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18 September 2014

Who pays for rental properties' upkeep?
IolProperty - South Africa
An independent consultant agency recently advised a tenant about his rights and how to deal with a dispute with his landlord. The tenant was informed that the landlord was responsible for internal maintenance.

The advice was that the landlord was required by law to ensure the maintenance to the interior and exterior of the leased dwelling. Failure to attend to maintenance of the interior was a violation of the Rental Housing Act and constituted an unfair practice. The tenant could lodge a complaint with the provincial Rental Housing Tribunal. The Rental Housing Act 50 of 1999 mentions maintenance three times without referring to internal or external sections of the property.

Section 13 (4) (c) (iv) states that if the housing tribunal at the conclusion of a hearing is of the view that an unfair practice exists, it may make any other ruling that is just and fair to terminate any unfair practice, including a ruling to discontinue lack of maintenance.
Iol Property

Home-buying homework for millennials
BetterBond - South Africa
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, says Shaun Rademeyer, CEO of BetterBond Home Loans, SA’s leading mortgage origination group. “And the demand is especially noticeable among this group in SA, where first-time buying still accounts for about 40% of all home purchases at the moment.”

One reason for this is that SA has a very “young” population, with more than a third of its people (38%) 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 SA has, since 1994, experienced a huge rise in the number of middle-class people for whom home ownership is a major aspiration – and who can afford to satisfy that aspiration at a much earlier age.”
Home Buying homework for Millennials

No maintenance, no home loan
Harcourts - South Africa
Maintenance defaulters are shortly going to find it much more difficult, if not impossible, to buy property, thanks to proposed amendments to the National Credit Act (NCA) regulations.

That’s the word from Richard Gray, CEO of Harcourts Real Estate, who explains that the amendments, which are due to be tabled in Parliament soon, provide for monthly maintenance payments to be added to the list of debt obligations that lenders must include when conducting the affordability assessments that are required before any new credit can be granted.

They also provide for any judgment against a maintenance defaulter to be added to that person’s credit record and to remain there for five years or until it is rescinded by a court.

“Sadly, maintenance defaulting is all too common is SA, where almost half of all children are being raised by single parents, but the Justice Department is really hoping that these amendments will help change this situation,” he says.
No maintenance no home loan

Residential Property Affordability
FNB - South Africa
The latest data updates point to a mild deterioration in the home and home-related affordability picture in the initial stages of 2014, although the picture still looks very good compared to 6-7 years ago.

To assess home affordability, the key factors to evaluate against incomes and interest rate levels are house price trends, rates and tariffs trends, maintenance and repair cost trends, affordability relative to “rival” consumer goods and services, and of course the cost of credit given that the residential market is so credit-dependent

After major affordability improvement through the 2008-2012 period, 2013 saw the bottoming out in the key housing-related affordability measures, namely the Average House Price/Average Remuneration Ratio, the Average Installment Repayment Value on the Average Priced House/Average Remuneration Ratio, and the all-important Debt-Service Ratio. Then from late-2013 and into early-2014, all 3 ratios saw deteriorations (increases), due to the combination of accelerated house price growth, slowed average remuneration growth, and the start of interest rate hiking in January 2014.

As further data points become available, it is possible that we may see all 3 of these affordability measures deteriorating mildly further, with wage bill growth under pressure in a weak economy, house price growth having started the year higher than employee remuneration growth, and interest rates now gradually rising.
FNB Property Barometer

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