Residential Rentals RoundUp #5 | Answers to Lockdown Rental Questions, WEBINAR: COVID-19: Rights and Advice for Rental Agents, Online POPI Training & Financial Relief for Companies & Individuals

Here’s a summary of Rentals/COVID-19 related information that I believe is useful, informative and will hopefully assist you and save you from having to wade through all the ‘clutter’.

Lockdown means rent need not be paid until tenant moves in after April 16

The first of the month is traditionally when people move into their new homes or rental properties.

However, because of  the 21-day national lockdown, new leases have been suspended.

In light of the measures of the lockdown that aim to prohibit movement and promote physical distancing, moving house is out of the question.

Tenants who were due to move at the end of March will have to remain in place at least until after the nationwide lockdown which ends at midnight on April 16.

Tenants will not be required to pay rent to the new landlord until they can take occupation “because these circumstances are beyond their control, and the landlord/agent will not be able to let the property to someone else during lockdown, even if it is empty,” he said.

Source: HeraldLive (1 Apr 2020)

WEBINAR: COVID-19: Rights and Advice for Rental Agents

LIVE | COVID-19 Rights & Advice for Rental Agents

Your COVID-19 questions answered.

Posted by Agent Connect on Friday, 3 April 2020

Source: Agent Connect Facebook Page (3 Apr 2020)

Answers to lockdown rental questions

The sudden 21 day lockdown has left thousands without income and in dire straits about how they are going to meet their rental obligations. Specialist rental property attorney Marlon Shevelew weighs in with legal advice for estate agents.

Someone said earlier this week that the one thing one can be certain of in these uncertain times is uncertainty. As President Cyril Ramaphosa said earlier this week, the current situation with the coronavirus pandemic and the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the virus, is unchartered territory.

Last week Shevelew in ‘Lockdown: How to deal with rent and levies’ explained that the current lockdown would qualify under the law as an ‘act of God’ (in legal terms called force majeure or vis major) and how that then impacts on the legal obligation to meet residential and/or commercial rent requirements. The response has been unbelievable. Tenants, landlords and rental and estate agents alike have responded with a torrent of queries: What about tenants that are self-employed/sent home because their business closed due to the lockdown – so no income to pay April’s rent? Can a landlord threaten to blacklist a tenant who can’t pay rent? What does the law say about sectional title levies that are due? What about rental for vacated student accommodation?

Property Professional asked Shevelew to respond with more legal advice on how to deal with some of the most asked questions.

Source: Property Professional (2 Apr 2020)

Has your POPI workshop been cancelled? Now what?

Have you booked for an in-person workshop that’s now been cancelled? Michalsons are determined not to let COVID-19 win. In place of in-person workshops, they’re running an online POPI workshop.

Source: Michalsons Attorneys (2 Apr, 2020)

Financial Relief for Companies & Individuals – Coronavirus Pandemic

I’m sharing this information as it could be useful for agencies, agents, as well as your Landlords and / or Tenants.

Tax breaks

Companies
can claim back up to R1 500 a month per employee who earns less than R6 500
(for those younger than 30), and R500 for those 30 and older. These amounts
will be paid back every month by SARS as part of the Employment Tax Incentive
(ETI) programme.

UIF pay outs

As part of the special Temporary Employee/Employer Relief Scheme (TERS), administered by the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), money will be paid out to workers in distressed companies. The amounts paid will be a percentage of an employee’s salary, according to a legislated sliding scale from 38% for the highest earners to 60% for the lowest earners. The maximum benefit is R6 730 a month. If your company is struggling to pay salaries as a result of the Coronavirus crisis, please report your situation to Covid19ters@labour.gov.za.

Business Growth/Resilience Facility

Businesses with an annual turnover of less that R50 million can also keep back 20% of the pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) payments they were supposed to hand over to the SA Revenue Service (SARS) for the next four months. But they will have to pay back this amount in equal instalments, with the first payment expected on 7 September 2020. Companies can apply at www.smmesa.gov.za.

Delay in payment of provisional tax

Instead
of paying 50% of their expected tax bill six months into the tax year, and then
settling the full amount at the end of the tax year, companies are now allowed
to pay only 15% after six months, and another 50% by the end of the tax year.
Then, by 30 September 2021 (or six months after the end of its financial year),
the company needs to pay the outstanding balance. Please note that this option
only applies to companies with an annual turnover of less than R50 million.

Delayed employee tax payment

Businesses with an annual turnover of less that R50 million can also keep back 20% of the pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) payments they were supposed to hand over to the SA Revenue Service (SARS) for the next four months. But they will have to pay back this amount in equal instalments, with the first payment expected on 7 September 2020.

The Oppenheimer family’s R1 billion

The money made available by the Oppenheimer family will be paid out directly to employees of small, medium and micro-sized businesses as interest-free loans. Employees themselves will not be liable to pay the money back, but companies will be. The typical loan amount per employee is expected to be around R750 per week for a period of 15 weeks. Currently, the money is available to clients of Absa, First National Bank, Nedbank, and Standard Bank, and limited to businesses which were ‘financially sustainable; before the coronavirus crisis. Businesses will be able to apply directly with their banks from Friday, 3 April 2020.

Johann Rupert’s R1 billion

The
Rupert family’s donation will be distributed as loans through Business Partners
which is a funder of small companies. Once the website is live, applicants can
apply for finance via www.businesspartners.co.za.

SELF-EMPLOYED

Instead
of paying 50% of their expected tax bill after six months into the tax year and
settling the full amount at the end of the tax year, provisional taxpayers only
have to pay 15% after six months, and another 50% by the end of the tax year.
By 30 September 2021, they need to pay the balance. While it hasn’t finalised
which individuals would be eligible, Treasury says that it will probably be
those who have a turnover of less than R5 million and don’t earn more than 10%
of their turnover from interest, dividends, foreign dividends, rentals from
letting fixed property and pay received from an employer.

INDIVIDUALS

South
Africa’s big banks have announced individual measures to assist clients, with
some offering three-month payment holidays on home loans, vehicle finance,
personal loans, and credit cards. A summary of how to make contact with your
bank is provided below:

Absa

Pre-screen
customers and send SMS offering capability to customers who can opt in or out

Email
ABSA at bondrs@absa.co.za

Effective
1 April 2020

Standard
Bank

All
customers can email debtcarecentre@standardbank.co.za

Nedbank

Phone
Nedbank Home Loans on 0860 553 573

Email
HLCollections@Nedbank.co.za

Email
MoratoriumRequest@Nedbank.co.za
to request payment holiday

FNB

Contact
FNB via digital and assisted banking channels Covid-19 icon on FNB banking app

Want updates faster by Whatsapp?

I’ve created a WhatsApp Group (‘Rental Matters for Agents’) in which I will be sharing information on a regular basis. This is the quickest way to get updated on new information published. You can join the Group by clicking on this link: https://chat.whatsapp.com/K5LJL1LwPtR6EaIO2xKl2r

I have set up the Group in such a way that only I can send messages to the Group, so you won’t be bothered by any other ‘chatter’.

Following me on Facebook?

I’m also sharing as much relevant information as possible on my Facebook Page, so feel free to Like / Follow my page: https://www.facebook.com/ShaunLuyt.PropertyRentalTrainingConsulting/

Join my Mailing List

Just need to complete the pop-up on my page.

The post Residential Rentals RoundUp #5 | Answers to Lockdown Rental Questions, WEBINAR: COVID-19: Rights and Advice for Rental Agents, Online POPI Training & Financial Relief for Companies & Individuals appeared first on Residential Rental Procedures, Training & Advice.