Hi there and welcome to another Steyn-Mail addition, 14 November 2023 …. and welcome to all our new mailing clients if this is your first Steyn-Mail.
The whole idea with our weekly mails is to share information regarding the Real Estate industry and the market / economic conditions that we are facing. Please feel free to share these mails with your friends and family. Should they wish to join the mailing list they can do so by clicking on the following link:
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1. Important dates:
a. 16 Nov – 10:30am – SA vs Australia Cricket World Cup Semi Final
b. 19 Nov – 10:30am – SA vs India Cricket World Cup Final
c. 23 Nov – Next Interest Rate announcement.
2. Industry News:
Speculation is that the Prime Lending Rate (now 11.75%) may go up by as much as 50 basis points to 12.25% … let’s hope not.
3. Our Stock:
We have a couple of new sales and rental places in the market. Most of the stock is smaller 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom properties.
All our stock can be viewed on our website at www.steynrealty.co.za ….. also have a look at the calculators for assisting with bond repayments and costs calculations.
A special look at this amazing 3-bedroom 3 level property in Amorosa …. R 3 350 000 …. Modern luxury living. Click here for the listing.
4. Sectional Title Levy
In this week’s issue we will cover and give information regarding the Levies that are charged in Sectional Title Schemes / Complexes.
When looking at properties advertised on the web, many buyers ask why are the levies so high? Depending on how the agents advertises the levy and what they include in the levy amount, this might look high to many buyers, not knowing what all is included in this levy.
All the various charges are not always shown separately on the levy statement. It is therefore very important for homeowners and buyers to make sure they know exactly what they are billed for. If you are not sure, get hold of your trustees or managing agents.
Here is a short breakdown specifically to Sectional Title Properties and what is included in the levy that owners pay:
- Homeowners insurance
In short, this insurance in most cases covers the building, roof, walls, windows, the geyser, resulting damage from roof leaks etc. Should you buy any “Full Title” property this insurance will be additional and is normally provided by the bank or an insurance company of your choice. This insurance should not be confused with “Household Content Insurance” which covers your personal belongings in the case of fire, theft etc. If you are renting a property you will need to have your own household content insurance in place.
Every Body Corporate will have a budget for the specific financial year where they will budget for various maintenance issues that will arise or that needs to be done throughout the year. Painting, upkeep of the common property, paving issues, electrical or water issues on the common property. Also, external maintenance issues pertaining to the various properties such as roof leaks, roof tiles that break or move, gutters, leaking pipes, electrical issues etc. on the outside of the properties are all the responsibility of the Body Corporate.
Some Body Corporates show this amount / levy as a separate charge on the levy statement. This is for the security electric fence, guarding company, armed response, or any other cost relating to the security of the complex.
- Refuse Removal and Gardening
As gardens are seen as common property areas with exclusive use to the owner or resident of that property, it is the responsibility of the Body Corporate to maintain the gardens as well as all the common property areas, driveways, parks, flower beds, etc. The taking out of the refuse bins, removal of refuse etc.
- Recovery Fund
All Sectional Title Schemes are required by law to have a specific amount available in a recovery fundsufficient to cover the cost of future maintenance and repair of common property. For this reason many Body Corporates charge a recovery fund levy until this amount is reached.
The sewerage levy is an amount that the Body Corporate is charged per property together with the water and electricity account from the council.
- CSOS (Community Schemes Ombud Services)
CSOS levies are paid by all owners of Sectional Title Schemes. CSOS provides a dispute resolution service, regulates, and monitors the quality of all community scheme governance documentation, provides training and consumer awareness.
For more on CSOS and their services please Click Here
So, ….. after all of that, …. the above charges are all charged as part of the monthly levy account that each owner receives from the managing agents together with the usage amounts for water & electricity, service charges on both as well as common property water & electricity usage which is mostly divided between the number of properties in the scheme / complex.
Some of the above charges such as insurance, gardening, refuse removal and maintenance will in most cases be grouped together to form one “monthly levy” amount. This amount is also calculated prorate on the size (under-roof m²) of the property. Bigger properties will pay more, and smaller properties will pay less for these charges.
Other services such as security, sewerage, CSOS & the recovery fund is shown separately as all properties pay the same amount for these.
A standard levy account might look something like this:
a. Levy for Dec 2023 = R 1200.00
b. Sewerage Levy = R 654.10
c. CSOS Levy = R 12.00
d. Security Levy = R 550.00
e. Recovery Fund = 250.00
f. Common Property Water = R 100.00
g. Common Property Electricity = R 150.00
h. Water usage from 01/10/2023 to 31/10/2023 = R 255.00
i. Electricity usage from 01/10/2023 to 31/10/2023 = R 1250.00
When advertising a property with the monthly costs like above, agents can either advertise the “Levy” as being R 1 200.00 (a) or as R 2 666.10 (a-e) with “f to i” being the only monthly variables. From an advertising perspective these amounts are far apart, and buyers are in many cases mislead to attract them to view the property as the levy looks low.
Buyers in Sectional Title Schemes also pay Rates and Taxes to the local municipality. This includes Property Tax and Refuse / Pikitup as water & electricity usage as well as service charges are billed through the Body Corporate Levy.
As mentioned previously, Buyers should ask for the Levy Invoice as well as the Rates and Taxes invoice before making an offer on a property.
We hope that you enjoyed this addition of our Steyn-Mail.
For ANY property related queries, please feel free to contact us directly or send us a WhatsApp message or email. We are always looking for stock and would love to help you to sell.
Marnus & Juanita
072 264 7806 / 083 604 1231
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