An abandoned housing development that was fast becoming a blot on the landscape now has a new lease on life thanks to the intervention of a civic-minded Western Cape estate agent.
Skippers Cove in Saldanha Bay was abandoned about two years ago when the developers ran into financial trouble. Partially finished homes that were sold off-plan were abandoned and vandals moved in and started stripping the structures.
The few units with legal occupants soon emptied as living conditions became unbearable.
But chaos, says Johan Truter, owner of Aida West Coast, is just a challenge to create order. At the beginning of the year he decided to take a hand in the matter and started contacting the owners of the abandoned units.
"We had discussions with owners of completed units and explained to them the benefits of letting to trustworthy tenants. We lent a hand with vetting prospective tenants by doing credit checks on applicants and prepared rental contracts for the owners," says Truter.
Owners of incomplete units were also contacted and persuaded to complete their units. Aida West Coast valued these units by determining the cost of completion and renovation and doing comparative market analyses. The agency is assisting owners with renovation and helps owners to find buyers or tenants.
Truter is currently getting a homeowners' association for Skippers Cove off the ground. "We have approached a law firm to help with the legal aspects and all owners will be invited to a meeting to form an association and elect a governing body," he says.
Truter also initiated a clean-up of the premises. "We have employed a local unemployed and disabled man to organise the removal of rubbish and in the past few months he has moved mountains of litter, which is collected once a week by the Saldanha Municipality's waste team.
"Piece by piece - literally and figuratively - we are cleaning up the mess on our doorstep and the Aida team as well as the owners and tenants of Skippers Cove can hardly wait for the day when this development is restored to its rightful state.
"I firmly believe that you reap what you sow - and viable seed will always yield healthy results," Truter says.
Issued by Aida National Franchises