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Affordable is key: Add all the costs

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The most recent General Household Survey released by Stats SA says about a quarter of the 16.7million households in the country rent their accommodation.

Yet many are not aware of the total costs involved with renting. Tenants need to make sure they are aware of everything they will be charged for in addition to the rent, such as water, electricity, refuse removal and security, says Andrew Schaefer, managing director of national property letting and management company Trafalgar.

“If these amounts are not included in the rental they can make a big difference to monthly payments and the affordability of the property.” The general rule on affordability, Schaefer says, is that the total monthly rent should not exceed 25% to 30% of the net household income. Even that is high for many South Africans.

“To allow leeway for emergencies and future rent and cost of living increases, we would prefer to see tenants spending less than 25% of their take home pay on rent.”

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