Accommodation in Cape Town

Accommodation in Cape Town
Updated 2022-11-06 13:34

Cape Town lies between Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean. It is a cosmopolitan, active and dynamic city with four million inhabitants, the second most popular tourist destination in the world and where many expatriates choose to settle, seduced by its exceptional setting, its Mediterranean climate and its relaxed lifestyle.

Property rental in Cape Town

Rents in Cape Town are higher than in the rest of the country, and their amount is determined more by the neighborhood than by the living space. It is difficult to find available furnished accommodation in Cape Town during the peak tourist season from October to March, as landlords prefer to rent them out to tourists on a short-term basis and at very high prices.

Expatriates in Cape Town have no problem renting a property as long as they have a valid visa for South Africa for the duration of the rental. For furnished apartments, it is possible to negotiate a three-month lease. A lease for a rental is for a period of one year and often includes a clause of tacit renewal.

For long-term rentals, it is relatively easy to find a place to live in Cape Town; the offer is varied, and so are the sources of information available: real estate agencies, websites and local newspapers.

A few years ago, the demand was much higher than the supply, and the price of rentals had increased significantly. But with the water rationing that Cape Town experienced in 2017 and 2018, recurrent power cuts, and a tightening of the government in granting work permits for expatriates, the amount of rent has returned to normal and is very affordable compared to the European market.

What type of accommodation to choose in Cape Town?

There are different types of properties available in the Cape Town rental market. Apartments have the advantage of being more secure, often with a janitor, but it is best to avoid the first floors. They are generally located in shopping areas with all amenities nearby, and the rent is lower than that of single-family homes.

Single-family homes are generally more spacious than apartments. They can have a garden and a swimming pool, but this, of course, comes at a price. The question of security must be taken very seriously: the garden must be fenced, the openings secured, and the house must be equipped with an alarm system. It is preferable not to rent near a vacant lot or a construction site and not to be too isolated.

The most expensive option is to rent a house in a secure complex with a shared pool and garden.

As Cape Town is a student city, there is a lot of shared accommodation.

Hostels are numerous throughout the city and offer mostly dormitory beds and single rooms with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. Some even have swimming pools. They can be a temporary solution for students looking for accommodation.

Guest houses and AirBnB also offer attractive rates for medium-term rentals and may be an option for families waiting for housing.

Choosing where to live in Cape Town

Once you have decided on the type of accommodation, you need to decide on the neighborhood in which to live. Many are very pleasant to live in, but the selection criteria are, of course, the price of the rent, the distance between the workplace/school and the residence and the availability of public transportation.

Wind can also be a problem and make life in certain areas such as Camp's Bay, Viedehock or Minelton very uncomfortable.

In order to avoid mistakes and not commit yourself too quickly, it is preferable to take the time to visit the city to understand its organization, learn about life in the different neighborhoods and soak up their atmosphere.

The CBD (Central Business District) is a very popular area for young professionals because of its proximity to workplaces. It is a cosmopolitan neighborhood that is very lively both day and night, with the many restaurants and nightclubs on Long Street. In addition, the stadium, Green Point, Sea Point, the Waterfront and the beaches of the Atlantic coast are easily accessible by public transportation. Rents in this area range from R7,000 to R9,000 per month for a one-bedroom apartment and R13,000 for a two-bedroom.

Gardens and Oranjezicht are quiet and residential areas at the foot of Table Mountain and close to the city's main attractions and nightlife. A large expatriate community resides in this neighborhood where the French high school is located. Rents range from R10,000 to R18,000 per month for one to two-bedroom apartments. There are also individual houses for rent.

The southern neighborhoods are the most sought-after by students because of their proximity to the University of Cape Town. The most popular are Woodstock, Observatory and Claremont. Rents are around R7000 per month for a one-bedroom apartment and R10,000 per month for a two-bedroom. These are bohemian neighborhoods with lively nightlife.

Green Point is a neighborhood with mostly high-rise buildings. It has been rehabilitated and is now one of the trendiest areas of the city, very popular with the gay community of Cape Town. Sea Point is also a very lively area with its several kilometers of waterfront promenade and its many shops and restaurants. The rent for a one-bedroom apartment is around 7000 Rands and from 10,000 to 13,000 Rands per month for a two-bedroom apartment.

On the Atlantic coast, the neighborhoods of Mouille Point, Clifton and Camps Bay are upscale areas where you can find some of the most expensive apartments and villas in Cape Town. Camps Bay is the city's most exclusive neighborhood, nestled between the Twelve Apostles mountain range and a white sandy beach. There are many pubs and restaurants, and the area is lively day and night. In Mouille Point, you can expect to pay between 10,000 and 15,000 per month for a one-bedroom apartment and between 20,000 and 25,000 for a two-bedroom.

In Clifton and Camps Bay, the rents are higher and are between R20,000 and R25,000 per month for a one-bedroom apartment and between R35,000 and R40,000 for a two-bedroom.

MyCiTi Bus public transport serves all these areas. It is a safe, reliable and convenient company.

The Southern Suburbs and Northern Suburbs and Peninsula can also be very nice places to live, but they are much farther from the city center and the business center, and the major drawback is that they take a lot of time to get around.

Good to know:

The neighborhoods to avoid absolutely because of their high crime rate are Cape Flats, Nyanga, Delft and Mitchells Plain.

How to find accommodation in Cape Town?

There are many real estate agencies in Cape Town, the most famous of which are Seef, Pam Golding, Sotheby's, Century 21 and Engel & Volkers, and websites such as Gumtree, Property 24 and Private Property offering a wide range of properties available for rent.

The lease in Cape Town

The real estate agency's fees are paid by the landlord; only the cost of drafting the lease is the responsibility of the tenant. The law regarding rentals is quite strict.

The potential tenant must provide their last three bank statements, work contract, and sometimes letters of reference from their previous landlords are also requested.

After verification of these elements, and if the rent does not represent more than 30% of the salary, a rental agreement can be signed.

The lease must include the annual rate of increase in case of renewal, the obligations of the tenant and those of the landlord and the distribution of charges, an inventory of fixtures and termination clauses. Expatriates can ask to add a termination clause in case of transfer.

It is important to know that in South Africa, real estate agencies do not manage the property. In case of problems during the rental period, the only person to contact is the owner. South African landlords are not known to be very cooperative, nor are they known to be reluctant to return the security deposit.

The downsides of living in Cape Town

It is difficult not to rent property in a city like Cape Town, a cosmopolitan and cultural city where nature is omnipresent, but its major weakness remains the insecurity and the very high crime rate. The privileged neighborhoods are not spared from pickpocketing and burglaries. The municipality of Cape Town has taken the problem of insecurity, which taints its reputation, very seriously and has assigned security guards throughout the city center.

Useful links:



Private Property

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