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Property 24/10 - 343

2 March 2017

Explained: Squatter vs landowner rights
This article explains squatter and the rights they have in the South African Law of Landlord and Tenant.

Chantelle Gladwin, Partner, and Anja van Wijk, Associate at Schindlers Attorneys, share insight on what ‘squatter rights’ are in the context of the South African Law of Landlord and Tenant, in relation to both commercial and residential property.

What is a squatter?
A squatter is any person or organisation that continues to occupy a property when they have no legal right do so. This could include a person who whose lease has come to an end but refuses to move out, a person who has sold the property to another, but even after transfer has gone through refuses to vacate, or even persons who invade land that is owned by someone else and build their homes on this land without the permission of the owner.
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Buyers can't get enough of Cape Town's City Bowl property
If you are going to invest in property this year and you are looking for a central location and excellent capital growth, then the suburbs of the City Bowl certainly should catch the eye.

This is according to Billy Rautenbach, sales director for Seeff’s operations across the area, who says the suburb is rewarding the patience of investors.

“Despite flat year-on-year performance in terms of the number of properties sold, the overall value generated reached a record high of around R2.36 billion last year, double that of 2010 (R1.16 billion) and 19% more than the R1.9 billion generated in 2015,” says Rautenbach.
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Buying or developing? Avoid these Deeds Office pitfalls
An onerous title deed condition that isn’t discovered in time could delay or prevent the progress of a property development - with serious cost implications. Alternatively, such an omission could be costly when buying or selling property.

“Given this truism, the purpose of this article is to sensitise the reader to some pitfalls when dealing with title deeds,” says Meyer de Waal, attorney at Oosthuizen and Co Meyer de Waal Inc.

“The deeds registration offices had a system whereby deeds were lodged in duplicate and the Deeds Office would endorse changes of ownership, caveats, interdicts, mortgage bonds, and servitudes against the title deeds. They would keep one copy for records purposes and the other copy would be given back to the client.”
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Case studies: Estate agents and the commission they earn
It’s not uncommon for people who are embarking on the business of buying or selling property for the first time to wonder exactly what estate agents do to earn their commission, with many assuming that it’s simply a matter of popping a sale board on the lawn and hosting a show house or two to conclude the deal.

Lew Geffen, Chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, says this couldn’t be further from the truth. Not only does the simplest sale entail months of work from start to finish, it’s a complex process that requires more than a passing knowledge of diverse fields such as marketing, legal processes and finance, as well as fluency in legalese.

“Add to this a thorough knowledge of the real estate market in the seller’s area in order to accurately evaluate a property to achieve a realistic sale price in as short a time frame as possible, and you begin to get the picture,” says Geffen.
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Why homeowners need a contingency fund
Owning a home is a long-term commitment that can span a lifetime. While we all hope for the best, it is likely that at some stage during our lives, a home emergency of some kind will strike, so it is best to be prepared.

Being prepared for the unexpected is part of owning property,” says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.

“While it may be impossible to determine when it will happen, the eventuality of something needing to be repaired on a home is a certainty that homeowners need to consider and prepare for. Putting aside money each month in some kind of contingency fund will provide homeowners with a financial cushion and assist them in avoiding going into debt when a crisis strikes.”
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