Once promulgated in the Provincial Gazette, new municipal bylaw amendments by the City of Cape Town will allow “short-term letting from a house or flat for a period not exceeding 30 consecutive days for the same guest”.
Johette Smuts from PayProp says that while the amendments might mean an increase in rental in an already expensive city centre, the announcement is great news for landlords, and potentially positive for rental agents too.
“Previously, only single residential houses had the right to provide short-term letting (with the correct zoning). Body corporates, HOAs and other governing bodies retained control of short-term letting according to their own rules,” says Smuts.
Longer-term letting options may decrease
While Airbnb believes that this bylaw complements their model and has the ability to boost tourism in Cape Town, it could mean that the number of flats available for longer-term letting will decrease, as landlords can increase their income when focusing on more expensive short-term lettings.
Smuts says that for long-term rentals, a higher rental income means that agents have the ability to earn more commission on each property within their portfolio if the commission percentage stays the same.
“With the new bylaw amendments, some landlords might decide to rather rent their properties out on a short-term basis, without necessarily realising how much work it could be,” says Smuts. She recommends that agents take the opportunity to expand their service offering in response to this, and build on the established relationships they already hold with their landlords.
“Depending on the agent’s proximity to the property, some of the additional services that you’d be able to offer include key-collection and drops during certain times, organising reliable cleaning services, or even just putting out fresh flowers,” says Smuts.
“Even if a landlord decides to leave, always remain professional and deliver outstanding service. If they change their mind, you want their return business, after all!”
Snake wrangler Steve Meighan’s life is all about the love of
The Glencairn resident is a certified snake handler and has made
it his life’s work to educate people about the reptiles we walk among in the
interests of keeping both people and snakes safe.
Steve has been taking a collection of kept snakes to schools
across the peninsula to educate kids and has now bought a piece of land in
Noordhoek to establish a reptile conservation and education centre.
The land has a river running through it and will provide respite
for reptiles while doubling as a place people can visit to learn more and
experience reptiles up close.
The Deep South Reptile Rescue Sanctuary is still being built but
it’s already home to its first resident, Ninja, a helmeted turtle Steve rescued
after its pond dried up. Steve was called out on Sunday November 10 to remove a
highly venomous Cape cobra (Naja nivea) from stables in Noordhoek.
“These are the most venomous cobras in Africa, and they are the
snake responsible for the most human fatalities,” he says. “Unfortunately for
the snake, their habitat is widespread and they come into conflict with humans
because our crops and animals attract their favourite food: rodents.”
The Cape cobra is quick to flee but equally quick to strike if
threatened, he says. However, in the hands of a professional snake wrangler, it
is calm and reluctant to bite.
Never try to remove them yourselves, he warns.
In January, he had a call-out to remove a boomslang (Dispholidus
typus). The boomslang is also highly venomous and is haemotoxic.
Steve was able to safely remove this specimen as it digested the
bird it had just eaten.
He keeps the snake long enough to check it is healthy, then
re-releases it back into the wild.
“Nothing feels as good as giving a healthy snake a second
chance,” he says.
His call-outs put him in touch with all kinds of snakes. Herald
snakes (Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia) are harmless to people and are often
confused with cobras because when cornered they posture similarly and flatten
their heads to look more dangerous.
Recently Steve was able to remove a rhombic egg-eater
(Dasypeltis scabra) from a local home. This one is all smoke and mirrors:
although they use their scales to make a rasping sound, and pretend to bite,
they actually don’t have any teeth.
He often sees mole snakes (Pseudaspis cana), which are not a
threat to people although their bites can be rather nasty, Steve says.
It is generally people, Steve says, who pose a greater threat to
his scaly buddies. Not just by accident or by encroaching on their habitat, but
sometimes with cruel intent.
He talks about the rattlesnake roundup in Sweetwater, Texas,
where rattlesnakes are captured in vast numbers and then have their mouths sewn
shut before being released to be hunted.
“The obvious cruelty aside, it’s those who are not killed in the
hunt that die slowly of starvation or thirst in the heat that I think about,”
Steve will be attending the upcoming Cape Town Reptile Expo in
Bothasig on December 7 and 8. The expo opens at 10am and closes at 4pm. Entry
for adults is R50 at the door and kids under 16 pay R20.
“It is the first time that this expo is being held in Cape Town
and all the top reptile folk will be there with all the latest knowledge and
equipment – not to mention of course – lots of reptiles.”
He says he will exhibit at the expo this year, but there is
already talk that it might be held at his sanctuary next year.
Steve has a Facebook group, which shares the name of his
sanctuary, and fans post pictures of their own rescues and pet reptiles.
Steve says there are different types of venom, and it’s what
some snakes use to help them catch and then digest their food.
“Important for people to know is that snake venom moves through
the lymphatic system, not in our bloodstream. This is why tourniquets are no
longer used in first aid.”
South Africa has 151 known species of snakes that are
technically venomous, but only 16 have venom known to be potent enough to be
medically significant, to pose a risk, or be life-threatening to humans.
Snakes considered dangerous to us in South Africa are the
boomslang; six species of cobras, of which we only have the Cape cobra in Cape
Town; the puff adder; the berg adder; the coral shield cobra, which is not a
true cobra and which we get in Cape Town; two species of mambas; the rinkhals,
which is also not a true cobra; the gaboon adder and two species of vine
snakes, although the latter do not live in Cape Town.
The most common venomous snakes we encounter in Cape Town are
the Cape cobra, the puff adder and the boomslang.
Venom, says Steve, can be neurotoxic (nerve destroying)
cytotoxic (tissue destroying) haemotoxic (which affects your blood) and
myotoxic (which paralyse muscles).
Steve says that in South Africa there are, on average, only 10
deaths a year from snake bites because of better access to medical facilities
and broader general knowledge.
This is one of the factors driving his work. Steve has launched a BackaBuddy campaign to help raise the funds for his sanctuary.
Details can be found at www.backabuddy.co.za/steve-meighan For more information, contact Steve at Steve the Venom Man on Facebook or for snake removals call him at 064 681 0779.
The original Hotel Glencairn was built in 1904 by John Parker with the annex added in 1918. Further additions were done in the 1950s.
John Parker was a recognised Architect who also built the St Andrews Church in Green Point, our Church down Glen Road and was commissioned by Robert Whyte (then Major of Simons Town) to change the façade of Simons Town to the iconic main road we know today.
It is not clear who commissioned the building of the hotel or who were the initial owners. We do know that both John Parker and Robert Whyte where members of the Glencairn Syndicate that bought Elsjes Bay Farm and renamed it Glencairn, selling off 56 plots and effectively birthing a community.
The Hotel Glencairn was built as a beachside holiday hotel, however it was initially used as a private residence for Mr George Scott, his wife and son. Mrs Scott and her son are rumoured to haunt the hotel to this day.
This newly renovated grand old dame boasts 7 en-suite rooms, a restaurant and a pub. It is a uniquely South African establishment that celebrates our culture with a retro, quirky twist. Each room is decorated to focus on some element of South African culture that is sure to stimulate the memory banks.
Hotel Glencairn is situated in the South Peninsula of Cape Town. It is central to Fish Hoek, Simons Town, Kommetjie and Noordhoek. Within walking distance of the hotel is the beautiful Glencairn beach and shops. Various hiking and biking trails in the Table Mountain National Park are within close proximity. The Glencairn Vlei is a protected area that offers a half hour circular stroll.
Simons Town is a 5 minute drive and offers up activities such as shark cage diving, Boulders Beach Penguin Colony, SA Navy museum to name but a few. Cape Point Nature Reserve is just a little further along the scenic coastal route and is the celebrated meeting place of the two oceans.
Hotel Glencairn is perfectly situated to explore not only the scenic south but the Mother City, Winelands and Whale Route.
We are delighted to promote this interactive environmental site that is a credit to the community.
A brief history of GEESE Glencairn Educational & Environment Support Enthusiasts
GEESE, as such, was formed in January 2002 when a small group of residents decided to put on AN EVENT to mark World Wetland Day on 2nd February 2002. Sponsorship, speakers, and displays were obtained and two marquees hired – all to bring awareness to our wetland and the uses and features of wetlands in general. Hundreds visited and the event ended with a celebratory service in the church next door. A similar event was put on the next year and thereafter World Wetlands Day has been suitably observed from then on in the valley but in different formats.
Despite the recent slowdown in home sales in Cape Town which has seen many real estate companies scale down their operations, Chas Everitt International franchisees are investing in new offices in the metro in anticipation of a substantial turnaround in the not-too-distant future.
One of these is the new high-visibility operation in Constantia Village, at the heart of a plush heritage area that has been particularly hard-hit over the past 18 months by emigration, the stagnant economy and a decline in the number of upcountry and foreign purchasers.
“This will further strengthen our strong position and interest in Constantiaberg area where we already have offices in Tokai and Bergvliet,” says Chas Everitt Constantia principal Sally Gracie, “and will be used to expand our penetration of the upmarket belt along the mountain slopes from Constantia and Bishopscourt to Newlands.
Home prices here, as in many other areas known for their high-end real estate, have tumbled by as much as 30% as demand dried up, but well-heeled buyers are now beginning to see the opportunities inherent in this situation, she says, and sales are set to improve significantly in the coming summer “season”
“It also doesn’t hurt that we’ve had very good rains this winter which have filled up our dams and put an end to the drought and the threat of Day Zero which hung over Cape town for so long.”
Gracie says there has been a very positive response to the new office, with lots of walk-in custom from both local sellers and buyers interested in listings in this area. It has also prompted enquiries from several top local estate agents keen to join the group.
“We have exclusive mandates to sell some exceptional properties in Constantia (see photos) and Newlands and in the few weeks that we’ve been open have already made our first sales. We will shortly also have a team operating in Claremont.”
Meanwhile, the Ballan Group, which owns the Chas Everitt International franchises in George, Knysna and Sedgefield, has just opened a trendy new office in Bloubergrand on Cape Town’s west coast, under the leadership of sales manager Leonard Coetzee.
Named Chas Everitt Blouberg Metro, it covers a huge area – including Melkbosstrand, Table View, Parkland, Parklands North and Blouberg – that is generating well over 2000 home sales a year worth a total of at least R4,3bn, despite the current oversupply of new developments that is keeping a lid on prices.
“This part of Cape Town has become increasingly popular with local buyers over the past few years because it offers lower prices, a great beach lifestyle, excellent private schools and easy access to the city via public transport. Many people relocating to Cape Town from Gauteng and other inland provinces have also chosen to live here because of its relative affordability compared to the rest of the metro,” he says.
“It also appeals to a very broad spectrum of buyers, with apartment prices starting from around R750 000, home prices generally ranging from around R1,6m up to about R7,5m and exceptional beachfront properties going for as much as R25m. And we believe it is set for a significant revival within the next few months.”
As it is, he notes, the office has also notched up several sales in the few weeks it has been open and plans to have a total of at least 15 sales agents in the field by the end of the year.