 May 2020

Buying property off-plan is a great way for first-time homebuyers to get a foot on the property ladder. It comes without transfer duty as there is no prior owner, and the VAT is included in the purchase price. For these same reasons, it is also an appealing option for someone looking to purchase an investment property that can be rented out to generate income…

It’s my life right? – 7 January 2020

Retirement Villages are trending on the property front and potential Life Right Holders are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing where to settle down for their retirement…

LAND EXPROPRIATION – FRIEND OR FOE? – 26 October 2020

Earlier this month, Cabinet approved the Expropriation Bill and sent it to Parliament for adoption. This prompted a revived deluge of negative press, fears of government-approved land grabs and visions of a fast forward to Zimbabwe-style land losses. No such perceptions are warranted or correct, as the short discussion below highlights…

Leases, Contracts and COVID-19: What is Force Majeure? – May 2020

The COVID-19 crisis has changed everything. Our personal lives have been upended and our businesses hit hard.
And with many businesses operating out of leased premises, a great many landlords and tenants are asking themselves what happens if the crisis leaves a tenant unable to pay the agreed rental…

LEVEL 3 NEWS – 29 May 2020

The new regulations relating to Level 3 arrangements have been published. Note that these new regulations do not repeal the 29 April 2020 regulations and these must therefore be read together to get the full picture…

LEVEL 3 REQUIREMENTS FOR ESTATE AGENTS – 31 May 2020

Since the good news that many businesses may again operate under the Level 3 regulations that become effective on 1 June 2020, many questions have been raised by agents as to their responsibilities. Here is a list of important requirements:…

Lockdown Lessons: Slow return anticipated to a new-normal – 8 May 2020

As part of our # Lockdown Lessons series, Bizcommunity is reaching out to South Africa’s top industry players to share their experience of the current Covid-19 crisis, how their organisations are navigating these unusual times, where the challenges and opportunities lie, and their industry outlook for the near future…

Lockdown! Nuisance Neighbours and How to Handle Them – June 2020

Tensions between neighbours are no doubt at an all-time high, and whether you are working from home or just trying to stay sane until our “new normal” starts kicking in, you are no doubt noticing more than ever all those little irritants from next door that would normally fly below your radar or at least be tolerable…

New recovery textbook needed for post-Covid real estate landscape – 17 June 2020

Clawing back from the devastating global cascade of the sub-prime collapse of 2008/09, the real estate market had a tried and tested economic textbook roadmap and traditional real estate models to successfully guide the process. However, as the modern business world has never had to contend with a global pandemic, the real estate industry, still adapting to digital and millennial disruptions, is going to have to write a new recovery textbook, says Yael Geffen, CEO of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty…

New vision for real estate in which all can win – 8 June 2020

The real estate industry will no doubt look very different by the end of this year to the way it looked before the Covid-19 pandemic – but in many cases, the changes made will be extremely positive for estate agents and principals as well as their clients because of the potential for both better service and greater rewards…

NO FFC, NO COMMISSION – UNLESS YOUR DUCKS WERE IN A ROW – 17 June 2020

In accordance with the Estate Agency Affairs Act 112 of 1976, Estate agents are not entitled to earn commission on transactions they negotiated successfully if they were not, at the time of conclusion of the agreement, in possession of a valid Fidelity Fund Certificate…

However, In an important judgment handed down by the Supreme Court of Appeal last week, it was held that in certain very narrow instances, an estate agent will not be precluded from claiming commission where the Fidelity Fund Certificate was not in place at the relevant time…

POPI SHORTLY IN OPERATION – 22 June 2020

President Cyril Ramaphosa today announced the commencement dates for most of the remaining parts of the Protection of Personal Information Act. The Act has been put into operation incrementally, with a number of sections having been implemented in April 2014 already. Most of the remaining provisions could only be put into operation at a later stage as they require a state of operational readiness for the Information Regulator to assume its powers, functions and duties in terms of the Act…

Property investment – to sell or not to sell – 5 August 2020

Every investor will at some point be confronted with making a decision on whether or not to sell a long-term asset such as a property. This can sometimes be a challenging decision for an investor, more so for a novice investor, amid tough economic times…

Property may not notice short-term impact of recent repo rate cut – 22 May 2020

The recent repo rate cut of 50 basis points brings the cumulative repo rate reduction in the current rate cutting cycle to 3 percentage points. Meaningful property demand boost emanating from interest rate cutting specifically is not expected, but it is still believed to be an important source of support for the property market.

Real estate agents can work again! – 28 May 2020

The Covid-19 crisis united South Africa’s real estate sector as never before in our history and the hard work has paid off – on Monday 1 June all property professionals may once again go outside to sell properties on condition of adhering to strict safety protocols to keep them and the buyers and sellers safe from infection with the novel coronavirus…

RESIDENTIAL RENTAL MARKET STILL PRESSURED BY WEAK ECONOMY, LOW INTEREST RATES – 29 October 2020

With the home buyers’ market buoyant and still being driven by sharply lower interest rates, the September Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation numbers continue to point to a battling residential rental market which is being hampered by tenants who are financially pressured by a deep recession and ‘outcompeted’ by the home owner market due to the dramatic reduction in interest rates earlier this year…

Rise of the hybrid office – 2 November 2020

For companies around the world, Covid-19 lockdown has forced rapid change. Where there was reluctance to adopt remote working and hybrid workspaces pre-pandemic, lockdown made this a non-negotiable..

Sale of property from a deceased person’s estate – 13 January 2020

It is not uncommon for an estate agent to be involved in the marketing of a property which is an asset in a deceased person’s estate. But buying from a deceased estate can, at times, discourage an eager property buyer or investor due to the fact that such transfers are likely to take longer to finalise than ‘normal’ sales.

Seller advice: Keep calm and let your agent negotiate – February 2020

Contrary to popular belief, the bottom line in contract negotiations is not always the bottom line, especially in real estate. When selling a home, for example, the price to be paid is usually the major consideration, but it is worth noting that sale agreements can and regularly do fall apart when parties fail to agree on non-price terms of the contract…

Seller advice: Take every offer seriously – May 2020

With interest rates at their lowest levels in decades and a huge choice of inventory, many home-buyers and investors feel that this might be a good time to pick up a bargain property or two, and are “trying their luck” with really low offers to purchase…

SPLUMA Certificate Confusion – 5 May 2020

Some confusion created by recently published press articles about the requirement to have a “SPLUMA certificate” … The articles suggest that all property transfers require a SPLUMA certificate … In reality, only some property transfers require a certificate issued in terms of section 53 of SPLUMA (“SPLUMA Certificate“) and similar certificate requirements already existed under older legislation even before the enactment of SPLUMA …

TAX TIPS FOR LANDLORDS – 9 September 2020

Owning a rental property portfolio which provides income is like owning a business. There are tax implications and dues that need to be paid to the South African Revenue Service (SARS)…

The ‘reprieve’ that is no reprieve – 20 August 2020

The Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) announced on the 14th of February that 87 agents benefited from a special re-admittance practice note published in June last year. This is to accommodate agents who have not applied for renewal of their Fidelity Fund Certificates (FFC) for three years or more and allows them to pay the “debt” over 6, 12 or 16 months…

The 10 most popular estates in South Africa to retire to – 20 September 2020

New data from analytics group Lightstone shows which estates in South Africa are drawing the most retirees.
According to Lightstone, which has been tracking the retirement property industry for the last 20 years, the sector has evolved from limited options to now include an array of lifestyle estate options, sectional title or lock-up-and-go as well as the upmarket coastal home…

The Burning Rent Question – April 2020

Landlords are confronted with the question of whether to excuse their tenants’ performance, the possibility of renegotiating payment terms and making amendments to the rental lease, and whether or not to pursue immediate defaults and take necessary legal action. Tenants, on the other hand, are frantically looking towards landlords for financial assistance while some are even preparing legal defences against non-payment, including the claim that the lockdown constitutes a force majeure or vis major event…

THE INS AND OUTS OF DISTRESSED PROPERTY SALES – 11 November 2020

The increase in the number of distressed property sales owing to the lockdown and a rising unemployment rate is an unfortunate reality. Some of these property sales require a bit of work but they do provide cash-strapped buyers with the opportunity to enter the property market while rescuing the sellers from their debt.

The most expensive streets and suburbs in South Africa – 27 April 2020

Research group New World Wealth has published its South African wealth report for 2020, highlighting where some of the country’s richest people choose to live. As part of the group’s research, it looks at the price of property per square metre in prime property areas across the country…

THE PITFALLS OF NON-REGISTERED AGENTS – 21 OCTOBER 2020

With the summer holiday season approaching, areas along the coastal region will experience an influx of non-registered agents offering deals that are too good to be true on managing clients’ holiday rental properties. The trouble with this is that these clients will have little to no legal recourse against these agents if they turn out to be con artists…

THE RADISSON HOTEL GROUP LAUNCHES TWELFTH HOTEL IN SOUTH AFRICA – 3 November 2020

The Radisson Hotel Group has debuted its fourth brand in South Africa, the Radisson Hotel & Convention Centre, Johannesburg, O.R. Tambo. The new edition further strengthens the group’s presence in one of its key African markets, bringing the company’s South African portfolio to sixteen hotels in operation and under development…

The real estate industry asks government to reconsider level 4 restrictions – 4 May 2020

After hearing confirmation that the real estate industry will not be reclassified to operate under level 4 of lock down restrictions, the real estate industry has joined forces to implore government to reconsider, explaining that this decision affects not only the thousands that are employed within this sector, but also has a far reaching impact on the economy as a whole…

There is a change in the way people are buying property in South Africa – amid a massive spike in home loan applications – 17 July 2020

The property sector saw a big jump in home loan applications in June, data from bond originator, Ooba shows. The second quarter of 2020 (Q2 20) commenced with two months of lockdown for the real estate industry. Estate agents were only allowed to resume work on 1 June under Alert Level 3, with home buying accelerating in June due to pent up demand created by the lockdown as well as historically low interest rates…

TRADING IN PROPERTY? THE SALE MUST BE ADVERTISED – 7 August 2020

Our law requires that when a trader sells any part of his business other than in the normal course, such trader must publish a notice of his intention to do so in order to protect creditors of the business.
HYDE CONSTRUCTION CC V K2013046547 (SOUTH AFRICA) (PTY) LTD AND OTHERS (9179/2019) [2020] ZAWCHC 31 (29 APRIL 2020)…

UPDATE ON CONVEYANCING ISSUES – 20 April 2020

The Cape Town Attorneys Association, referring to a note from the Chief Registrar of Deeds, confirmed that various communications have been addressed to the office of the Minister of Justice, motivating the re-opening of the Deeds Office as an essential service. We are currently awaiting the outcome of these submissions and our advices will follow as soon as positive details are known…

VALUE FOR MONEY IS KEY WHEN LEASING NEW BUSINESS PREMISES – 28 September 2020

Now more than ever, leasing office space for your business is daunting as the country transitions out of the national lockdown. With remote working part and parcel of our daily experience, both small and large businesses are scrutinizing lease agreements and asking the important question: Are we getting value for money?…

Voluntary liquidation of a company – April 2020

The lockdown regulations in essence affected all business owners who do not provide essential services. Not being able to trade for more than a month might prove to be the final nail in the coffin for businesses, already under financial strain prior to the pandemic…

Weighing up buying versus renting property – 28 September 2020

Author: STONEWOOD Property Management 29 September 2020 WATER DAMAGE LIABILITY IN SECTIONAL TITLE SCHEMES:  WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW A body corporate is responsible for the maintenance of the common property of the scheme which includes planned and unforeseen...

Why a recession is actually a good time to buy property – 29 October 2020

Now on Level 1 lockdown, it is hopeful that South Africa is on the path to economic recovery, however, there is still some way to go, with the economy anticipated to shrink by 7.8% this year. In terms of the property sector, the knock-on impact is that buyer confidence is low – something that cannot be attributed solely to the pandemic…

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO HAVE A WILL? – 25 August 2020

Events which shape one’s life, such as marriage, the purchase of a property, the birth of a child, the death of a loved one, a divorce or emigration, all lead to a change in personal circumstances which may require the updating of your will…