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South Africa is a country on the southernmost tip of the African continent, marked by several distinct ecosystems. Inland safari destination Kruger National Park covers vast shrublands populated by big game; the Western Cape encompasses lush winelands around Stellenbosch and Paarl, wild beaches, craggy cliffs at the Cape of Good Hope, forest and lagoons along the Garden Route, and the city of Cape Town, beneath flat-topped Table Mountain.

53.5 million 

Low Season (Jun-Aug)

Winter is ideal for wildlife watching. School holiday late June to mid-July. Prices sometimes reflect this holiday; otherwise they are low, with discounts and packages offered.

(Apr-May)

Also September and October. Sunny spring and autumn weather. Wildflower season late August to early September. School holiday late September to early October. Optimum wildlife-watching conditions autumn onwards.

High Season (Nov-Mar)

Peak times are early December to mid-January and around Easter. During peak times, accommodation in national parks and the coast books up months in advance.

 

South African rand

English and Afrikaans

Yes

Although there are no restrictions there is a prohibition on illegal aliens owning immovable property in South Africa. Non-residents are subject to the same laws and regulations as South Africans when it comes to buying property in South Africa. Compliance with these regulations ensures the efficiency of the South African land registration system and security of tenure. 

The process of buying property generally takes between two and three months. In order to purchase a property in South Africa the buyer must provide the following documents:

  • Passport and relevant identity documents
  • Pre-nuptial contract (if relevant)
  • Marriage certificate (if relevant)
  • Divorce decree (if relevant)

Once a suitable property has been found, a prospective purchaser makes an offer and completes an Offer to Purchase/Purchase Agreement through the estate agent. This is a legally binding document and includes most, if not all, of the following information:

  • Names of the parties involved in the property purchase
  • Address and description of the property in question
  • Purchase price and deposits
  • Occupation date
  • Details of defects and issues that must be rectified before sale
  • Clauses relating to mortgages/bonds
  • Fixtures to stay/remain
  • Deadlines for acceptance/offer expiration date
  • All seller and purchaser details
  • Whether an Electrical Certificate or Beetle/Woodborer inspection is required

The seller can reject or make a counter offer on the Purchase Agreement, however, all changes must be initialled by both parties.

The transferring attorney

The document becomes the legally binding contract of sale once both parties have accepted. Once completed and signed the Offer to Purchase is given to a transferring attorney who is responsible for coordinating the transfer process and preparing all documents.

The role of the transferring attorney is to:

  • Inform the seller's bank/bondholder to obtain the "Cancellation figure" of the existing mortgage and the Title Deeds of the property
  • Contact the municipality for a Rates Clearance Certificate and arrange for any outstanding debts to be cleared
  • Guarantee payment of the seller's outstanding mortgage/bond to the bondholder and obtain approval of the bond from the financial institution of the purchaser
  • Work in conjunction with the Cancelling and Registering Attorneys of the lending institutions
  • Organise payment of transfer duty, on behalf of the buyer, to the South African Revenue Service (SARS)

Once all the paperwork has been drafted, signed and the financial guarantees are in place, the deeds are lodged with the Deeds Office by the transferring attorney. Once they have been examined at the Deeds Office, the registration of transfer of property from the seller to the purchaser can take place, this takes approximately 10 to 14 days.

The transferring attorney signs on behalf of the purchaser at the Deeds Office along with the Deeds Registrar and finalises all outstanding financial settlements such as estate agent fees, electrical and beetle inspection charges (if applicable) and clearing the seller's bond.

Payment is then due to be made by the lender to a bank. The transferring attorney then draws a final account and pays the seller the balance owing.

The South African Government levies a tax on the transfer of property. It is paid by the buyer and is calculated according to the value of the property (house and land).  Transfer duty is not payable if the buyer is VAT registered.

Transfer fees are costs payable to the transferring attorney to transfer the property into the buyer's name. They are calculated on a regulated sliding scale based on the purchase price.

Normally sellers can expect to pay between 5 and 7.5 percent of the selling price

It is normal, having decided on a property to rent, to make an offer in writing. It is advisable to have a lease drawn up which stipulates the rental terms and conditions. A lease is normally used by estate agents and other companies specialising in letting properties. It is also possible to get a lease drawn up by a lawyer.

According to the Rental Housing Act, a lease must contain the following minimum information:

  • the landlord's name and address
  • the tenant's name and address
  • a description of the property, e.g. its address
  • how much rent the tenant must pay and details of any escalation (increases in rent)
  • any other moneys which the tenant must pay, such as water and lights
  • when the rent must be paid - it is usually at the beginning of each calendar month
  • how much deposit the tenant must pay as security for any damage he or she might  cause
  • the period of the lease - if there is no specific period, the lease must state how much notice must be given to end it
  • the landlord's and tenant's obligations towards each other
  • a list of existing defects to the property
  • any house rules that the tenant will have to obey
  • a list of furniture and fittings (if the property is being let as a furnished unit)

The law also states that landlords must:

  • issue a detailed receipt for every payment received from the tenant
  • if a deposit is paid, invest that money in an interest-bearing bank account and must give the tenant a written statement of the interest earned whenever the tenant asks for one

Types of lease

Property rental leases are usually 1 year, with an option to extend for another year. However, in some cases it is possible to negotiate a 6 month lease or a longer lease if required. A lease is a legally binding contract so it is often difficult to get out of rental agreements unless there is a breach in contract by either party. However, in most cases if someone else is found to take over the rent for the time remaining on the lease, it may be possible to get out of the rental agreement.

If the tenant remains in the unit after the end of the fixed term with the consent of the landlord, the lease is then deemed to be a periodic lease. Periodic leases can be terminated by giving a month’s written notice.

Rent increases

The amount of rent can be freely negotiated by tenants and landlords. The lease or rental agreement should state by how much and when the rent can be increased. If the agreement does not specify an amount or date for increase, this must be negotiated with the tenant.

 

 

 

 

information from southafrica.angloinfo.com

Commission on a rental property is based on the monthly amount of rental income achieved for the landlord over the period of the lease.

The Landlord pays the agents commisio which can be up to 10% of the rent paid.