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6 April 2017

Foreign property owners will have a year to declare details
UK - LawGazette
The government may create a criminal offence of failing to keep information on a register of overseas property owners up to date, according to proposals published today. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is setting out plans for what it says is the world's first public register of the beneficial owners of overseas-held properties and companies bidding for government contracts.

Under the proposals, existing owners will have a year to supply details to the register, which will be held by Companies House. Information will have to be updated at least once every two years; the government is 'considering making it an offence if entities fail to keep their information up- to-date'.

Plans for a register of oveseas owners of UK property were unveiled by the government in May 2016, in the aftermath of the Panama Papers revelations. A discussion paper entitled 'Enhancing transparency of beneficial ownership information of foreign companies undertaking certain economic activities in the UK' attracted 38 responses. According to the government the responses showed 'a very high degree of support for the general principle of requiring the information about the beneficial owners of overseas companies that own property'.
LawGazette

Eight things a commercial property landlord should do before signing a lease
South Africa - Rawson
When leasing a commercial property, there are several things a landlord should keep in mind, in order to select the best tenant for the property and create a good degree of professionalism for the relationship ahead. “A happy tenant is usually a good tenant,” says Leon Breytenbach, National Manager of the Rawson Property Group’s commercial division. Here are a few easy steps to make the process as successful as possible.
Rawson

Rezoning or subdividing properties takes a long time
South Africa - ReMax
Property owners who are looking to rezone their property for business use or subdivide to sell a portion of their land may be in for a longer ride than they initially expected. "Whether applying to rezone or subdivide a property, the application will need to follow a number of procedures before it is considered, which takes time," says Adrian Goslett of RE/MAX.

"The application will need to be submitted to the relevant local authority and can anywhere from two months to two years to be either approved or denied. Aside from the fact that the process is time-consuming, it is also a very arduous and complicated affair. The documentation required by the local authority is complex, and the fees that need to be paid can expensive," says Goslett.

"Because of the complexity of the matter, most people that decide to go ahead use the services of an attorney or town planner to assist them through the process. The advantage here is that the application is handled by a specialist who understands all the aspects of the procedure - this will expedite the process to some degree."
Rezoning or subdividing

Residential Property Barometer
South Africa - FNB
The FNB House Price Index’s year-on-year growth rate starts to strengthen as economy shows signs of improvement

In March 2017, the FNB House Price Index showed some acceleration in year-on-year growth compared with the revised February rate, after having been in the doldrums in recent months.

This is in line with recent signals of renewed strengthening, as seen in certain leading economic indicators, as well as in the FNB Estate Agent Survey where the Residential Activity Rating has strengthened and the average time of homes on the market has declined.
Residential Property Barometer

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