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Thread: Short-term apartment lets in Cape Town could be illegal

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by konfab View Post
    So the COCT bans AirBNB, then 2 years down the line will complain about the lack of tourists.

    If I were managing a sectional title place, I wouldn't ban AirBnB. Rather I would rather placate it by creating an extra levy for owners who want to use their apartments for short term leases. That levy can then cover the access control issues as well as paying SaturnZ's concierge to help them with checking in and out.
    You cannot do that (charge an extraordinary levy). It is against Sectional Title Rules which state that the levy is based on the dwelling area of the apartment
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    Quote Originally Posted by garp View Post
    It's going too far for the city to decide who can and can't stay on your property provided it's within reason. Sure, in flats this creates potential issues for residents, but then that is something that must be controlled by the body corporate. If the majority don't want short leases, then so be it. Another arrangement which will become more common is the body corporate issuing an extra per night levy for AirBNB rentals - which is a win-win for many complexes as it allows residents to rent out on AirBNB but the convenience is counteracted by extra revenue for the body corporate.
    the city is not saying who may or may not stay in your apartment, that are saying what you may or may not do in terms of the land use & zoning applicable to the building

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    it's not for body corporates, hoa's etc to apply city by-laws - they have neither the mandate nor authority to do so. thier authority extends as far as the registered conduct rules of the building as registered at the deeds office & can only act within the perimeters of the sectional titles act (in the case of bodies corporate)
    No I'm saying there is no need for a by-law at all, noone should enforce it, it should not exist at all.

    What HOA's etc are empowered to do is establish their own rules and enforce them whenever they have a problem with something, AirBnB being an example.
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    It is not AirBnB who are the problem, it is the greedy owners who are trying to milk the system. I referred above to an AirBnB flat in Cape Town which is owned by someone in Knysna

    When the visitor leaves, she gets in a maid service to clean up. In January there were 6 blankets, 6 sets of fitted sheets, 2 duvets, a full set of kitchen equipment. On Monday this week, a new visitor arrives. No towels, no sheets, no kettle, no toilet paper (all stolen?). So the visitor phones the owner to complain. Her instruction is to ask the flat next door to borrow what they need. I happen to know this person, who phoned me asking me to borrow an electric frying pan and a kettle. I do not have spares, so told her to tell the visitor she was out of luck. The visitor left and went to an hotel and has reported this owner to AirBnB as being delinquent

    Edit: The City Treasurer discovered that this owner is not paying the 10.5% lodging tax
    Last edited by chrisc; 06-10-2017 at 04:25 PM.
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  5. #20
    Super Grandmaster konfab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisc View Post
    You cannot do that (charge an extraordinary levy). It is against Sectional Title Rules which state that the levy is based on the dwelling area of the apartment
    I don't think the term "extraordinary levy" exists in the Sectional title act. What you are talking about is a special levy to pay for planned maintenance, which is as you pointed out forbidden.

    Maybe levy isn't the right word:

    Charge each owner an amount to add a temporary person to the access control. That specifically targets this type of usage.
    Put a clause in concierge's contract to allow him to help out a guest if the owner him pays for it and plans in advance (just like you have a gardener who looks after the common property, but still does work for private individuals).

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    the city is not saying who may or may not stay in your apartment, that are saying what you may or may not do in terms of the land use & zoning applicable to the building
    Beyond zoning apartments as residential with whatever density restrictions, it should be none of their business. After that the body corporate should be free to make whatever rules the majority sees fit within the framework of the sectional title act. The laws pertaining to hotels, are for.... hotels, not B&Bs. The truth is, the city is trying to protect the investment of the mainstream hotels as they obviously feel they are losing profit to Airbnb, but it is grossly unfair to impose the same bureaucratic requirements on an informal B&B as it is on a 2000 room R5k per night 5 star hotel. Perhaps if the hotels want greater occupancy they need to sharpen their pencils and take the local tourist market into account as well as come up with more innovative packages for lower seasons.

  7. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    complete rubbish
    cape town has never had a shortage of tourists - going back long before the spawning of airbnb.
    as to your opinion - the same investment properties have always been sold - long before the spawning of airbnb - but yea stellar logic from you - drive investors away from the country.

    common airbnb problem in buildings:
    noise
    parking problems
    litter
    overcrowding
    total strangers off the internet having complete access to the building during thier 3 day stay

    if people want to run a hotel operation in a block of flats, they must be subject to the very same regulations as the hotels they are competing with - compete by all means, but on a level playing field
    blabber, blabber, blabber.... those who gets their pockets burnt the hardest are the ones who will have the last say. Let's wait this out and see what happens.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrianax View Post
    Pretty much spot on.

    Besides, in my opinion, time for housing and rental prices to tumble in Cape Town. No better way than to keep them investment properties empty and force buyers / investors to buy elsewhere in the world.
    Yes I like this
    Too many Capetonians can't afford to live in their own city and even if we throw out Airbnb given we are in the most serious water crisis
    So what? It will stop the seasonal floodgates opening to our scarcest resource.
    Some People do anything to save a few bucks and with our sorry Rand we don't need added pressure from cheap ass Euro trash holiday makers.
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  9. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by konfab View Post
    So the COCT bans AirBNB, then 2 years down the line will complain about the lack of tourists.

    If I were managing a sectional title place, I wouldn't ban AirBnB. Rather I would rather placate it by creating an extra levy for owners who want to use their apartments for short term leases. That levy can then cover the access control issues as well as paying SaturnZ's concierge to help them with checking in and out.

    Stifling innovation is never a good idea. All the City of Cape Town is doing is protecting the pockets of the hotel companies.
    There are a whole lot of problems associated with mixing short-term and long term tenancy. One of them is insurance premiums, because they have different risk profile (business vs residential). Another is physical security, having strange people move in and out, coming and going at all hours of the day and night increases risk tenfold (resulting in increased security costs). And, as pointed out before, demographics and behaviors are hugely different between travelers and long term residents, the former usually have no qualms about taking a dump on their front stoep. Also the risk of overcrowding and increased maintenance associated with drunken revelry. All of these issues create unnecessary tensions, which aren't needed. Lastly, the atmosphere --imagine going on a camping holiday and staying at a caravan park that has permanent residents. There's also nobody that I know who likes living in a Holiday Inn for any great length of time. The two residency types just don't mix, something that uncaring "investor" type landlords don't seem to get into their thick skulls.

  10. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by infscrtyrisk View Post
    There are a whole lot of problems associated with mixing short-term and long term tenancy. One of them is insurance premiums, because they have different risk profile (business vs residential). Another is physical security, having strange people move in and out, coming and going at all hours of the day and night increases risk tenfold (resulting in increased security costs). And, as pointed out before, demographics and behaviors are hugely different between travelers and long term residents, the former usually have no qualms about taking a dump on their front stoep. Also the risk of overcrowding and increased maintenance associated with drunken revelry. All of these issues create unnecessary tensions, which aren't needed. Lastly, the atmosphere --imagine going on a camping holiday and staying at a caravan park that has permanent residents. There's also nobody that I know who likes living in a Holiday Inn for any great length of time. The two residency types just don't mix, something that uncaring "investor" type landlords don't seem to get into their thick skulls.
    Nah according to some it's just about property rights
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  11. #26
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    If I remember correctly AirBnB started as a facilitator for home swops. You are coming to London for 2 weeks, I'm going to LA for 2 weeks, so you come stay in my pad and I stay in yours. Not really any different at the end of the day from getting a house sitter to look after your place while you are away. And it was never for super short periods - like one night. If I was in a complex or block of flats I would completely understand people being pissed off if the flat was being let like a hotel room with rotating guests every few days or less. Sorry but it is a private residence not a hotel. There is a huge difference in how someone will act if you are swapping your house with theirs for a week or more and if you booked into a 'room' for the night.

  12. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoomzoom View Post
    If I remember correctly AirBnB started as a facilitator for home swops. You are coming to London for 2 weeks, I'm going to LA for 2 weeks, so you come stay in my pad and I stay in yours. Not really any different at the end of the day from getting a house sitter to look after your place while you are away. And it was never for super short periods - like one night. If I was in a complex or block of flats I would completely understand people being pissed off if the flat was being let like a hotel room with rotating guests every few days or less. Sorry but it is a private residence not a hotel. There is a huge difference in how someone will act if you are swapping your house with theirs for a week or more and if you booked into a 'room' for the night.

    I'm surrounded by airbnb units, infact my unit is situated between two airbnb units and I can count another 4 within very close proximity, around 30% of the total building has been converted.

    I don't have an issue with airbnb as such, but the BC structure has not been designed to cope with the traffic and risks that come with short term rental on such a scale, as you say its not a hotel.

    Some sort of regulation is required, and since a BC (in practical terms) can't decide on these regulations itself, the City issuing a permit to this effect is the next best solution.

    I have not seen the regulations, but I would expect them to be based on common sense, and if the regulations are onerous then perhaps one can debate whether the process was corrupted.
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  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by garp View Post
    Beyond zoning apartments as residential with whatever density restrictions, it should be none of their business. After that the body corporate should be free to make whatever rules the majority sees fit within the framework of the sectional title act. The laws pertaining to hotels, are for.... hotels, not B&Bs. The truth is, the city is trying to protect the investment of the mainstream hotels as they obviously feel they are losing profit to Airbnb, but it is grossly unfair to impose the same bureaucratic requirements on an informal B&B as it is on a 2000 room R5k per night 5 star hotel. Perhaps if the hotels want greater occupancy they need to sharpen their pencils and take the local tourist market into account as well as come up with more innovative packages for lower seasons.
    you're failing to understand a few things
    all properties have specific zoning which determines permissible use thereof.
    for example, a property zoned as GR1 will have 2 parts in terms of use
    1) normal usage (without consent) ie, residential accommodation, etc etc etc
    2) consent usage (usage that requires consent from council) bnb etc etc
    the various types of usage are very clearly set out in each of the above. anything that is not listed requires "departure consent" ie backpackers accommodation. very often departure requires application to change entire zoning.

    now, within this framework are the legal definitions of various uses.
    ie bnb - this is where there is a permanent occupant in the dwelling and this dwelling is the primary residence of the occupant
    similar definition is applied to a guest house - the dwelling always has a occupant, and this dwelling is thier primary residence

    where airbnb falls foul of the law is the fact that the entire dwelling is let out fully furnished and equipped without a resident occupant - and therefore falls under the definitions of hotels and tourism.
    this is all good and well, but the city (as all others) has a "guest accommodation" policy.
    under this policy various checks and balances are in place ie - health inspections, safety regulations, adequate parking etc etc etc.

    so it is not only the above, but also the fact that airbnb is creating a situation where available accommodation for city residents is decreasing, and as such, demand is increasing.
    the simple laws of supply & demand come into play - thus the spike in rental accommodation costs.

    your comparison to hotels is disingenuous at best.
    the typical airbnb guest in a R2000 per night apartment was never the guest in a R5k per night hotel with 24hr guest services to begin with

  14. #29
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    I used AirBnB when it just did house swops. A family from Huntingdon in England stayed here and we stayed in theirs, this was at least 6 years ago. All of us were thrilled with the swop, they even left us a car to use and filled it with petrol. A char arrived after 3 days and cleaned up. It was their first visit to Cape Town and they were mightily impressed
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrianax View Post
    blabber, blabber, blabber.... those who gets their pockets burnt the hardest are the ones who will have the last say. Let's wait this out and see what happens.
    yadda


    yadda


    yadda


    as expected, your inane comment is devoid of logic or sense

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