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Can trustees ban a pet in a sectional title?

Date posted: 30.05.2018 | Author: Denis Stupan

Problems around the ownership of pets are common amongst owners of sectional title properties, but while laws may be imposed by the trustees of the homeowners’ associations, the requirement for a reasonable approach is entrenched in the very laws which govern how a sectional title scheme should be managed.

Where the trustees have reasonably, after following due process and considering all relevant factors, withdrawn their consent to keep a pet, the owner concerned is then not entitled to continue keeping that pet in the scheme.

This is according to the Prescribed conduct rule 1 in Annexure 9 of the Sectional Titles Regulations which deals with the keeping of pets, including reptiles or birds. It states:

“1. (1) An owner or occupier of a section shall not, without the consent in writing of the trustees, which approval may not unreasonably be withheld, keep any animal, reptile or bird in a section or on the common property.

(2) When granting such approval, the trustees may prescribe any reasonable condition.”

These regulations exist to protect the pet owner from unreasonably strict rules, and equally, they must confer on the other owners the right to a nuisance-free and peaceful environment. This means that both parties need to consider each other’s needs.

[Read full article]

Guide for the first time home buyers

Date posted: 26.04.2018 | Author: Denis Stupan

Buying property involves two elements, your emotions and your finances. A buyer needs to strike a balance between these two competing forces, according to an expert.

Buying property is an emotional journey. The property you buy will be your home, and people have an emotional connection to where home is. However, because buying property is an emotional decision, people could make fundamental and silly mistakes. Buyers need to consider the practicalities of their pockets. The heart element comes into it too often.

The search for property has evolved over the years. Buyers don’t have to limit themselves to the choices made available by a real estate agent or newspaper. They can now use online portals where they can filter their searches to find the home they want, he explained.

When using technology, make sure you save properties you might like to a wish list – a feature available on websites – or bookmark the properties you like to return to them at a later stage.

Once you think you found the house you might like, consult with a professional about financing the property.

Getting prequalified for a bond saves work and time for when you actually have to apply for a bond, he explained. The prequalification also gives you a 90% chance of getting the bond you applied for.

Don’t get caught out by doing things yourself. Conveyancers are equipped to ensure you are protected in a property transfer.  Having a conveyancer is necessary to make sure you have the right contract with conditions in place to protect you.

[Read article]

What does the budget 2018 mean for property owners?

Date posted: 27.02.2018 | Author: Denis Stupan

The finance minister delivered a “tough but hopeful” budget speech on 21 February 2018.

Some of the tax hikes that will affect consumers and property buyers include:

  • VAT hike of 1%, from 14% to 15% which will affect everyone, save for the basket of exempt goods
  • Marginal increase in upper income tax, but more relief for lower tax bracket
  • Fuel levy hike which will of course have a knock-on effect on transport and living costs

The increases in VAT, income and fuel taxes will limit the ability of ordinary households to qualify for bonds and afford their own homes. Nevertheless, from a residential property point of view, there are no changes to transfer duty, the capital gains tax exemption on a primary home or the effective tax rates for capital gains.

The government has got little or no room to move, and with property price growth and the volume of sales at current levels, there was no expectation that transfer duty thresholds would be increased. The estate duty on estates above R30 million has been increased, which may impact on the luxury end of the market.. Renewed consumer confidence will be a key factor in improving property prices and demand in 2018.

[Full article]

Cape Town – day zero looms

Date posted: 23.01.2018 | Author: Denis Stupan

Cape Town residents will from February be limited to using 50 litres of water per person per day for the next 150 days, as “Day Zero” draws closer. “We have reached a point of no return. Despite our urging for months, 60% of Capetonians are callously using more than 87 litres per day. It is quite unbelievable that a majority of people do not seem to care and are sending all of us headlong towards Day Zero,” says City of Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille.

 Day Zero is the day when taps will be closed and Cape Town residents will be required to get water from various designated water collection points. Due to the lack of cooperation by residents, the city had to implement level 6B restrictions that cuts the water usage of residents to 50 litres. The new restrictions will come into effect on 1 February 2018.

A punitive tariff

The Mayor says “ Council of Cape Town will on Friday be voting on implementing a punitive tariff that will charge residents exponentially higher rates for water usage above 6 000 litres per month.” The table below outlines the difference between the current and the proposed punitive tariffs:

Consumption per month Current Tariffs – total household water bill New Tariff – total   

household water bill

6 000 litres R28.44 R145.98
10 500 litre R109.50 R390.82
20 000 litres R361.06 R1 536.28
35 000 litres R1 050.04 R6 939.57
50 000 litres R2 888.81 R20 619.57

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