Throughout the towns lying to the east of Johannesburg, there has, in recent years, been a big increase in the number of tenants – and this is nowhere more evident than in Boksburg, where a Rawson Property Group rental franchise, run by Lezaan Wiid and Lindi Cloete, is now signing up 10 or more tenants per month. They are also managing a portfolio comprising over 120 homes.
Lezaan and Lindi, who in October will have operated under the Rawson Property Group brand for two years, previously ran their own company, Rental Solutions, in the same area and were already well known to the Boksburg community when they switched to Rawson.
The move, they say, has resulted in a 50% increase in business because the Rawson name is becoming high profile and is well respected throughout Gauteng. This franchise is now growing at 40% per annum.
“Boksburg,” says Wiid, “is a good place to invest in buy-to-let property because rents are affordable for the middle class as well as for most traditional conservative Boksburg families or couples in all income groups who prefer to live here rather than anywhere else.”
Typically, she says, a one bedroom bachelor apartment will cost R3,500 per month and a two or three bedroom unit around R6,000 per month – although in the centre of Boksburg apartments can be found for as little R2,000 per month. The average freestanding home will cost R7,000 to R8,000 per month, with more luxurious units, e.g. those with swimming pools and other extras, renting at R9,000 to R10,000 per month.
“These rents, although reasonable and offering very good value, are now on a rising curve and growing at close to 5% per annum,” says Wiid. “What is more, we believe this will continue because demand continues to exceed supply.”
The secret of success in managing a rental portfolio, says Cloete, is to select the tenants with extreme care. If they do have impaired credit records, experienced agents such as herself and Wiid can often assist them in putting matters right, although this takes time.
Once approved, less than 2% of this Boksburg franchise’s tenants have turned out to be non-payers and at least 85% pay on time, making buy-to-rent investment through this franchise a popular and increasing option used by many local investors.