All is not well with residential property rentals

 

Residential property held for rental investment purposes faces some particular challenges in South Africa today:

  1. New legislation that offers tenants far-reaching rights at the expense of the owner’s rights:
    • Prevention of Illegal Eviction Act  that offers “illegal occupants” the right to ask the court for “just and equitable time to find alternative accommodation”. The Act does not define “illegal occupant” or “just and equitable”, leaving it up to the judge to interpret – and we’ve seen some weird and wonderful interpretations.
      (Download the Act)
    • Consumer Protection Act that does away with fixed-term lease agreements allowing the tenant to offer 20 working days notice of termination at any time.
      (Download the Act)
  2. Massive problems in South African courts resulting in delays and procedural complexities and inefficiencies in approaching the court for eviction orders or judgements for debt.
  3. Worsening economic conditions leaving consumers financially strained and often over-indebted, exacerbated by bad personal financial management often bordering on delinquency.
  4. Disarray in the regulatory structures that are responsible for good conduct and enforcement of service standards in the real estate industry.
    • The new national Dept. of Human Settlements is grappling with the crisis at the Estate Agency Affairs Board.
    • Delays in establishing the new Community Schemes Ombud Service.
    • The regional Rental Tribunals, where they have been established, are characterised by delays and then unenforceable findings that merely postpone resolution to the problems.

These realities have resulted in serious challenges facing property owners renting out their property. The role of the managing agent can no longer be “business as usual: fees but no guarantees”.

Deon Botha

rentmaster1decklogo

Founder and CEO

 

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