Durban battles with deceased estates
IolProperty - South Africa
Deceased estates that owe thousands in rates and utility charges have become a headache for the eThekwini municipality's debt collectors. The city has turned to Legal Aid South Africa for help in collecting the debts, but Legal Aid says it will assist only in cases where minors are involved.
The head of eThekwini's revenue management unit, Peet du Plessis, said the problem was exacerbated when the municipality was not notified when a property owner died. Although the city could not say how many accounts were involved, Du Plessis said it was owed a significant sum for electricity, water and rates.
'These date back years, but since we don't have a comprehensive database of deceased estates, we cannot say exactly how much is owed,' Du Plessis said.
Rawson sceptical about the benefits of 'next time's' MPC interest rate hike
Rawson - South Africa
Although the demand in the South African residential sector is strong enough to ensure that ‘a reasonable flow’ of sales is maintained in the residential property market over the coming year, if as the Governor of the Reserve Bank, Gill Marcus, has hinted will probably be the case, the Reserve Bank does react to high inflation rates by raising the repo rate at the next MPC meeting, the overall growth in the economy will inevitably be reduced, says Bill Rawson, Chairman of the Rawson Property Group. At this point in South Africa’s history, he says, the country simply cannot afford to let this happen.
“The Statistics SA figures released on the 27th of May,” said Rawson, “showed that the seasonally adjusted real GDP at market prices for the first quarter of 2014 decreased by an annualised rate of 0.6 percent. This is obviously disappointing after the 3% plus growth achieved in the fourth quarter of last year and many high level economists have said that in their view the South African Reserve Bank’s entire focus should now be not on curbing inflation but on restoring South Africa to real growth. Some have even gone so far as to say that the raising of the interest rates will have minimal effect on inflation because, as I have pointed out, the main drivers of inflation these days are not reckless spending by consumers but the unavoidably high fuel, electricity, food and municipal rates costs coupled with what many think are very generous public sector wage increases.”
E-conveyancing could reduce transaction to five days
Irish Times - Ireland
The development of a fully electronic conveyancing system will reduce the total transaction time for buying a house to as little as five days, the Law Society has said.
Welcoming the Government’s pledge to deliver an e-conveyancing system in the Construction 2020 strategy, published on the eve of the local elections, the representative group for solicitors said home-buyers would reap the rewards of a “transformed” system.
“The current paper-based process is creaking at the seams and cannot deal with the demands of the modern property market,” said Ken Murphy, director general of the Law Society.