Cape’s upper range rental market affected by drought

Certain areas of Cape Town are known for more expensive luxury properties to rent, particularly to corporate tenants and professionals, but landlords in this particular segment of the market might find they need to take additional measures to ensure comfortable and streamlined stays for their tenants, says agent Cathy Cockcroft.

“Although the prospect of the imminent arrival of day zero has been averted in Cape Town, landlords as well as the general public need to change their thinking on future water usage as water shortages are likely to occur more frequently worldwide due to factors such as global warming and changing climate conditions,” says Cockcroft.

Cockcroft deals with many rentals in the R30 000 plus range, particularly in the City Bowl to Atlantic seaboard suburbs, which do attract slightly more discerning tenants. Many of the tenants she deals with are executives and corporates from overseas as well as various parts of South Africa. She says the market has shifted slightly over the past few months, to one where it is slightly more difficult to place higher paying tenants due to the risk of discomfort or inconvenience caused by the drought.

“Landlords in the upper bracket rental homes have always taken care to ensure that the properties they rent out have superior finishes and above average security. But they might now have to consider installing well points or boreholes, rainwater tanks and grey water systems, so that tenants are not at risk of running out of water or have the inconvenience of having to carry water from one area to another within the home,” says Cockroft.

“Tenants paying R30 000 or more in rent do not want the inconvenience of having to manually pump water, nor do they want to do without certain normal day to day conveniences, so they would rather reconsider their stay while Cape Town is in this situation.

“While rain water and borehole water might not be seen as suitable for drinking, this source, once filtered, can be used for showers, toilets, running washing machines or dishwashers, and a proper filtration and tank system could almost take a home off the grid with regards to municipal water demand.

“The average household could be adequately covered by the installation of two above-ground 5 000l tanks. Combine this with a borehole and a grey water harvesting system and the household will significantly reduce the demand on municipal sources. The tenants, in turn, benefit from having reduced water costs as well as the assurance that they are unlikely to run out of water or be inconvenienced much,” says Cockcroft.