Managing Rental Property

Managing rental propertyMany first-generation yuppies have come to realise that they need to enter the property market. However, most of them find that getting a home-loan of between R1 500 000 and R2 000 000 is not always possible.

The creative ones usually find a way around this dilemma by purchasing a home in the R300 000 to R700 000 price range. The home is then used to generate a rental income. The rental is often sufficient to cover their bond repayments. This leaves many of them happy landlords.

Continue reading

Knowing when to ask for help

House soldAt Northwood financial services we have a panel of dedicated professionals that assist us and our clients with a host of different issues.

Recently I received an email from a home-owner. Having sold his property, he is now struggling to get occupational rental from the buyer who had taken early occupation. In this instance, it is much harder to help. Continue reading

Junk Status – Protecting your Standard of Living

Residential property house investmentThe last blog touched on how Northwood protects clients’ wealth by adding diversity to the unit trust investment portfolios on offer. This week, we will look at creating wealth by adding more diversified investments.

Our clients know that when it comes to investments, we prescribe to the “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” philosophy. We seek to add value and diversity to all our client’s portfolios to creatively manage risks.

Continue reading

Government offers housing subsidy through FLISP

The South African government is allowing concessions for citizens to purchase homes with assistance from the Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme (FLISP)

northwood-housing-blogAccess to social housing has always been a pressing issue in South Africa, with the backlog of required housing units having increased from roughly 1.2 million units in 1994, to over 2.1 million units in just over two decades. Despite the progress in supplying quality housing since 1994; with roughly 3.7 million subsidised housing opportunities offered to roughly 12.5 million people; there is still a strong demand for affordable housing opportunities.

Continue reading

How to Value Your Home for Insurance Purposes

house-insurance-policyYour house is in all likelihood your most valuable asset, so it is vital that you have sufficient coverage for your property in terms of insurance. A comprehensive short-term insurance policy can be taken out to protect both the value of your entire home structure, as well as its contents against unforeseen circumstances, such as fire or flooding. Depending on the age and condition of your home, and where you live, the cost of insuring your house can vary significantly, just as under insuring your home could have drastic consequences should it burn down. Continue reading

The Elements of Good Property Management – Northwood Chats to Ken Bluff

Ken Bluff is an estate agent, property manager and Remax Top Associate, based in Cape Town.  With decades of experience in the real estate and property rental industry, he is passionate about delivering exceptional service to property owners and tenants alike.

In our previous blog post we outlined the benefits of using a property management company to source tenants, collect rent, and deal with maintenance on second homes – but what services should you expect as a property owner?

Northwood chatted to Ken Bluff about his approach to property management to find out what services second home owners should expect from a reputable letting company.

Selecting the right tenant

The quality of tenant you select to occupy your property can make the difference between a pleasant and profitable experience and endless headaches – Ken pays careful attention to the calibre of tenants he selects for his clients’ properties and requires each prospective tenant to fill in an application form before they are considered.

  • All prospective tenants need to provide proof of identity and employment, which are verified.
  • At the same time, a credit check is performed and the tenant’s current or previous landlords and letting agents are contacted for references.

The aim of this process is to select a tenant who pays on time, looks after the property, and is a stable, responsible person. This lays the foundation for a good tenant-owner relationship during the period of the lease.

Dealing with problem tenants

Nightmare stories about tenants who destroy rental properties, leave suddenly without paying rent, and cause problems with neighbors are all too common in the property rental industry. Ken believes that problem tenants should be dealt with in a fair but decisive way:

  • A deposit equal to two months’ rent is required from all tenants. This covers owners against the cost of doing repairs, and is an insurance against tenants who disappear without paying rent.
  • Tenants who pay late or try to “squat” in a rental property are handed over to attorneys who specialise in evictions.
  • Tenants are encouraged to report any maintenance issues as they arise – if they fail to do so, the cost of repairs is deducted from the deposit.

Most importantly, Ken believes in finding the right tenant for the property. A tenant with a clean background and a record of responsible dealings with agents and owners is not likely to behave in a way that would jeopardise the value of a rental property.

Should You Let your second Home Yourself or use a Property Management Company?

Property managementIf you own a second home as a property investment, or if you’re thinking of buying one, you may be wondering how to manage tenants, leases, and maintenance issues. There are two options available to owners of second properties – manage it yourself, or hand the job over to a property management specialist. To find out which option is easier, Northwood spoke to a property management specialist and learned more about the benefits and costs involved. Continue reading

Rental Properties – What Damages Are the Landlord’s Responsibility?

property-landlord-responsibilityWhether you are a tenant or own a rental property, the issue of damages and whose responsibility they are is likely to affect you at some point.

From water damage to faulty electrical work and many more maintenance issues, damages to a rental property often become points of argument between tenants and their landlords, resulting in disagreements and even legal action. Fortunately, by ensuring that both landlord and tenant understand their responsibilities and carry them out, these unpleasant situations are easily avoidable. Here is a quick guide for tenants and landlords alike: Continue reading