Be wary of buying in high density sectional title developments

high density buy to let properties

Moderately priced high density sectional title apartments of the kind that have proliferated throughout South Africa have proved to be an excellent investment.

Nevertheless, he warns, there are risks and pitfalls associated with this type of purchase which have to be examined and checked out before any Deed of Sale is signed.

Loss of value

About 20% of South Africa’s high density sectional title developments are experiencing financial problems. Regrettably, the units in such schemes frequently lose value or, if they do show some value growth, they do so at an unsatisfactory rate.

This has in most cases come about because sectional title units are governed and controlled by committees of members (owners) of the scheme, elected by their fellow members.  Such people, he says, often do not have the business, accounting or legal knowledge necessary for a job of this kind.

Poor administration and a lack of leadership in sectional title schemes all too often leads to levies being too low and/or in being inefficiently collected – or not collected at all. It also frequently leads to inadequate maintenance of the buildings and dangerous lapses in the security arrangements. These, plus other factors, can and do affect the values of all the units in the scheme.

In certain developments buy-to-let investors form a large proportion of the client base and then compete for tenants by lowering rents.  This, in turn, can lead to the quality of the tenants falling below desirable standards.

Get proof before you buy

Two pieces of advice which I would always give to people contemplating buying into any sectioal title scheme, are, firstly, insist on seeing the scheme’s accounts (they are by law obliged to give these to you) and if you cannot understand these check them with an accountant.  The second piece of advice is to beware of schemes in which there are too many tenants because, as indicated, there should always be a satisfactory ratio between the tenants and owner residents for the simple reason that the latter look after their properties far better than the former.

There are many advantages of sectional title units quite apart from what is usually a lower cost. Single people and single parents, families with children and older people can often benefit from the improved security of such schemes and from being able to enjoy the communal facilities like swimming pools, large gardens, crèches, launderettes, tennis courts, gyms, cafés and playgrounds to which they would not have access if they lived in freehold properties.

Things to consider before hiring a plumbing company

As a Gauteng homeowner, you shouldn’t be entrusting your plumbing repairs to just anyone. Remember, you’re putting your faucet, toilet, and water heaters in their hands. A faulty repair may lead to more expensive and complicated problems in the future.

leaking pipe repair

Consider these before you hire a plumber:

Experience

Always check the length of time your plumber has been in business. Bigger groups usually have more experienced plumbers, but better check just to be sure. Years of experience can mean that the company has built a good record.

Pricing

Plumbers would know the cost of repairs and should give you an accurate quote. More complicated repairs are a different story, though. But ask for quotes from different plumbers, and check for big differences. If the cost is too low, there’s a risk that the plumber is cutting corners, or using substandard parts.

References

Experienced plumbers should be able to give you references. Check with their past customers so you get an idea of how well they work. If they can’t provide you offline or online references, it’s a good idea to look for someone else.

Insurance

This is important. An insurance is you and your plumber’s protection in case of accidents or injuries. It’s best if your plumber is bonded, too.

Warranty

A plumber’s work should be covered by a warranty. This usually lasts for a year, and gives you a guarantee of their work, and the parts they used. If the plumber can’t give you this, you’re better off without them.

We have previously worked with Drain Ratz Plumbing, and can recommend them without hesitation.

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