Connect with us

Property

Geyser prices go through the roof

Published

on

If you are a property owner, you may want to arrange with your insurance company to increase the amount you are covered for on your geyser because prices for those appliances have gone up significantly in recent months.

I am really not sure why, but the price of geysers has shot up.

A typical 150-litre geyser at the start of the year cost R8 250 but now it’s likely to cost you more than R10 000.

Why? Nobody seems to be able to say.

The main reason seems to have something to do with COVID-19. But who knows?

A typical policy requires the owner to pay in R1 500 excess before the new geyser can be installed.

Now the excess could be as much as R3 500. Not an easy sum to find.

You will therefore need to arrange with your insurance company to up the amount that your geysers are covered for – we recommend R10 500 with the same R1 500 excess.

In most cases the difference will not be great enough to mean uplifting the current levy, and it will form part of the new levy calculation when it is incorporated with the next budget meeting.

Part of the increase in cost is the requirement for a new certificate of compliance when the geyser is installed – yet more red tape.

You are only allowed to install an SA Bureau of Standards or SABS-approved geyser.

Apparently a lot of unapproved geysers from China were being installed and the insurance company will require a photo of the serial number of the geyser – they were getting high levels of fraudulent claims.

You must know the contractors that you use.

Just because there is a lot of water coming out of your geyser does not mean that your geyser has burst.

There can be quite a few causes for water overflow.

The pressure valve and the safety valve are the normal causes.

Geysers can pop if these valves fail.

But somebody should check on the service providers from time to time to make sure that claims are genuine.

Heavy geyser claims are a frequent cause of insurance premium increases.

The ideal ratio of claims to premium is less than 50 percent.

Two years at 80 to 120 percent will mean a hefty increase in your overall premium.

  • Mike Spencer is the founder and owner of Platinum Global. He is also a professional associated property valuer and consultant with work across the country as well as Eastern Europe and Australia.

Property

Bigger can be best

Published

on

MAJOR UPGRADE NEEDED . . . Many of the original sectional title schemes were existing buildings that were converted

I want to be very brief in this article so that those interested may have more time to think about my discussion point.

We have previously discussed shortcomings with the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Act (STSMA), which are many.

I want to focus on just two of them today.

The STSMA was signed into law and became effective on October 7, 2016.

Ideally, the STSMA was introduced in order to provide for the establishment of bodies corporate to manage and regulate sections and common property in sectional title schemes.

Its main purpose is to apply rules applicable to such schemes – establish a sectional title schemes management advisory council and to provide for any related matters.

The two biggest problems have been, firstly, the age of buildings that were converted to sectional title schemes and the size of many of the early schemes.

Buildings have a practical lifespan.

Many of the original sectional title schemes were existing buildings that were converted.

Some of these buildings are now approaching 80 years and need major upgrading – particularly piping and wiring – and modernisation and owners just don’t or have not made provision for these upgrades, especially in less affluent areas.

The second problem is that these schemes have a small number of units and are uneconomical for a managing agent to administer.

The reality is that the larger the scheme, the easier it can be managed.

I wonder if it would be worthwhile to have two schemes combining for admin purposes.

Food for thought . . .

  • Mike Spencer is the founder and owner of Platinum Global. He is also a professional associated property valuer and consultant with work across the country as well as Eastern Europe and Australia. You can contact him via email: mike@platinumglobal.co.za

Continue Reading

Property

Fix and protect your building from rain damage now

Published

on

FIX ROOF LEAKS . . . Protect your building from rain damage

Last year saw some very good rains but this year has been exceptionally wet.

At regular times more than 50mm of rain was received in a single day.

We have just had some rains in Bloemfontein and the surrounding areas which have left the ground thoroughly soaked with open water lying around.

Lawns remain verdant green!

If your building was going to have any roof leak problems, I would suggest that it be fixed by now, though it is possible that there could still be damp problems.

Of course, the rainy season is well behind us now but we could still experience occasional rains during the rainy season.

I would really recommend that now is the right time to do a full building inspection.

Many of you will know of my dread of overgrown trees.

Well, this year they have grown like weeds – my pecan nut tree in the garden has grown its branches by nearly two metres this year!

Trustees could do well to investigate the entire property for overgrown trees that need to be trimmed and to make sure that none are leaning against buildings or walls.

Trees in gardens belonging to individual units should be attended to by those owners – after all they planted these trees or left them to grow.

It might be a good idea to have one contractor remove/trim the problem trees and share the cost if owners don’t have the time to do it for themselves.

But do it they must.

The cost of removing whole trees can be expensive but trimming must be seen as maintenance.

Also, check for damp in walls caused by overgrown flower beds – the best way is to ask owners and tenants to report any serious damp problems.

It’s also advisable to buy a set of drain rods and clear your drains, especially stormwater drains that can easily be blocked with soil or sand.

Check for water leaks as these could have been hidden by the wet conditions that we have experienced.

  • Mike Spencer is the founder and owner of Platinum Global. He is also a professional associated property valuer and consultant with work across the country as well as Eastern Europe and Australia.

Continue Reading

Property

Banks now hesitant to lend to property buyers

Published

on

BOND RISK . . . It has now become near impossible from a cost and time point of view for banks to sell a property in execution

Banks make most of their money when they lend to customers and charge interest.

That is essentially how they get money to run their businesses and generate profit.

In other words, no lending, no profit.

When a bank lends you money to buy property, it allows you to purchase a property that otherwise you would never have the money to buy.

It is the best investment you will ever make.

Over time, property values rise and you get the benefit, as banks don’t participate in your profit.

It used to be that banks lent 70-80 percent of the price of the property and you had to find the cash for the balance.

You also had to find the bond and transfer costs.

That means the banks risk was about 75percent.

So, if you defaulted and the banks sold the property as their security on the bond.

If they achieved 75 percent or more of the current market price of the property, they would get their money back.

But times have changed.

The Consumer Protection Act (CPA) and a whole raft of other “consumer-based” legislation have changed the situation.

While the CPA was introduced in a bid to “promote a fair, accessible and sustainable marketplace for consumer products and services and for that purpose to establish national norms and standards relating to consumer protection, to provide for improved standards of consumer information, to prohibit certain unfair marketing and business practices, to promote responsible consumer behaviour”, among others, it has brought with it some challenges.

It has now become near impossible from a cost and time point of view for banks to sell a property in execution – ie when a client fails to service their bond.

Just getting a magistrate to agree to the sale, despite the lender being years in arrears, is a nightmare and the costs involved are horrendous.

Further, bonds are mainly 100 percent nowadays, so banks are unlikely to recover the outstanding bond and interest.

Arrear levies and rates need to be paid by the buyer so the price achieved is often half of the real value of the property.

If it was my money, the last place that I would lend it would be as a 100 percent loan for somebody to buy a home.

Times need to change.

  • Mike Spencer is the founder and owner of Platinum Global. He is also a professional associated property valuer and consultant with work across the country as well as Eastern Europe and Australia. You can contact him via email: mike@platinumglobal.co.za

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending

Copyright © 2022. The Free Stater. All Rights Reserved