SEEFF HELPS YOU MAKE MONEY FROM YOUR PROPERTY
Thank you for selecting Seeff to take care of renting out your property. Our professional, experienced team are at your service and we shall do everything in our power to find and develop a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship with your tenant and you.
We have two rental systems: one where we find you a tenant, prepare all the paperwork - this is covered by a separate guideline – and one where you sign a management mandate asking us, in addition to finding and installing a tenant to:
• Advertise your property on our website, which is linked to all Seeff’s southern African websites and in the local media as appropriate.
• Prepare and vet a shortlist of potential tenants for you to make a final choice.
• Collect a month’s rent as a deposit against damages, non-payment, etc on your behalf. If you wish we can draw up a Deed of Suretyship, whereby we check out the tenant’s guarantors through credit bureaux, and request an additional double deposit.
• Collect rent, contractually before the end of the preceding month but legally before the 8th of the actual month, and pay it into your account by the 15th of the month.
• Keep all your monies in a trust account from which we don’t benefit.
• Inspect the property regularly and send you a written report.
• Provide you with a list of vetted, professional, cost-effective contractors to undertake repairs for you, as you are legally responsible for essential repairs affecting the actual building.
• We can pay contractors on your behalf if you authorise the bills – and instruct them if you have your own maintenance people. In this case, we don’t oversee their work.
• Keep you up to date on developments in Zimbabwe’s property market.
• Negotiate rent increases – although this is not a simple matter: see below.
• Negotiate renewing the lease – which is normally for a year – or find you a new tenant if possible: see below.
• We charge 20% of the monthly rent for this service.
• If you wish, we will settle maintenance bills for you from your own funds.
To help us to do this, there are a few points you should consider, please:
• Giving someone a Power of Attorney to take care of day to day issues for you if you don’t live permanently in Harare,
• Insuring the property properly – and including fixtures, fittings, furniture, the pool pump, the gate motor: anything that might go wrong that you don’t want to have to pay for. We are happy to notify your broker or insurance company on your behalf if there is a claim and to ask him/her to negotiate with you directly.
And the tenant is responsible for:
• Minor repairs or ones that don’t involve the fabric of the building.
• Maintaining the property, pool and garden – although don’t hold your breath…
• Prompt payment of the rent in full – and we insist on this for you.
• If you have a telephone, the tenant must complete a TCB 10 form that gives him/her temporary use of it but s/he cannot transfer the line. We do have problems when tenants either don’t pay their bills or leave.
• Organising re-connecting electricity – which is best done at the same time as you close the account. And alas tenants do leave with all these service bills unpaid, although we do our best to manage this aspect for you. It’s easier to do so if you ask TelOne, ZESA, City of Harare etc, to direct the bills to us and we then bill the tenant.
• Paying rates and water that may or may not come on one account. Please tell us if you receive two separate accounts so we can monitor this for you. Or why not address these bills to us so we can pay them and charge the tenant accordingly?
Tenants, the Rent Board and the law
While it is easy to find and install tenants, the Rent Regulations favour them over the landlord and it is difficult to evict tenants, even for non-payment of rent or neglecting your biggest asset. And when the tenant agrees to a rent increase, the Rent Board can – and does – reverse it. Do look at the regulations carefully before you decide to lease out your property, remembering that it can take years for cases to come to court – which means a bad tenant is devaluing your property daily, probably at a peppercorn rent. We can’t handle legal matters for our clients.
If you want to end your mandate with us, this can be done either when the lease expires, if you let us know in writing – email is fine – that you no longer want us to manage the property for you, or by two months’ written notice on either side. If, in this case, the lease has not expired we charge a 5% commission on the rent for introducing you to the tenant.
Staying good friends
Please tell us before you tell your friends if you have a problem with any of our service: that’s how we improve.
We know you want that rent on time and we’ll do everything in our power to ensure that – but please don’t chase us before the 15th of the month because cross staff don’t provide the service levels we promise. That’s also true if you shout at them – shout at management instead.
Our door is always open for you.