Real Estate industry defies ‘shock’ Bill

Real estate industry representatives have officially lodged an objection to a piece of national legislation which could have disastrous consequences for South Africa’s property market. Dubbed the Property Rates Amendment Bill, the new legislation could effectively compel those who own more than one property to pay commercial rates for additional properties.

Bryan Biehler, MD of Huizemark property group and an instrumental driver behind the objection says the manner in which the Bill was introduced is reprehensible. “It appears to be a deliberate and pre-orchestrated attempt by government to try and pass a highly controversial piece of legislation unnoticed,” Biehler alleges. 

According to government, the Bill was apparently put forward for ‘well publicised public hearings’ in 2010 and was officially gazetted for comment on June 9th. However, the real estate industry at large claims to only have become aware of the proposed Bill in mid-July, shortly before the cut-off date for objection submissions on July 22nd 2011.

Adds Biehler: “There are in excess of over 1, 5 million properties currently being leased in South Africa. Should the Bill go ahead, these rental properties would, in all likelihood become unaffordable for people who cannot, or choose not to qualify for mortgages. Only the super wealthy would be able to afford second properties and the property market, which is already depressed, would go into a free-fall.”

Following the initial outcry by various property entities, Deputy Minister Yunus Carrim issued a statement that the Bill had been misunderstood and that owners would not have to pay commercial rates on additional properties.

“The intention is to ensure that guest-houses, bed-and-breakfast establishments, small hotels and the like pay commercial rates. If necessary, we will amend the draft to make this clearer before submitting the Bill to parliament,” stated Carrim.

His comments have not mollified the real estate industry. On July 20th, attorneys Cliffe Decker Hofmeyr formally submitted an objection to the Bill of behalf of the Institute of Estate Agents of South Africa (IEASA), the Estate Agents Holding Company Limited and the Estate Agents Joint Venture KZN.

In a nutshell the objection calls for transparency and a thorough overhaul of the Bill through “due process and not merely by a ministerial statement.”

Concludes Biehler: “We are already fielding requests by investors to sell their rental property which is an indication of things to come should the Bill be passed. It’s high time that Government acted responsibly and considered the economic and social ramifications of property legislation before ploughing ahead willy-nilly. Doing so threatens the interests of this vital sector which contributes about 8% to GDP and sends a very negative message to the rest of the world where property rights are sacrosanct.”

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 19 Feb 2018
      Possibly one of the biggest sources of contention between landlords and tenants surrounds the rental deposit. “Most tenants rely on getting their rental deposits back when moving, so that they can use it to pay a deposit on their new home. Having it withheld or even having large amounts deducted can lead to a lot of distress,” explains Bruce Swain, CEO of Leapfrog Property Group.
    • 19 Feb 2018
      Situated approximately halfway between Johannesburg and Pretoria, Midrand was established in 1981 and forms part of the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality. It has become one of the major business hubs in the country with major pharmaceutical, textile, telecommunication and motoring giants situated within its boundaries.
    • 19 Feb 2018
      The PayProp Rental Index Annual Review of 2017 shows that the rental market suffered from much volatility during the year. It kicked off with rental growth spiking in January with weighted year-on-year growth (YoY) growth peaking at 8.3% before dropping to 6.34% in July, dipping down to less than 5% in November and then experiencing a slight uptick at 5.75% in December.
    • 19 Feb 2018
      While most homes in cluster complexes, estates and other gated communities come with at least one garage or carport, residents would often like additional permanent parking or storage areas for things like trailers, bikes, boats and caravans.
    • 16 Feb 2018
      Whether you own a property in a sectional title complex or are looking to invest in one, the financial standing of the body corporate is the single most important thing that can affect your investment or your buying decision.
    • 15 Feb 2018
      One positive consequence of the financial crash in 2008 was the rise in consumerism, especially in the property market, where buyers have steadily become more knowledgeable and more value conscious.
    • 15 Feb 2018
      While most homeowners will take the agent’s commission into consideration when they are trying to determine what the will get out from the sale of their property, many often forget to factor in the other costs involved in a home sale, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
    • 14 Feb 2018
      The forecast for the national rental market in 2018 remains a mixed bag of good news and bad news. Although rentals are expected to rise slowly as the challenges of home affordability and tighter lending criteria tighten their grip, it’s a double-edged sword as the market also will come under increasing pressure from factors like declining disposable income levels.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us