The accommodation in Johannesburg is one of the city's biggest advantages. Houses in Joburg are generally big and often come with a patio as well as a swimming pool which can be used for most of the year because of the beautiful weather.
Expats often choose to rent rather than buy property because they'll only be living in Johannesburg for a limited time.
House hunting should be one of the fun parts for expats relocating to Johannesburg. Before the hunt for housing begins, decisions will have to be made based on a few important factors.
Types of accommodation in Johannesburg
Size is one of the key considerations in choosing accommodation. As is often the case, the size of a family should determine the size of their accommodation. Most expats do, however, live in bigger houses in South Africa than they would at home. This is especially true of some of the generously proportioned houses in secure estates that expats often live in.
Living in an apartment is also a viable option, especially for expats who want to live close to their corporate offices in and around areas such as Sandton.
Home security in Johannesburg
Security is the topic expats who are new to South Africa will probably have researched the most or, at least, be most concerned about.
The majority of South African homes are equipped with some level of security, but this varies depending on location. Generally speaking, freestanding houses protected by nothing more than a fence are the least secure kind of accommodation. The security of such houses can be improved by adding burglar alarms with armed response, and ensuring that the surrounding fences cannot be easily breached.
The most secure type of housing is part of a security complex. They are protected by high walls, security cameras, and professional security guards that monitor access around the clock. The peace of mind provided by these gated communities is the reason most expats choose to live in them.
Finding accommodation in Johannesburg
Once an expat has narrowed down their wish list to a target area, they can then approach an estate agent. Some of the larger companies serve the entire Johannesburg area, but some of the smaller ones specialise in certain estates.
It is also possible to find accommodation without the aid of an estate agent by browsing through online classifieds and local newspapers.
Renting accommodation in Johannesburg
The standard lease is 12 months, though they can be shorter or longer. Most landlords will expect a deposit equivalent to one or two months' rent. Utilities like electricity are usually an additional expense for renters and are not included in the cost of rent. However, it's not uncommon for the cost of rent to include other, more minor expenses like water and refuse.
Are you an expat living in Johannesburg?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Johannesburg. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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