What to do if you have a fault or emergency?
The city of Cape Town is also on standby to help. Please see below important numbers and who in the City to contact?:
To report a fault
Please keep your cellphone charged, and candles and rechargeable lanterns available.
In an emergency call the City’s Public Emergency Communication Centre on 0214807700 from any phone / 107 from a landline.
Please stay safe everyone, and let's help those less fortunate in this storm.
We are in day 6 the 21-day lockdown period in effect in South Africa.
Last week we rushed to visit all our management client properties and "set up" the property for the lockdown to minimise any potential issues which could arise. We turned off the water, turned off pool pumps, geysers etc.
All HQM administration staff and property managers were set up to be fully operational and connected to our cloud-based systems from home. HQM Property managers are still available by email, or otherwise cell phones.
Only gazetted essential services are authorised to continue over the lockdown period; HQM Properties is not one of them.
The understanding is that security, cleaning and refuse removal, together with emergency City of Cape Town maintenance services are proving to be operational. Importantly for our clients ADT and other armed response companies continue to be operational and we continue to be on call to receive any alarm activations.
Public transport has been limited to certain times of the day and ONLY for essential services staff. This may well cause delays and disrupt service delivery standards to some extent. Please report any concerns to us and we will investigate and resolve to the best of our abilities.
Importantly most all of our trusted plumbers and electricians have managed to register themselves as critical services and are able to assist us in any emergencies that arise. This will only be for EMERGENCY work though.
It is very important for everyone in South Africa and the world to work together to achieve the lockdown objectives to slow down the transmission of COVID-19 and “flatten the curve” to enable medical facilities to cope with the expected patient care. Diligent hygiene habits (washing hands for 20 seconds with 70% alcohol- based hand sanitiser), social distancing, remaining home as far as possible and staying calm throughout, are all very important. A very useful data free web site has been launched by government with the latest news and advice concerning the Covid-19 pandemic: www.coronavirus.datafree.co
We wish all our clients, tenants and their families to be healthy and safe in this trying time. Please feel free to contact us if you need anything.
Grant and the HQM Team.
Winter is coming and you should prepare your home before it's too late. The recent storms in the Cape provide clear evidence for the need to ensure that your house doesn't leak and won’t be vulnerable to damage.
Before we get into our top tips, the first thing you should do is set up a good home inspection. We place a high value on regular inspections of all the properties we maintain to keep abreast of potential issues, and offer a comprehensive home inspection as one of our services. A home inspection ensures that you don't miss even one element of preparation.
We highly recommend a professional inspection, but there are also things you can (and should) check yourself. Attention to detail is key which is why we've highlighted five areas you need to give special treatment and tips about how you can inspect them.
Leaks are friends to no-one
Two major problem areas during winter are water and moisture penetrating a property from above or below. Consider the roof first; look for loose tiles or roofing sheets that may let rainwater in. Also, inspect the flashing between different elevations to see if an area is raised.
Tip: an easy way to do this is to climb into the roof space and see if any light gets in.
Avoid all window pain
Your next focus should be on external wall foundations and windowsills. Calking, beading or putty can peel away from the window frames exposing sills and panes. This can really be a pain, as even small hairline cracks can let moisture into the wall and cause bubbling in the paint over time.
Tip: check the outside walls for exposed waterproofing.
Dampened walls and spirits
Rising damp on internal walls can be disheartening because it’s a difficult problem to solve. Is there a constant stream of water from a gutter running down the wall? Is there an irrigation spray that always wets the wall? You may need to call in an expert if the source of the problem isn't obvious.
Tip: check that the damp proof course (DPC) is not damaged. This is a layer of waterproof lining that should exist in all homes.
Don't get a security shock
Once your home is water tight, you can start to look at security. Ensure that nothing is in front of any alarm beams to prevent them being set off unnecessarily. Check that electric fences are clear and in full working order with no overgrown bushes obstructing them. Cut and trim any overhanging or dead branches near electric fences.
Tip: service the electric fence so that it's properly earthed - wet weather can often cause shorts, and this can set off false alarms.
Light up your life
Winter has shorter daylight hours so it’s important to check that all external lights are working. Whether they're sensory lights or garden sensors, all require regular inspection. If you use timers to switch them on and off, adjust these according to when the sun rises and sets. If you have solar lights, make sure they're in appropriate spots to maximise catching the sun.
Tip: even if your lights are in working order, buy some torches and extra candles in case you have an emergency.
Finally, staying warm in winter is something to aim for! Check elements like underfloor heating, central heating and fireplaces for any problem areas. If you have a thatched roof, be sure to get the chimneys cleaned of excess soot from last winter. To build a roaring open fire you’ll need plenty of dry wood, so make sure that log storage is not exposed to the elements.
Contact us if you’d like help with an inspection or for more information on 021 801 3946 or send an email to email@example.com.
If you live in your home, that's manageable. But if you live in a different city, it can become a little more challenging. A property manager's first role is to save you the headache of trying to manage your property from the other side of the country - or the world. We know that your home is more than an asset - whether it's the one you live in or the one you holiday in. It's somewhere you should feel safe and relaxed; it's your space away from the world. That's why you should have it looked after.
Here are five reasons you should consider a property manager if you have a home away from home:
On your doorstep
A Cape Town property manager lives on your doorstep (so to speak) and can sort out any issues as they happen. Our job is to be that person on the ground who can attend to issues as they arise, in a professional and trustworthy manner. This will minimise the potential of unexpected and costly outlays.
Coastal home challenges
Having a home at the coast can cost you more in the long run. That said, if it's maintained consistently then that won't be a problem. A professional property manager is the person who will keep a close eye on challenges that might arise through wet winters and windy summers. Another reason to think about hiring one? Year-round check-ups and attention to detail that might be missed or overlooked otherwise.
No nonsense neighbourhood
You may not be the only home owner that has vacated your property for the winter. Imagine an entire street of homes that are empty; with no-one present to keep an eye on the neighbourhood's assets. Your Cape Town property manager can function as the eyes and ears of the neighbourhood.
Too close to home
Changes in the community can occur while you are away. Often there are changes to a nearby road or structures in and around the area. Or your neighbour could build another story that affects your view. All these could impact the value of your home. Sometimes the only sign of this communication about changes is a small note in your post box. A Cape Town property manager can make sure none of these notices go under the radar.
Long arm of the law
A Cape Town property manager will ensure your home remains legally compliant. For example, Cape Town currently has water restrictions. Homeowners may not use municipal water to fill their pools or use irrigation systems. If you left your home for the winter and forgot to turn off the irrigation, you could land up with a fine from the council. A Cape Town property manager addresses these requirements.
Ready to hire a property manager for your Cape Town home? Our management services cover all the bases - so you can enjoy your home without the hassle. Contact us today to find out exactly what we can do for you. Call us on 021 801 3946 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you own rental property or a holiday home, you'll know by now that you can't always take care of it. It's hard to do when you live in a different location or simply just don’t have the time. The question begs though, if you aren't looking after your home then who is?
Hiring the right property manager is one of the most important elements of your home investment. Here are three sound reasons why you should hire a professional property manager to take care of it.
They get their hands dirty
A good property manager provides hands on attention to your property, and isn't afraid to get them dirty. They carry out property inspections, managing of contractors, managing tenant complaints and queries, bill payments, routine property maintenance, dealing with complaining neighbours or council related enquiries. These are all things you'll need to take care of, but with a property manager you can let someone else take care of it. At HQM Properties we become your eyes and ears, managing your home as if it were our own.
More than a to-do list
Large properties require ongoing maintenance that homeowners sometimes can't even predict. If your secondary home is not attended to often, things can crop up that would have cost less had they been noticed. A property manager is there to make sure nothing is missed. From landscaped lawns to a leaking roof or faulty electrical wiring, a professional property manager maintains the overall state of your home.
Our team of property managers are experts in their fields and have the required knowledge and experience to understand your needs, often before you even know they exist.
Count the cents
Large homes tend to have complicated and expensive structures, fixtures and fittings. Smaller homes have their own quirks too that come with their own set of challenges. There are several potential disasters that can occur in a home that isn't occupied or supervised. That's where a property manager is essential - at the end of the day, a property is a long-term asset that needs focused care and attention. The annual cost of employing a home management company will seem insignificant when compared to an expensive crisis that could have been avoided.
If you want to know what else our professional property managers can offer you, call us on 021 801 3946 or send an email to email@example.com.
If you're a home owner (or a buyer in the property market) it's easy to get overwhelmed by legislation, home maintenance, compliance and other regulation requirements. There is good news though. With current legislation, the buyer - that's you - is increasingly protected to a certain degree. How?
The most obvious way is a law that requires sellers to obtain certain compliance certificates before putting their property on the market. These certificates include inspections to prove electrical, plumbing, electric fence and gas installation compliance as well as an inspection for beetle infestation. All of these are carried out before the buyer even encounters the new home. The best news is that the seller covers all of the costs for these inspections and the work needed to ensure compliance.
Once you take ownership of your new home there are a few other things you can do for your own peace of mind. These simple maintenance inspections will make the world of difference:
All in all, being a property buyer doesn't have to be as daunting as it might seem. The responsibility of making sure that everything is in order lies mainly with the seller. This protects you, your new home and your finances. As the buyer is good to be aware of what your rights are, and ofcourse asking the right questions often saves you from surprises further down the line.The cherry on top is that you can have someone manage this whole process for you by using a property manager - that's us! To find out more contact us on 021 801 3946 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maintaining a holiday home is hard enough as it is, but properties near the coast can pose even greater challenges. If you’re not careful and neglect the basics, keeping your holiday home in a good condition can turn into a really expensive exercise.
To avoid unexpected bills and inconveniences, we’ve put together some tips for holiday home maintenance:
The metal finishes that work best in coastal homes include stainless steel, aluminium, copper plating and cast iron. Whether used indoors or outdoors, all of these materials must be monitored from time to time, and appropriately maintained to ensure that they last as long as possible. High-end finishes, such as stainless steel, are often sold to homeowners under the impression that they are maintenance free, but this is not often the case. Some of the highest quality stainless steel finishes can become completely rusted by sea air if they are not properly maintained. Treating the stainless steel at least twice a year prevents this from happening.
In coastal areas, factors such as sea air and strong winds can be particularly problematic for your home. Therefore, roof inspections by a trained professional to ensure that your roof is well maintained are a must, especially in windy coastal areas close to Cape Town. It often happens that a simple thing such as a roof tile shifting out of place in a heavy wind will go unnoticed for months. If homeowners aren’t aware of this and don’t fix it promptly, the first good rain could easily lead to internal leaks and water damage within your home. Ensure that your roof stays in good condition by getting a roof inspection done at least once a year.
Spalling is a type of corrosion that occurs on coastal buildings due to the higher content of salt in the air. This often causes metal reinforcements within brick walls to expand, potentially resulting in the bursting out of the plaster. The trick is to catch spalling early to prevent it from spreading. Upon discovery of spalling, a good builder will need to open the problem area and treat the corroded metal with a restoration of the structure by removing the damaged concrete, treating the reinforcement and applying a suitable concrete mix to prevent future spalling.
Cold weather and insects
Cold weather isn’t only a problem for coastal areas, but it is definitely something to keep in mind. In cold weather geckos, ants and other bugs seek warm and moist places to hide, such as alarm beams, outside lights, gate motors or anywhere with an electrical current creating heat. If these spots are not checked regularly and kept clean, they can eventually be affected by these insects. An easy and quick solution is to pop a few mothballs in risky areas to keep the bugs at bay!
Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that with the current water problem in South Africa and particularly in the Western Cape, it is very difficult to maintain the luxury garden that most people are hoping for. Due to the winter rain in the Western Cape, the full and lush African lawns that we all yearn for are not natural during the dry summer months. Therefore, it is extremely difficult to sustain this type of garden, while still adopting a water-wise approach. For your coastal home, rather consider creating a lovely water-wise indigenous garden. To start such a garden, plan well before you plant, group plants according to their water needs, incorporate rocks and beautiful paving, and water at the appropriate times of day.
Please share your tips with us if you have any to add. HQM Properties specialises in home management, so if you’d like help with the maintenance and management of your primary or holiday home, please contact us for more information.
HQM Properties is looking for a vibrant, energetic and passionate individual with an interest in property to join our property management team as a property manager.
This position would suit anyone with work experience in the property, hospitality and building sector who enjoys a variety of work demands on a daily basis. Anyone with a practical background who likes to be hands on would also be well suited to this position.
A lot of the time will be spent out of the office visiting our various luxury homes along the Atlantic Seaboard as well as in the Southern Suburbs to provide support services to home owners, tenants and holiday makers.
Roles and Responsibilities
The candidate will be responsible for managing a property portfolio of residential properties as well as assisting in growing their portfolio. He/she will be responsible to the company and its clients for the effective management, creation and control of to do lists on the portfolio.
Please send an email to email@example.com with your CV and cover letter or email us for more information.
If you are a foreigner who has fallen in love with South Africa and wants to buy property, you will likely need to transfer Forex and convert it into Rand. As many foreign investors reside in countries with little or no exchange control regulations, South Africa’s regulations can quite seem daunting. Despite this, it is important to engage with and learn about them because failure to comply when purchasing property means that an investor cannot send proceeds back out of the country if, and when, they sell.
To avoid these unnecessary issues, it’s important to deal with a knowledgeable Forex services provider to ensure that all requirements are met. Forex transfer service providers, such as ForexPeople, are key to maximising the value of the currency being invested in South Africa, and will ultimately save you money. Many non-residents find that while sending money into SA is relatively straightforward, getting it out again can be a very different story. This is where ForexPeople comes in!
We chatted to ForexPeople founder Rich Beddow to find out more. “Our friendly and experienced staff are committed to ensuring that customers receive the best possible service. The service is totally transparent with no direct monthly retainers or commissions. Just another reason why using a professional service is a non-negotiable.
ForexPeople’s smooth and efficient service offers:
Transferring Forex into SA is quick and easy, but must be done properly. Don’t let the love of your life pass you buy – in the property market that is. More than that, get it right the first time if you’re a foreigner buying in South Africa. In the excitement of buying that dream property, it’s easy to get things wrong but these mistakes can cost you later. Most offshore investors are cash buyers, and so the relatively high interest rates in SA which motivate many local property buyers to take out mortgages need not be a deterrent.
If you’re in the market to buy property in South Africa, call us on 021 801 3946 and let us help you through the process. Alternatively, visit our blog here for tips on how to take care of your property. Lastly, if you’re a foreigner, visit ForexPeople.co.za to find out more about how you can easily transfer Forex to buy your dream property in South Africa.
Forget about keeping up with the Joneses; sometimes your home simply needs to be renovated. It’s a place where you should be able to kick back, relax and spend time with family. When paint is chipped or scratched, tiles have lost their colour, or faucets have gone out of style, renovations can seem like a daunting task for seemingly little reward. The mistake is often then to do a quick-and-dirty patch job rather than take the time to assess fully and implement a long-term plan. Remember, renovating doesn’t mean you have to tear down your whole house!
Below, we offer four tips for major or minor home renovations. These things will give you the confidence to make changes and improvements, whether now or in the future.
#1 Set your budget and your boundaries
It’s easy to get carried away on a renovations project, so it’s important to keep tabs on your spending. How much money are you willing to spend on this project? Before you even buy a paintbrush or call a building contractor, set your limit. Then build a buffer into that for unexpected costs. For example, if you decide you can spend R100 000, only work on a plan that costs R80 000 so you’ve got something left over (which you can still afford) when things go over budget.
#2 Visualise the project and ask a professional
Now that you know how much money you have to spend, you can start assessing what the most important parts of the project are. Unless the ceiling is caving in and pipes are rusted through, take your time prioritising where you will start. Use your budget as a guide to gauge how intense and long the project will be. This is also a good time to ask a professional for advice; call an architect, interior designer or a building contractor so they can advise on whether you’re being realistic or not. We have worked with a number of reliable and highly skilled contractors over the years, so chat to us if you’d like recommendations or for us to manage the process.
#3 Shop around and negotiate
If you love shopping and bargain hunting, you’re in for a treat. Do not buy the first thing you see; do not buy the first so-called bargain you hear of. This part of the renovation project will require some time, some savvy and some gentle reminders of that set budget. Visit different hardware stores, look online, create a Pinterest board for inspiration, and ask your family and friends for input. Just when you think you’re done, go back and negotiate. This project needs to fit your budget, so make it work.
If you’re going to hire a professional, compare the hourly/ daily rate or project cost of different construction and design teams. Ask them about the projected timeline, what it will cost for each part of the renovations.
#4 Do it yourself this time
Be prepared to get your hands dirty – the DIY version of renovating is not insurmountable and can be a great holiday project for the whole family. Yes, there are certain things that will require a hired professional, but there are some parts of the project that you can do yourself. Why would you want to do it yourself? You’ll be more likely to keep within your budget and you have a greater sense of satisfaction when everything is complete. Homebuilding & Renovating Magazine gives us this lovely list of DIY dos and don’ts:
If you would like more advice about how to manage your home renovations, visit our website or contact us directly on 021 801 3946 and firstname.lastname@example.org