Linprop newsletter

The end of winter is in sight, but we can still expect a cold spell or two. At least we had some heart-warming news in that interest rates were cut once again.
It is now time to prune those roses, and we share some information on that in this newsletter.
The dry season is also the ideal time to attend to home maintenance and we have listed a few ideas in this regard.
Rental deposits are often a bone of contention - the article "Your deposit - know the rules" sheds some light on this issue.
Lastly, in our last article in the series on sectional title matters, a few tips on how to make sectional title ownership a pleasure.

Kind regards
Daleen and Carina van der Linde - THE LINPROP TEAM

Prune roses now, and enjoy later!


Learn more about prining roses in the video: Pruning Roses for Maximum Display

To read more about correct pruning methods: Easy rose pruning

Winter home maintenance

  • Clean gutters and gullies. With trees losing their leaves, gutters and gullies become blocked, and the next thing you know, water is leaking  into your house. Be brave, and get onto the roof about twice in winter to sort this out.
  • Check your roof. Inspect a slate roof for broken slates, which have to be replaced, a tiled roof for cracked tiles or tiles that have moved. Rethatch if necessary, or inspect the corrugated iron roof properly and seal if necessary. Flat roofs have to be resealed every few years. Regular maintenance of all roof types is essential.
  • Check facia boards and gutters. Fasten loose sections, and replace rusted gutters. Paint if it is peeling.
  • Sand exterior wood such as window frames, doors and garage doors, and oil or varnish.
  • A good time to paint the exterior of the house!
  • Check the property for rising damp. This occurs in older properties when the water proofing perishes. Seek advice on professional ways to treat this.
  • Check the putty in steel windows and replace if necessary.
  • Treat and repaint rusted steel.
  • While you are at it, check window panes for cracks and chips and replace them.
  • Cut back  tree  and shrub branches where necessary. This may especially be necessary on the perimeter of a property which is secured with electric fence.

By attending to maintenance matters regularly and timeously, the home owner protects his investment.


Your deposit - know the rules

The rules of the game, with regards to rental deposits, are clearly defined in the Rental Housing Act. Follow the rules to ensure a speedy pay out.

It is of utmost importance that a joint inspection of the property is conducted together with either the landlord or the agent before occupation, as well as when the lease expires, to record the condition of the property. Any defects should be written down and signed for by both parties. Ideally, a list of keys provided, should also be drawn up and signed for. If the landlord or agent does not perform these inspections with the tenant on  the expiry of the lease, it will be deemed as an acknowledgement that no damage occurred during the tenant's stay.

If you, as the tenant, are aware of damages that you have caused, which fall outside the scope of fair wear and tear, have it fixed before you vacate the property. Read the article - That leaking toilet - whose problem is it anyway - for more information on the responsibilities of the landlord and the tenant. This will speed up the process of finalising the deposit.

Ensure that the house is clean, the garden tidy and the pool clear before handing keys back. Have carpets professionally cleaned.

Make sure that all keys provided on occupation are returned on the expiry of the lease. If all keys are not returned, the landlord or agent will have the right to have locks replaced and  to deduct the cost from the tenant's deposit.

If there are no deductions to be made or damages to repair, the deposit has to be refunded within 7 days after the expiry of the lease agreement. If there are damages, the landlord or agent has to finalise the deposit within 14 days after repairs have been done. This does not mean that the landlord can drag his feet with the repairs. The Rental Housing Tribunal can instruct the landlord to refund the deposit immediately if the repairs are not done as a matter of urgency.

If the tenant fails to meet the landlord or agent for the outgoing inspection, and there are no damages, the deposit has to be refunded within 21 days after expiry of the lease.

The landlord has to determine the damages, based on the ingoing and outgoing inspections, and obtain quotes to have the damage repaired at the most reasonable cost. The landlord may not improve the property at the expense of the tenant.

As final electricity and water figures are often not yet avaialble at the end of the lease period, the landlord is allowed to finalise the deposit, and retain a retention amount to cover these costs. The remainder of the deposit has to be paid to the tenant immediately when the figures are available.

If the deposit is kept in an interest bearing trust account by the landlord, the deposit with all interest accrued, minus damages and deductions, has to be paid to the tenant. If an agent keeps the deposit in an interest bearing trust account, the interest paid to the tenant will be determined by the lease agreement.

5 ways to be a sectional title star!

Be friendly. It is much easier to get along with neighbours and to solve possible differences if everybody is positive and try to find solutions that are acceptable to all. Know your neighbours, and greet them in passing. Everyone likes to be acknowledged.

Be considerate. When people live on each other's doorsteps,  things like high noise levels and late-night parties can quickly cause good neighbourly relationships to go sour. We are not advocating that you tiptoe around the place and only whisper in your own lounge, but just be aware of the fact that there are other people living in the building too. Another example of considerate behaviour would be not to park in someone else's parking bay.

Know the complex rules and live by them. Whether you own or rent in a complex, you should have a set of the conduct rules. Ask the managing agent for a copy if you don't. Adhere to the rules regarding garbage disposal, the hanging of washing, pets, visitor's parking, etc.

Pay your levy, every month, on time. To keep a complex in a good condition and insured, costs money. If the complex is well-kept and there is money in the bank for unforeseen expenses, you benefit from it too. Do the right thing, and pay your monthly levy.

A neat communal area creates a good impression. Help keep it that way by not littering, not spilling oil on the paving, tending to your garden and balcony, and not storing stuff where it is an eyesore. 

What it basically boils down to, is the old saying of: Do unto your neighbour as you would like him to do to you. We wish you happy complex living!


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