Foreigners owning property in South Africa is steadily increasing and many professionals view the country as a business gateway for Africa. Apart from that, the rand’s value in comparison to major foreign currencies makes for an attractive investment for residential property. These are a few reasons behind this property boom among foreigner investors, with Cape Town being one of the most popular areas of the country when it comes to foreign ownership.
Buying Property in South Africa:
Property can be owned individually, jointly in undivided shares or by an entity such as a company, close corporation or trust or a similar entity registered outside South Africa. – Pam Golding
South Africa’s Deed Registries are known to be on a high-standard and is said to be one of the best deeds registration systems in the world.
Non-Residents aren’t restricted to own property in South Africa, but there are certain requirements and circumstances that come into play:
- The applicant should register entities that are registered outside of South Africa, locally.
- A South African resident public officer should be appointed if a local company’s shared are owned by a non-resident.
- If the non-resident plans on residing in the country for longer periods they should apply for a residency permit.
Note that certain countries’ residents are exempt from visas to visit or stay in South Africa for three months or less. This makes property ownership ideal for those investors planning annual holidays or short visits in SA.
Due to our high-interest rates, most foreign investors who require finance will do so abroad, but non-residents can apply for a home loan from a South African financial institution. – Property 24
Renting Property in SA as a Non-Resident
In order to rent property in South Africa you have to possess a permanent residence permit, or a valid visa that permits the individual to study, work or do business for a limited period. Legal foreigners are allowed to rent property under the above-mentioned conditions.
Renting a property to a foreigner could pose a possible risk for the landlord. The owner of the property will consider the following:
- Legal foreigner status: The landlords will check whether the individual is in the country legally, follow up with their employees, and double-check your passport and visa details. Aiding and abetting an illegal foreigner is a criminal offence, and going through the background check and in some cases, the unwanted additional expenses for the landlord could prevent them from considering your application.
- Duration of Stay in South Africa: If the applicant only moved to the country recently, it might be tricky to contact their previous landlords or check the validation of their references. Communication complications with non-residents that speak a foreign language will also be considered.
- Non-Residents Can’t be Blacklisted: Foreign tenants that don’t pay their rent don’t face the same consequences as South African citizens. This also poses a risk for the landlord should the tenant default on their rent.
Should you require legal advice or want us to represent your eviction case then feel free to get in touch with our team of attorneys here