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1 June 2017

Understanding the terms of your rental deposit is critical
South Africa - JustProperty
One of the most common areas of conflict between letting agents and tenants is around the refund of the tenant’s deposit. A particular area of concern is the time it takes the agent or landlord to pay back the deposit, as many tenants want to use these funds for a deposit for their new rental.

“Fortunately, this conflict is easily avoided by carefully reading the lease agreement and taking note of the contractual obligations you are agreeing to upfront,” says Paul Stevens, the chief executive of Just Property.

Specifically related to the repayment of deposits, lease agreements usually stipulate that an outgoing inspection will be carried out within seven days of the termination of the lease, and if no damages are discovered, that the deposit will be refunded within the seven-day period.
Understanding rental deposits

April credit and mortgage advances
South Africa - Absa
Household credit and mortgage balances growth remaining subdued

The value of outstanding credit balances in the South African household sector showed growth of 2,9% year-on-year (y/y) to a level of R1 505,5 billion at the end of the first four months of 2017. The above-mentioned household credit balances growth was the combined result of continued low growth of less than 2,5% y/y in secured credit balances and growth of below 5% y/y in unsecured credit balances over this period.

The value of household secured credit balances (R1 152,4 billion and 76,5 % of total household credit balances) increased by 2,3% y/y up to the end of April, unchanged from end-March, but down from 3,6% y/y at end-April last year. The ongoing low year-on-year growth in secured credit balances is driven by the components of household mortgage balances (see below) and instalment sales balances (21,5% of total household secured balances), which contracted by 0,3% y/y in the four months up to end-April.

Unsecured household credit balances (R353,1 billion and 23,5% of total household credit balances) showed growth of 4,8% y/y at the end of April this year, after a period of year-on-year contraction in the twelve months since April last year as a result of data distortions related to Africa Bank (see explanatory note in this regard). The component of general loans and advances balances (58,5% of total household unsecured credit balances and largely consisting of personal loans and micro finance) increased by 5,5% y/y at end-April, after contracting by an average of 7,2% y/y over the 12-month period from April last year up to March this year on the back of the above-mentioned African Bank-related data distortions.
Credit and mortgage advances

Don't panic if your landlord goes broke
South Africa - IolProperty
Landlords as well as homeowners could find themselves in financial trouble in the next few months as a result of SA's worsening economic picture, and tenants need to know what their position would be in such circumstances.

So says Greg Harris of Chas Everitt Property Rentals, who notes: "There are three things they need to note in particular, the first of which is that the state of the landlord's finances has nothing to do with the obligation of the tenants to keep paying their rent in full and on time.

"The landlord might be in arrears with his bond repayments to the bank, for example, but even if the tenants find this out, they can't just stop paying the rent or decide to move out without giving the proper amount of notice set out in the lease."

Secondly, he says, the financially distressed landlord may well try to sell the property and pay it off before his bond account gets too far into arrears, or list it for sale through one of the banks' "assisted sale? programmes. ?And this also should have no immediate effect on the tenants, except perhaps being asked to co-operate in arranging viewings by potential buyers."
IolProperty

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