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14 Nov

Things to consider when renting or buying property in South Africa as a foreigner



All you need to know about property in South Africa

Non-residents buying property in South Africa has become a very popular option since the rand value compared to other currencies makes for great investment opportunities and also because it’s considered the business gateway into Africa. Many professionals are utilising these properties for business or to sell, eventually to make a profit.

There are some regulations, however, that should be followed when thinking about owning property as a foreigner in South Africa.

Purchasing property:

Property can be bought in a personal capacity, jointly or even by an entity such as a trust or a company, even if registered outside South Africa. Deed Registrations will be a breeze since the Deed Registries of South Africa is known to be a world-class registration system.

There are no restrictions for non-residents when it comes to owning property in South Africa, only a few requirements that need to be adhered to:

• If a foreign national wish to buy property through an entity, registered outside South Africa, it should be registered locally.

• Should a non-resident have shares in a local company, a resident public officer will need to be appointed.

• A residency permit should be applied for if the said non-resident wishes to spend more time in South Africa on a regular basis.

• German residents are exempt from applying for visas for periods of three months or less which makes owning property in South Africa ideal if they are planning short visits or holidays in our country.

• It is possible for a foreign national to apply for a home loan from a South African bank but due to the high interest rates, they typically apply for finance abroad.


Property rental:

There is a whole set of new requirements if a foreigner wants to rent a property in South Africa. They have to be in possession of a permanent residence permit, or a visa that enables them to work, study or do business for a specific time period.

Landlords might be extra careful when renting out property to non-residents since it poses an additional risk to them. They will take the following into account:

• A landlord will make sure the applicant is legally in South Africa by getting in touch with their employer and checking their passport and visa. Since harbouring an illegal immigrant is a criminal offence, the process and added expense of doing background checks might deter landlords from considering them as a potential renter.

• Landlords will consider the applicant’s duration of stay in the country and since it might be challenging to contact previous landlords if a non-resident has only been in the country for a short amount of time, their application might not be considered.

• Another factor that might complicate a rental application is due to the fact that foreign nationals can’t be blacklisted, so if they decide to not make rental payments, they won’t face any consequences.

South Africa is an incredible place to put roots down or even to spend your holidays if you prefer shorter stays. If you want to experience all this country has to offer without making a serious commitment, you can always opt for the rental option.

Speak to one of the consultants at Black Pen Immigration for your visa options.


Read how South Africa could be on the verge of a ‘Zombie’ break out.


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Here is a list of unsafe vehicles in South Africa.

Related Service Providers:

Black Pen Immigration

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