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2 October 2014

Sectional title scheme fidelity cover
In the general day-to-day management of a sectional title scheme or HOA run estate, the trustees should never allow either the managing agent or one trustee complete control of the funds without transactions being cross-checked by another person.

This is according to Michael Bauer, general manager of IHFM, who says this ‘four eyes’ principle protects funds from being misappropriated or mismanaged because each decision or transaction involving the scheme’s funds would need two people to release or approve them.

He says allowing one person unfettered access to the scheme’s funds could open it up to loss through fraud or dishonesty. In the day-to-day running of a sectional title scheme, actions such as signing quote acceptance, signing an invoice, processing payment and loading beneficiaries etc. should always be done by two people so that there is complete transparency.
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Property sale - who pays for what?
During a property transaction both sellers and buyers have certain responsibilities and obligations that they need to address before the home can change ownership. This is according to Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, who says for this reason, it is vital that each party financially prepares for engaging in either selling or buying a home.

Goslett looks at the costs and elements that buyers and sellers will need to consider during the property sale process:

The buyer
Goslett says aside from the deposit requirements that most buyers will have to adhere to in order to obtain finance, there are several other costs that they will need to prepare for. These costs would include transfer fees and bond costs, if registering a bond with a financial provider.
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Keeping pets in complexes
One of the most contentious issues in sectional title schemes that arise when it comes to owning and managing a section in a sectional title scheme is the ownership of pets. Whether by owners of units in the scheme or their tenants, this issue comes up regularly and often causes much debate as to the sort of pet allowed and what applications will be considered.

Michael Bauer, general manager of IHFM, says what many do not realise is that all applications for the pet to stay must be considered by the trustees, and they cannot say no unless they have first accepted the application and gone through what the applicant has approached them with.

The trustees, if rejecting the application, must justify to the owner of the unit why they cannot keep their pet and this justification must be not be unreasonable.
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Public liability insurance in ST
Prescribed Management Rule 29 (2), which deals with the insurance of a sectional title scheme, also covers public liability and it sets out clearly that trustees must have cover for a minimum amount of R100 000, but this amount might not be enough.

This is according to Michael Bauer, general manager of the property management company IHFM, who says this sort of insurance is there to cover a number of on-site activities that could cause an injury to a visitor while visiting the scheme or damage to their property, but the trustees of the body corporate should also protect themselves in other ways.

Bauer says the trustees are responsible for ensuring that the residents and visitors are safe, and things such as swimming pools, for example, must be amply fenced as well as a self-locking gate installed, and ample warning signage must be around the pool.
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Home buying advice for millennials
Millennials all over the world have been much slower to enter the property market than their parents or grandparents were, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to be homeowners. This is according to Shaun Rademeyer, CEO of BetterBond Home Loans, who says the demand is especially noticeable among this group in South Africa, where first-time buying still accounts for about 40 percent of all home purchases at the moment.

He says one reason for this is that South Africa has a ‘young’ population, with more than a third of its people (38 percent) currently falling squarely into the 15 to 34 year old millennial category and likely to fuel the residential property market for years to come as their finances and families grow.

He says another is that South Africa has, since 1994, experienced a huge rise in the number of middle-class people for whom homeownership is a major aspiration, and who can afford to satisfy that aspiration at a much earlier age.
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7 key tips for buying a home
In the hunt for the perfect home, it's easy to get swept away by charm and kerbside appeal and forget the important stuff. And, if you are visiting multiple show houses each Sunday, and a husband and wife are wanting different things in a home, it can get complicated.

Just Property Group’s COO, Paul Stevens, says it’s important to set your priorities and streamline the house-hunting process early on. He says buying a home is the most important purchase you will ever make, so take a deep breath, discuss your wants, likes and dislikes with your partner and make a plan before diving in - it will prevent any arguments, make the process far smoother and prevent a break-up.

When you start looking, charming features are bound to try and sway you. Keep your priorities list on hand when visiting properties to help you stay on track.
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