Accommodation in Johannesburg

Rent house or flat in Johannesburg

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If you are seeking a rental property for three to six months, it's best to rent a holiday apartment for a week or two to allow yourself time to look around for a long-term rental rather than renting something sight unseen. Properties for rent are advertised in South African newspapers and magazines, including expatriate publications, and can also be found through property publications in many countries. Many estate agents offer short-term rentals, and builders and developers may rent properties to potential buyers. Very short-term rentals of less than three months can be found through local tourist offices in South Africa and the South African State Tourist Offices abroad, travel agents, the Internet and many overseas newspapers.

All residential leases are governed by the Rental Housing Act. Once you've chosen a property to rent, you must make an offer in writing. If an estate agent is handling the transaction, he or she will usually draw up a lease for you to sign, and and might ask you for credit references and/or proof of income. If you aren't buying through an agent, you can ask a lawyer to draft a lease or you can do so yourself, using the Rental Housing Act for guidance. Rental leases must contain all of the following elements:
  • The landlord's name and address
  • The tenant's name and address
  • The address of the property
  • The rent and any escalation (increases in rent over a period of time)
  • Any other costs that the tenant must pay
  • When the rent must be paid, usually the first day of every calendar month
  • The amount of any deposit required
  • The period of the lease
  • The landlord's and tenant's obligations to each other
  • A list of the property's existing defects, if any
  • Any house rules that the tenant has to obey
  • A list of fixtures and furniture (if applicable)

According to the law, the landlord must issue a detailed written receipt for every payment received from the tenant. If a deposit is paid, the landlord must invest it in an interest-bearing bank account and must give the tenant a written statement of the interest earned whenever the tenant asks for one. Before the tenant moves in, he and the landlord must inspect the property and compile a list of any defects, which must be attached to the lease. When the tenant moves out, he or she along with the landlord must inspect the property again to assess whether any damage has been done. If no damage has been done, the landlord must refund the tenant's deposit and the interest within seven days; if there IS damage, the landlord should pay for any repairs out of the deposit and refund the balance and the interest within 14 days.

For a long-term rental (any term longer than months), it's possible to rent every kind of property, from a tiny studio apartment to a huge, rambling country estate. Rental costs vary considerably according to the size (number of bedrooms) and quality of a property, its age and the facilities provided. However, the most significant factor affecting rents is the region of South Africa, the city and the neighbourhood. Most rents are negotiable and you should try to obtain a reduction. Sometimes an agent will suggest offering a reduced rent. South African landlords often actually prefer renting to non-resident foreigners, who pay higher rents and are easier to evict!

Long-term rents for South Africa range roughly as follows (all figures approximate):

Size Of Property Monthly Rental (R) Monthly Rental (£) Monthly Rental (€) Monthly Rental ($)
1-bedroom 3,000 - 6,000 260 - 520 235-465 295-590
2-bedroom 5,000 - 10,000 430 - 870 390-780 490-985
3-bedroom 8,000 - 17,000 700 - 1,480 623-1325 785-1670

Update 5/12/2008


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