Friday, September 11, 2015

Rental Accommodation During Peak Season - Struisbaai / Agulhas

The end of 2015 is fast approaching and most of us are looking forward to the December holidays.
Since I can remember we visited Struisbaai during the summer holidays. Looking back, I've got a lot of great memories !

Struisbaai Harbour
Over  years this  small coastal town has grown into a popular holiday destination.
If you are lucky enough to own a house in Struisbaai or have booked accommodation in advanced their shouldn’t be a problem during peak season. (20 Dec - 3 Jan)

A couple years back, I was on a mission to find accommodation for my brother in law's Irish wine agent plus family.

The instruction came at a short notice ( 2 months before December )
Luckily someone cancelled their reservation and they were able to stay at Langezandt fisherman village.

My advice to first time visitors -- book in advance ! Especially if you want accommodation over the festive season.

Happy Holidays !

Monday, June 16, 2014

GSM Alarm for Tenants?

Before writing this post, I contacted an old friend of mine who has been in the security business for a number of years. Louw is an expert in the field and I trust his opinion.
I wanted to know about GSM alarm systems because I thought they could be a quick and effective solution for tenants looking to safeguard their property.

 Wiress GSM Alarm
GSM alarm systems differ from most in that they operate through the Global System for Mobile Communications network (that’s where the GSM comes from) and not a telephone line, although some of them have a landline option as well.

My first question for Louw was about reliability, and he assured me that with a strong GSM signal inside the house, you shouldn't have problem.
If the signal is weak, you can try a different provider, and if it’s still not adequate, an external antenna can be fitted to increase the signal’s strength.

Some of the high-end models come with a built-in camera and microphone that allows you to hear and see what's happening in a room, remotely. You’ll need either a 3g or 4g connection. Monitoring can be done via cellphone, so no fees are required.The alarm can be programmed to call or send a text message (SMS) when triggered.

Landlords can be finicky when it comes to drilling holes in ceilings, which is required for wired alarm systems.Because a GSM alarm is wireless, no drilling is needed.

GSM pricing is competitive. With a price tag of R1,000-R1,500, you won’t have to dig deep into the pocket.However, a unit with a built-in camera will cost up to R4,500.

I also spoke to Jonathan Green at the ADT Contact Centre in Cape Town. ADT offers a service called “cell panic” for R99 per month, where you simply add the speed dial feature to a number assigned to you.
In an emergency situation, the speed dial number automatically summons an armed response to your premises with no need for the caller to talk.

If you are interested in a GSM alarm system, contact Louw directly at 079 958 5144.
His shop is located in Vanderbijlpark, or you may visit the online store.
I recommend speaking to him before buying.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Tips for Tenants

You've made some decisions, had some conversations, and you may have even looked at some properties to rent.What might you do to make leasing a house, a flat, or an apartment a dream instead of a nightmare?
The suggestions below are based on my personal experience of being a tenant for years and are just some thoughts I wanted to share.

We all hear stories good and bad about renting, and with thoughtful attention to good practices, both landlord and tenant may have a successful relationship.

Take your time looking for a property. Haste makes waste, the saying goes, so carefully look though classifieds, property sites, other website listings (i.e. PrivateProperty, Gumtree), or a reputable property dealer. 

Check with the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EEAB) if you’re using a real estate agent. It’s free, and the website is easy to use.

Meet the landlord before deciding. Nothing beats one-on-one personal communication, and getting to know the landlord of a property you've short listed will facilitate communication later.

Don’t sign the lease until you've read it carefully. It’s very easy for impressions to form during informal conversations, and prospective tenants should make sure that all terms and conditions they assumed would be covered are in writing. If an item is not acceptable, or if you would like other terms included, try negotiating with the landlord.

Conduct a walk-through of the premises before moving in. In the company of the landlord or his representative, inspect the premises for damages and note them in writing. You’ll be happy you did when you move out down the road, and you will eliminate misunderstandings.

Know the lease terms and strictly abide by them. If you've done items 1 through 5 above, adhering to the lease terms should be easy. Moreover, legal disputes with the landlord could ensue without compliance with the lease terms.

A good relationship between a landlord and tenant results when both sides adhere to these good and sensible practices. In fact, a landlord happy with my tenancy once loaned me his car when mine was in the shop for repair.

If you look after a property and adhere to the lease terms, both you and the landlord will be rewarded.
This is my first post, and I’d really like to know what you think about these tips. Please let me know!