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21 August 2014

Experian and TPN partner on rental data
Experian has signed an exclusive partnership with TPN credit bureau, meaning that for the first time in South Africa, people who live in rented accommodation and pay their monthly rent on time, will see their positive payment behaviour being made accessible to participating credit providers, helping to open up access to more affordable credit.

Information about mortgage payments in South Africa is recorded on credit reports, enabling mortgage holders to build a positive credit history and gain access to more finance deals. Until now, people living in privately-rented properties who meet their rent payments on time have never seen this positive information included on their credit reports.

The partnership will provide Experian South Africa with access to a comprehensive rental payment database. Including rental history in credit files will enable greater financial inclusion, especially for those among South Africa’s under-banked population. The inclusion will allow consumers to build or rebuild good credit profiles by paying rent on time, enabling them to qualify for appropriate new leases or other financial products.
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SA buyers' taste in property changing
Middle class South Africans are believed by some to be garden lovers who spend a fair amount of weekend time relaxing on patios or beside pools - right? Well, perhaps not.

This is according to Tony Clarke, Managing Director of the Rawson Property Group, who says this is no longer true of quite a large percentage of middle class South Africans. “In our group we find today that a fairly high percentage of buyers actually do not want to spend time and money on a garden, and many are averse to trying to maintain a pool which is often hard work.”

Clarke says fairly frequently these days, the buyer will be looking for a low maintenance home, one in which the garden, if there is one, is just big enough to accommodate about 10 people, most of them standing. The ground surface will probably not be grassed but paved or covered with stone chips. The few plants accepted as necessary are likely to be water wise and in pots and if there is a pool, this type of buyer would probably prefer it to be a plunge pool, just large enough to take a few people.
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Beware double agent commission whammy
It makes sense to give one agency the sole mandate to sell and market your property. Not only does it allow you to work with the agent of your choice, but it should also provide protection against claims for commission by other agents. Where you give more than one agency the mandate to sell your property, it is possible that potential buyers may have viewed the property with more than one agency, without you knowing it.

This is according to Karien Hunter, Founder and Director of law firm AMC Hunter Inc, who says by way of example, a person views a property at a show house, shows no interest in the property and then, weeks or even months later, buys the property through another agency, after the sole mandate had lapsed.

It is also quite common for sole mandates to include a clause which stipulates that the agency would be entitled to their commission in circumstances where the property was sold to anyone who had viewed the property during the existence of the sole mandate period, after the mandate period.
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9 questions to ask when buying ST
Owning a unit in a sectional title scheme has become more popular because of the rising costs of living and maintaining properties, as well as the additional security this type of scheme offers.

Even though there are great benefits to buying into a sectional title scheme, there are also many questions that should be asked before signing an offer to purchase.

This is according to Mandi Hanekom, operations manager for Propell, who says often buyers will look at the unit they are considering buying but will not investigate further than that - until they have actually signed a contract - but all the preliminary investigation must be done early in the "looking" stage.
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Free workshop for ST trustees and owners
IHFM is running a free workshop on 28 August for trustees of bodies corporate and owners in sectional title schemes who want to learn more about how they should be managing their schemes.

This is part of a series of regular workshops, which have been designed by IHFM to cover various aspects of sectional title management. The workshop will be held at the Howard Studios in Sheldon Way, Pinelands, at the conference centre at the Institute of Estate Agents, Western Cape, from 6:30pm to 8:30pm.

Marina Constas, specialist sectional title attorney, director of BBM Attorneys and co-author of the book 'Demistifying Sectional Title', will be the speaker. She will be talking about the ins and outs of the current Sectional Title Act, with special reference to the POPI Act and dispute resolution in sectional titles.
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Long-distance landlords take heed
Trying to manage a rental property when you live in another town - or another country - can easily turn into a nightmare, as many private landlords have already discovered.

Cape Town based advertising executive and property investor, Christan Boshoff, says if you don’t live close to your investment property, it is difficult to monitor if it is still in good condition or to get any maintenance work or repairs done properly. It is also much more complicated to deal with even normal tenant issues such as incoming or outgoing property inspections.

“I believe that managing rental properties is in any case a job for a specialist, but that if those properties are in another city, the only way you can have peace of mind is to appoint a professional management company like Trafalgar that is active nationally and has people on the ground where you need them,” says Durban-based businessman and property investor, Juggie Pillay, who also owns properties in East London and Cape Town.
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