Car Rental News

Car Rental News

Europcar is extending the range of services available from its ground-breaking Mobility Centre at ExCeL London. Focused on giving visitors to the exhibition and conference venue a transport solution that is tailored specifically for their needs – a first for the events sector – the new Europcar Chauffeur Service enables customers to take advantage of a luxury driving option. ? Read More

Car Rental News

The spotlight is on Scotland for the Commonwealth Games as well the Edinburgh Festival and Ryder Cup as Homecoming 2014 makes the country the hot destination this summer. ? Read More

Car Rental News

Concur, leading provider of spend management solutions and services in the world, and premium minicab firm Addison Lee announced a strategic partnership that enables travellers to book Addison Lee taxis through the Concur Travel platform and automatically link an e-receipt to their expense report. ? Read More

Take the risk out of investing

Take the risk out of investing

Investing in property? Here’s stuff you need to know first!

Decide on a niche

In order to make an informed purchasing decision, you need to know what the market-related selling prices and rentals are. Since it is very difficult to be an expert on all types of properties in all areas, it is usually a good idea to decide on a niche you will target. For example, you could choose to focus on townhouses within a certain area.

Observe market trends

Watch the trends in your chosen market for some time before taking an investment decision. You should know what the rental and buying demands are like, and whether they are increasing or decreasing. Are rental yields going up? Are selling prices going up? Try to establish whether changes in demand are related to the area only, or to variations in the general economy.

Remember, you will be buying with a long-term view so always satisfy yourself that the area you are looking at will continue to be sought-after by renters (and buyers) in the future.

Understand tax

As an investor, you need to know what the tax consequences of your investment will be. Typically, any rental income you receive will be included in your taxable income but maintenance expenses, rates and interest on the bond can be deducted. You could quite easily end up with a tax loss in the first few years which could be set off against your other taxable income.

Capital improvements to a property cannot be deducted, but will reduce the profit on sale taxed by SARS.

When you sell a property that you bought to earn rental income, there will be capital gains tax on any profit you make. It is important to note that if your original intention was to buy a property and then resell it for a profit, the profit could be taxed at normal income tax rates!

Get tax advice from your accountant before investing.

Understand tenant rights

If you rent out a residential property, there are two legal elements you must be aware of.

  1. If you ever decide to sell, the lease agreement that you signed with your tenant will take precedence over the subsequent sale agreement. This is the “huur gaat voor koop” principle. What this means is that any change of ownership has no effect on the lease; the tenant just makes payment to a new landlord. This could limit potential buyers to only those who don’t mind the fact that there is a tenant.
  2. You need a court order to evict a tenant who stops paying. Not only can this take three months or more to obtain, but it is not a foregone conclusion that the court will even agree to evict. In terms of SA law, the court will consider the rights and needs of tenants who are vulnerable: the elderly, disabled persons, children, and households headed by women. The court could therefore decide, in the particular circumstances, that it would be too harsh to evict the tenants even though they aren’t paying the rent. The lesson is to carefully screen any potential tenantsfirst and to consult a good lawyer.

RentReport tool for property investors for TPN

RentReport tool for property investors for TPN

Another first in the industry, Tenant Profile Network (TPN) announced its innovative new RentReport tool at the launch last week, which is set to change the face of property investment inSouth Africa.

“The quality of your rental investment is based on the quality of the tenant you have placed in the property,” says Dickens.

Property owners and investors can now access suburb-specific data to assist them in identifying what properties in which areas will deliver good and consistent returns. There are 22 700 suburbs in SA and TPN has data which is invaluable in pinpointing buy-to-let hotspots and tracking trends in various suburbs.

With 3.6 million households living in rental accommodation in SA, this represents 25% of the population, says Michelle Dickens, managing director of TPN, and this figure has grown from 18% in 2001 (Stats SA figures). In Gauteng alone there are 1.4 million households renting, which is 42% of the resident population.

“The quality of your rental investment is based on the quality of the tenant you have placed in the property,” says Dickens. Two things are important for investors, capital growth and rental yields, and knowing the payment behaviour of a particular tenant is vital, as is understanding location and pricing of rental properties.

The report uses data sources which include TPN’s RentBook, RentBay and credit bureau data, as well as suburb demographics sourced from Stats SA population census and General Household Surveys.

Dickens says RentReport generates reports which are based on a number of crucial suburb demographics. For example, she says the most important demographic from a buy-to-let perspective is how many properties within an area are rental properties, as this is an indicator of the volume of tenants looking to rent in that area.

Investors can also get a feel for the size of properties in an area that tenants are looking for, she says. RentReport distinguishes between property types such as townhouses, clusters or freehold properties, and investors can see the percentages of these property rental categories for a specified area. Dickens says in an area like Sunninghill there are more townhouses for rent than townhouses occupied by owners,  while there are more owner-occupied freehold properties than tenants renting this type of property. Therefore, she says potential investors can deduce that townhouses would be a more valuable buy-to-let investment.

Dickens says RentReport generates reports which are based on a number of crucial suburb demographics. For example, she says the most important demographic from a buy-to-let perspective is how many properties within an area are rental properties, as this is an indicator of the volume of tenants looking to rent in that area.

She says when investors are looking to, for example, buy a property in Midrand, they would need to know whether a studio apartment priced at R395 000 would be a good deal or not. Now they can download a report for that suburb in Midrand. This indicates how tenants are paying rent in the area – percentages on time, in the grace period or late – compared against the national average, which is currently 86% in good standing.

RentReport gives an overview of who lives in the area, distinguishing between owners and tenants. “Data provided includes the average number of tenants per household, the housing dynamic of these tenants (such as singles, couples, families etc.) and the average ages of household heads,” says Dickens. “You are also able to view the income of each household, which enables buy-to-let investors to derive the affordability of rental prices in that area based on 30% of income.”

The report includes employment status of tenants in an area, their education level and languages spoken. Payment performance data in an area enables investors to check this against national, provincial and local area averages.

RentReport shows rental prices in a selected area over a six-quarter period for one, two and three bedroom properties, with average maximum and minimum rent for each category over the period. Dickens explains that a visual graph indicates in which price brackets the majority of rentals are being achieved. “The report also supplies the relevant outlying data, which shows, for example, that a three bedroom rental price bracket can start from R 11 000 and up to R 18 000 per month.”

The RentReport tool can be accessed through the TPN website and is available to all registered TPN members.

“An important factor to note for property owners and investors is that access to RentReport is based on data-reciprocity. This means that members are required to supply their own tenant data in order to access these aggregated rental suburb reports,” says Dickens.

The RentReport tool is based on the Google Maps visual system and designed in an simple-to-navigate web-based platform.  Dickens says they wanted to make sure the system would be really easy and user-friendly.

Until now, property owners and investors could not access any suburb-specific rental demographic information. Dickens says, most importantly,  what they have achieved with RentReport is the collation of suburb-specific demographics and data, which is non-static and generated in real-time as opposed to historical, giving it a rental component – a first for South Africa. - Julia Hinton

Government to fast-track land reform

Government to fast-track land reform

Government has recommitted to urgently accelerate the pace of land reform in South Africa, Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti announced on Wednesday.

Minister Nkwinti’s proposed model is that each district municipality with commercial farming land in the country should convene a District Land Committee.

Delivering the department’s Budget Vote in Parliament, Minister Nkwinti said land reform must represent “a radical and rapid break from the past”, without significantly disrupting agricultural production and food security.

He said the State must further mobilise resources to reverse both the human and material conditions of those displaced by previous land policies.

The minister said land reform must deal with the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality in rural areas. Furthermore, equitable land allocation and use across race, gender and class, must be ensured.

The minister also said the comprehensive audit of state-owned land must be completed urgently.

“We also reaffirm our proposals to replace willing buyer-willing seller with the ‘just and equitable’ principle in the Constitution immediately where the state is acquiring land for land reform purposes,” said Minister Nkwinti.

The department will pursue agrarian transformation as a strategy to change patterns of ownership and control of land, livestock and cropping, and to uplift rural communities.

National Development Plan (NDP)

Minister Nkwinti said the NDP, which sets out the trajectory for rural economic transformation and development, is the roadmap for his department’s programmes.

He said radical change must bring real benefits to working people and the poor across South Africa.

The NDP provides a long-term vision for accelerating development, so that unemployment and inequality can be reduced, creating a more inclusive society.

In the rural development context, the NDP seeks to ensure economic growth, food security and jobs as a result of agrarian transformation and infrastructure development programmes. Improved access to basic services, health care and quality education must also be a reality in rural areas.

Minister Nkwinti’s proposed model is that each district municipality with commercial farming land in the country should convene a District Land Committee with all agricultural landowners in the district, as well as key stakeholders such as the private sector, government departments and government agencies. - SAnews.gov.za

Vehicle Hire Software Release 5.2.0.8 2014/07/17

DOWNLOAD UPGRADE

Vehicle Hire Software – Issue Resolved and new features:

Vehicle Hire

Customer Report with Postal and Delivery Addresses
An option to print a list of Customers with their postal and delivery address have been added to Reports=> Customer => List All. In the dropdown list the “Show All With Postal And Delivery Addresses”.

Non-Revenue status Print Check list
The option to “Print Check List” have been added to a booking with a Non-Revenue status.

Non-Revenue status Record Damages
The option to record damages on a vehicle have been added to a booking with a Non-Revenue status.

Relations Management Software Release 5.4.0.5 2014/07/02

DOWNLOAD UPGRADE

Relations Management Software – Issues resolved and new features:

Relation Management

Issue regarding sending emails in Windows XP and older versions of Office.
• The issue that occurred when trying to send an email in older versions of windows like XP have been resolved.
Customer’s names issue when switching datasets.
• When switching datasets it occurred that the incorrect customers name was added when using a template. This issue have been resolved

Equipment Hire Software release 6.2.0.5 2014/06/27

DOWNLOAD UPGRADE:

Equipment Hire Software – Issues resolved and new features:

Equipment Hire

Specific Customers:

ODP
Hi Way Bande
Issues resolved and new features:

NovPasSDK.dll:

NovPasSDK.dll 1.5.0.4 added.
The NovPasSDK.dll has been altered to handle the changes made to the Pastel database structures. The latest version of the NovPasSDK.dll is included in this version of Novtel.

Contracts:

Add a “Cancel Button” to the General tab in order to cancel provisional and confirmed Contracts.
The following are required in order to cancel:
Provisional Contract
All Items must first be removed from the contract
Confirmed Contract
Deposit must be refunded and all Items must be removed from the contract

Contract Search:

Fix an error occurring when searching for a specific contract with all contracts selected. This error occurred only on databases with more than 32700 contracts at a specific branch.

Rental Day Limits:

Change to incorporate non-serial to also make use of rental day limit discount if activated at Setup > Rental Day Limits
Add the option to select the rental day limit on the General tab if the specific contract needs to calculate values on a fixed rental day limit.

Contract Discount:

Change not to lose focus while entering the discount percentage.

Removing Items:

Change not to allow removing item with rain/off-hire days activated on the Item to be removed.

Modify > Import/Update Inventory Items

Made some changes to verify against the item table in order not to update or create Items in the rates table. This is managed when creating or modifying an item.

Close of Shift

Fix an error related to Supplier on account invoices creating a receipt entry in Pastel. Closing a user shift by the user and by the supervisor did not function in the same manner.