Finweek English Edition - - THE WEEK -

Not ev­ery­one is will­ing or able to make the huge fi­nan­cial com­mit­ment that pur­chas­ing a prop­erty en­tails. For this group rent­ing not only pro­vides re­lo­ca­tion flex­i­bil­ity, but it is also the less ex­pen­sive short­term al­ter­na­tive.

“If you rent, you do not have to in­vest in de­posits, trans­fer du­ties, bond re­pay­ments and other costs associated with buy­ing a home. In ad­di­tion, the land­lord is also usu­ally re­spon­si­ble for rates and taxes, in­sur­ing the prop­erty, as well as main­te­nance and re­pairs, costs likely built into the monthly rental,” says Ru­pert Fin­nemore, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Pam Golding Prop­er­ties Gaut­eng re­gion.

Says Samuel Se­eff: “Land­lords should not be too hasty to turn down real­is­tic of­fers, es­pe­cially in the up­per-in­come ar­eas where rental rates are set at the R50 000-plus level. Rather take some se­cu­rity than risk leav­ing your prop­erty va­cant.”

The rental mar­ket has be­come more so­phis­ti­cated and chal­leng­ing for land­lords in re­cent years with a host of leg­isla­tive re­quire­ments that has ne­ces­si­tated more stringent ten­ant vet­ting and hands-on prop­erty man­age­ment. This in turn has boosted the de­mand for rental agents to be­come more in­volved, says Se­eff.

But prop­erty own­ers who de­cide to en­gage with a rental agent need to en­sure they deal with a le­git­i­mate ser­vice provider. “A Fidelity Fund Cer­tifi­cate is a must,” cau­tions Stefan du Plessis, man­ag­ing mem­ber at Rent Pro­tect.

Those with the most to lose from an in­vest­ment point of view are prop­erty own­ers, which is why an ex­pe­ri­enced and qual­i­fied prop­erty lawyer should re­view the rental agree­ment, ad­vises Du Plessis.

“The ab­so­lute foun­da­tion that en­sures the pro­tec­tion of your rights, whether you are a ten­ant, rental agent or prop­erty owner, is a bal­anced and iron-clad rental agree­ment,” he says. ■

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