Tenants are struggling to find rental properties in many Cape Town suburbs as owners hope to cash in on above-market World Cup rentals, estate agents say. Many owners have stopped signing long term leases by the end of last year in order to free up their rental properties during June and July. The concern, however, is that it isn’t only owners in popular tourist areas such as the city centre and along the Atlantic Seaboard who are hoping to make a fortune from the World Cup, but even in areas such as Durbanville and Parow who hope to make R3 000 or more a day. With millions being paid for mansions in Clifton and Camp’s Bay during the World Cup, many other homeowners believe they can also attract sky-high rents during the tournament. There are many pitfalls and hidden costs, such as additional insurance, agents warn. In addition, tourists who are willing to pay big bucks for rental properties want high-quality, furnished apartments that are on par with the accommodation standards of luxury hotels. Prime location is also incredibly important, agents say. While tenants are struggling to find property at the moment, the market may be flooded in August when all the World Cup rentals are released back in the market. For landlords, the market for more affordable rental properties, where rent is between R3 000 and R7 000 per month, is still the least risky, with nearly 80% of tenants in this category paying their rent on time. Despite the World Cup, the rental market in Cape Town – which recorded a dismal growth rate of 2% in income in 2009 – is unlikely to pick up significantly this year, according to the latest statistics by Rode & Associates.
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