Cape Town Apartment Lease

Cape Town Apartment Lease



Original Poster:

85 posts

124 months

Saturday 14th September 2013
quotequote all
I am possibly moving to Cape Town for a year, and am in the process of looking for a place to live. Does anyone know the laws/rules on exiting a lease early? I am happy to sign up for 12 months, but if things aren't working out over there, is there anyway to break out of the lease early? Or will the lease have to be paid in full?

Thanks for any advice.


357 posts

176 months

Tuesday 17th September 2013
quotequote all
The laws in SA regarding renting ( not lease in SA) are much looser and more open than in the UK and to some extent are determined by the owner of the property but are always negotiable normaly they would be for a period of 6 months or 12 months unless otherwise negotiated and after that its can be on a rolling month basis. But there will be a notice period meaning u have to advise the renter if u want to vacate the property with the agreed lead time. Normally a depost it required ( one or two months rent in advance) whiich is refunderable when u vacate the property and its in good order but u cannot stop paying before the period is up and use this deposit for the last months rent for instance. There are many cases where people stuggle to get their deposit back so be a little carefull who u deal with. Unlike in uk many rents are direct with the owner of the property ( although there are agents like here) and again unlike the UK the owner pays the rates ( council tax) and the renter pays the consumerables like electricty and water ( very few places have gas) Organising these in your own name can be a mission and u will probably have to pay a deposit on them upfront. U will need a bank account so a job and a salary will help in this regard. There is no choice of electricity supplyer or water supplyer as they all come from the council ( municipality in SA) It is a lot easier if the company u are going to organises to rent direct on your behalf and some take the rent from your salary as it helps with the hassle and in SA u are lost to some extent without an ID book which u will not be able to obtain as everything is geared to this book and the number. Hope this helps


144 posts

151 months

Wednesday 2nd October 2013
quotequote all
We moved to Bethlehem (Free State) in May and I can 2nd the comment about lack of ID book. I have a spousal visa and still can`t open a bank account....fricking nightmare. Luckily my wife is a Saffa and so we have bank accounts in her name. I just have to be nice to her :-)

Its not the end of the world having an ID book, but certainly it adds a lot of hassle with registering cars, mobile phone sim cards, etc...

I know there is a lot of negative things written on this SA forum, but I have moved and not regretted one thing. We are in a relatively safe area and we are not complacent when it comes to security but there are a lot of nice people in SA as well...not everyone is trying to murder you.

Good luck and enjoy the adventure, we are giving it two years and then deciding if we stay or go back to blighty as our kids will be starting school.


1,096 posts

169 months

Wednesday 2nd October 2013
quotequote all
I rent out an apartment in Fresnaye, Cape Town and have done so for the past 13 years.

My first tenant was a Brit, who after one month of pot smoking, decided that he never wanted to be a tenant any longer and just wanted to "go surfing". It cost him his two months deposit which he forfeited in lieu of lost rental.

There is a deposit regulation scheme, but this only comes into force if you use an agent. I issue the tenancy agreement and I hold the deposit. I remain responsible for the Rates and Body Corporate Levies (Management Company fee equivalent, which covers the water and external maintenance), and the tenant pays for the electricity. Electricity is metered on a Pre-Pay system, so no account is required - you can buy electricity at all supermarkets. Landline telephones are a waste of time, to be frank, so your Broadband is probably going to be 3G/HSDPA+ (Cell-C speeds up to 21mbps on HSDPA+). If you need an ADSL connection then your landline contract will be in your name and you will have to pay a line rental, plus a fee to your ISP. ADSL there is heavily contended,depending on location, so quoted speeds are your connection speed, not your download speed!

To get a mobile phone SIM activated, you will require Proof of Residence or an "ID Book" (only issued to South Africans, or persons who have permanent residence). You can use your Tenancy Agreement, or, easier still, as a Saffa that you know to "RICA" your SIM.

Living in Cape Town is a great lifestyle, but economically dependent - I wouldn't want to be a salaried employee unless it was on an Ex-Pat package. The Atlantic seaboard is where you want to live - Green Point/Sea Point/Fresnaye/Bantry Bay/Clifton/Camps Bay/Llandudno/Oranjezicht/City Bowl.

Good luck.


1,494 posts

159 months

Tuesday 15th October 2013
quotequote all
We rent a house out in Cape town and would echo the advice so far especially where to live - Atlantic Seaboard as accessible to Waterfront etc and you don't face the long commute if you work in cape town itself.