Those landlords hoping to push up rentals on buy-to-let flats and town houses at the usual 8%-10% when leases come up for renewal this year are in for a rude shock. The market has weakened so much that rentals in some areas are down more than 30% year on year. This is particularly true for Cape Town, where buy-to-let owners have been forced to either lower their asking rentals or face the prospect of sitting with empty properties. That signals a sharp reversal of fortunes for Cape Town landlords. This time last year, rentals in the Mother City were still testing new highs, and demand for properties to let seemed never ending. Seeff agent Imtiaz Adam says the sectional title rental market in Cape Town’s southern suburbs has softened to such an extent that two-bedroom units in popular complexes in Claremont that easily fetched R15,000/ month last year are battling to find tenants at R11,000/month. Even the lower end of the market is feeling the pinch. Adam refers to Plumstead, for exa...

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