The New Way To Rent

HouseME FAQs

At HouseME, we're all about inclusivity, transparency and trust. So we've already answered those really tough questions, just for you. Use our FAQs to learn how easy it is to be part of the new way to rent.

Should your query remain unanswered, don't hesitate to make use of our friendly team via the chat at the bottom right of the screen.

How do I use HouseME?

Using HouseME is very easy:
HouseME is there every step of the way, from uploading to lease termination/renewal. If you need assistance at any point, please reach out to us using the live chat function.

What do I need to become a HouseME landlord?

To register your property with HouseME, you will need the following:
  • Copy of your ID
  • Proof of ownership (such as an utility bill)
  • Your bank account details
  • Property details (the location, number of rooms, bathrooms, description, special features etc.) Improve your rating and help us to create a better ad for your property by providing us with as much information as possible.
  • House Rules/Code of Conduct/Addendums to the lease
  • Only ~15 mins time

What services do you offer?

  • Are you a hands-on landlord who’d like to remain highly involved in the management of your rental property? If so, our technology platform is perfect for you!
  • If you prefer to remove the hassle of renting out your property entirely, we offer best–in–class management packages to handle all your property management concerns — and we don’t charge a retainer. For a detailed explanation of our Management packages, click here.
  • Our on-demand services are always accessible to HouseME landlords: Maintenance, Domestic Cleaning, Legal Support. To request any of these services, please email us at ask@house.me.

*Kindly note that our packages are currently only available in the Western Cape and Gauteng. Do continue to check for availability in your area.

Who holds the tenant’s deposit?

HouseME is responsible for deposit management. We invest it on tenants' behalf and give you peace of mind. As the Rental Housing Act (Act 50 of 1999) requires, we hold the deposit in an interest-bearing trust account. The deposit belongs to the tenant and may not be accessed for any purposes other than for either repairs at the end of the contract, or to cover non-payment.

If there are damages to be claimed at the end of the lease, send us the invoice for the tenant to pay out of their deposit. For more information on deposit management please see our T&Cs.

What legal support do you offer?

HouseME offers no legal advice but is proud to be partnered with Marlon Shevelew and Associates through whom letters of demands are sent, should any of our great tenants for some reason default.

By using HouseME, you have access to an exclusive industry-leading Lease Agreement which protects your rights and property investment, and has massive repercussions to any defaulting counterparty. HouseME offers no legal advisory, but is proud to be partnered with Marlon Shevelew.

Can I see a copy of HouseME’s Lease Agreement?

Our best-in-class Lease Agreement is always available for you to view. You are also welcome to view templates of our House Rules, List of Household Items (for furnished properties), and Snaglist. As a landlord, you’ll be able to make use of all these documents.

How do I sign the lease?

HouseME provides a digital Lease Agreement – this is just another way in which we remove the hassle from renting out your property. Thus, you won’t have any paper documents to scan, sign and send back-and-forth!

The contract is an agreement between landlords and tenants and HouseME is not a contracting party. Your acceptance of a tenant’s offer to rent your property and their placement of their deposit acts as a binding signature in terms of the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at ask@house.me. We’ll happily explain this further!

Can I cancel my lease/shorten the duration?

HouseME’s lease falls under CPA protection. As a landlord, you will only be able to cancel your lease if the tenant has breached material terms of the agreement. In this case, you would need to give the tenant written notice of the breach and your intention to cancel the lease. You would also need to give the tenant a chance to remedy the breach.

Do I have to use the HouseME lease?

In order to receive our 3-month rental guarantee, you would need to use HouseME’s Lease Agreement. It has been drawn up by the country’s top property lawyer, Marlon Shevelew, and offers excellent legal protection for both landlords and tenants.

Can I make changes to the HouseME lease?

The Lease is a contract between two parties. It is up to you and your tenant to determine the duration of the lease, the termination conditions and any other additional rules. You are also more than welcome to attach your own House Rules/Body Corporate Code of Conduct as appendices to the lease or use our templates.

Where do you operate?

We operate across South Africa! Whether your property is in Swellendam or Polokwane, we will gladly serve you through our innovative technology platform. Kindly note that HouseME Management Packages are currently available for properties in Gauteng and the Western Cape only, but keep checking back for availability in your area. Please reach out to us at ask@house.me if you would like more information.

How can agents use this platform?

We are very excited to announce that we are able to integrate our system throughout the rental value chain. HouseME is able to serve both landlords and managers or agents. We recommend that agents get in touch with us directly at ask@house.me.

How do I get in touch?

Please contact us at ask@house.me or reach us through our live chat.

We also invite you to join in the conversation and be a part of our online communities – find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Where do you source your tenants?

Tenants are sourced through online marketplaces such as Gumtree, Private Property, Property24, OLX, IOL, Junk Mail and Social Media. Once tenants have been in contact with us, we screen and vet them to make sure that we only send only the best, most reliable tenants your way.

Through our rating-system, we build a community of the best tenants in the market over time. We use world-class, comprehensive data metrics, which means that your property will be in good hands with a HouseME tenant!

Does HouseME handle short-term rentals?

HouseME does not manage rental agreements shorter than 4 months.

You offer a rental guarantee; how does it work?

With HouseME, you really can have peace of mind and never lose out on rent again. We’re so confident in our HouseME tenants and our credit checks, that we will guarantee your rental income for up to a quarter of a year. The rental guarantee is made up of 1 month’s deposit and 2 months’ HouseME guarantee. In the event of tenant default, this typically allows you enough time to complete the eviction process and find a new tenant.

You’ll also never have to worry about tenants paying late. Irrespective of when the tenant pays, we will make sure that every single rental payment is paid into your account on the 1st business day of every month.

I already have property listed online. Can I still use HouseME?

Absolutely! If you have your property advertised on platforms we use (i.e. Gumtree, IOL, Private Property, Junk Mail and OLX), we would recommend that you remove your own ads. This is to ensure that only verified HouseME tenants come your way. You are welcome to advertise your property on platforms we don’t use – please just let us know and notify us as soon as you receive positive responses from interested tenants. You may not place tenants outside of our system as we ask for a sole-mandate once live on HouseME.

I already have a tenant, can I still use HouseME?

Of course! Our fantastic support team will help you integrate your current rental agreement with our platform.

Should you wish to transfer completely to our system – using our lease and receiving our rental guarantee – we will need both your and your tenant’s permission. This will allow us to set up the new HouseME rental agreement and conduct our own verification process.

Ready to get started? Create your account now or contact us at ask@house.me. We will happily guide you through the process and answer any questions you may have.

How much should I rent my property for?

While we are building our capacity to predictively price your property, the best thing you can do for now is to list your property at a reasonable price and allow the market to determine whether that is fair.

Factors you could consider in setting your price include:

  • The location
  • The size and features of your property
  • Whether it is furnished or not
  • Utilities included in your rent such as water, electricity, parking, DSTV, WiFi and cleaning

With HouseME, you’ll never lose out on rent again! Our unique, transparent bidding mechanism allows you to optimise your property rental, ensuring market-related prices are achieved and your return is maximised. To date, our landlords have received an average of almost 10% more on their listed rental price when using us.

On the other hand, if we find that there is little or no interest in your property at the set price, we will gladly drop the price at your request.

Do I have to do inspections?

The Rental Housing Act states that a landlord may not charge a tenant for damage to the premises on expiry of the lease if he did not perform both an incoming and an outgoing inspection. We recommend that you be very specific in the inspections and take photographs for points of reference at the outgoing inspection.

Must I host viewings before a tenant can rent my place?

We recommend that tenants view their desired property or have someone else view it on their behalf before placing a bid. Fortunately, if your property is in the Western Cape or Gauteng, HouseME removes the hassle of attending your own viewings completely. With our Management Packages, we provide services such as hosting viewings, handling inspections and key handovers for you.

If your property is outside of these areas, you will need to attend your own viewings or arrange with someone to be there on your behalf. You can also simply arrange with your current tenant to let interested tenants in.

How are you different from traditional agents?

Traditional Agencies HouseME
Pricing purported to be accurate based on asymmetric info A bidding mechanism that increases rental yield
An agent on call for you for 10% per month 2.5% monthly fees, pay as you need call-out fee
Maintenance partners for mitigation of emergencies Maintenance partners on 24/7 emergency centre
Claimed management of regulations and property by-laws Standardised legal process with daily turnaround time
Proprietary screening of applicants Tenants screened & guaranteed with quarter year cover
Payments management Payments management with guaranteed yield and date paid

How does the transparent bidding system work?

HouseME’s transparent bidding system allows for only pre-qualified, vetted, screened and credit-checked HouseME tenants to offer what they’re willing to pay for rental. This ensures that you, as a landlord, get a fair price, and that tenants are not forced to pay beyond what they can afford. For example, a HouseME landlord might list his property at R9,000 per month, and three prospective tenants might bid up the rental to R9,700. The highest bidding tenant will be offered the lease – and will then have 24 hours to place his deposit before it is offered to the tenant in second position.

The bidding process lasts only five (5) days, and begins at the receipt of the very first bid.

How do I use HouseME as a Tenant?

Finding the perfect home is really easy with HouseME

If you need assistance at any point, please reach out to us using the live chat function. HouseME is with you every step of the way, from searching for properties and moving to the end/renewal of your lease.

How do I search for properties?

We advertise all of our landlords’ properties on trusted online marketplaces. Simply visit Gumtree, Private Property, Property24, OLX, IOL, Junk Mail and Social Media to view our available properties. Once you’ve found the perfect place, scheduling a viewing and placing an offer is just a few clicks away!

What do I need to become a HouseME tenant?

To register with HouseME, you will need the following:

  • Full name
  • ID Number
  • Phone Number
  • Email Address
  • Only ~2 mins time

If you’d like to place an offer on a property, you will need the following:

  • ID Book (or Passport & Visa)
  • Current Proof of Address
  • 3 Months' Bank Statements
  • Letter of employment and/or payslips

You can easily upload documents from your phone/computer, which means that placing an offer is quick and easy!

Why do I need a HouseME profile?

Your profile allows you to find your perfect home easily, fairly, and transparently. Once you’ve created your account, you will gain easy access to all our available properties. You can also build up a rating over time to enjoy rewards and special discounts. And you’ll have access to some of the greatest landlords in South Africa!

Who is my landlord and can I trust them?

We pride ourselves on our security, transparency and our ability to vet our users accurately. This applies to both tenants and landlords, so we expect every HouseME landlord to be a great landlord. We make sure that a landlord actually owns each property and that our ads and photos are accurate and up to date. You’ll also receive full contact details of your landlord upon payment of your deposit.

Who do I contact for emergencies?

For any emergency, please contact our call centre at 087 551 7785. Either a HouseME specialist will be there to help or we'll direct you to your landlord if he/she has opted for this. Call us 24/7 — HouseME is always here to help.

Who holds my deposit?

With HouseME you can rest assured that your deposit is securely managed. In line with the Rental Housing Act (Act 50 of 1999), we invest it on your behalf in an interest-bearing trust account. The deposit will not be accessed for any purposes other than for repairs at the end of the contract, or to cover non-payment.

When must I pay my rent?

Our system will automatically collect rent from your account on the 25th, 28th and 1st of every month via a debit order.

What are the T&Cs?

Transparency is really important to us. Our T&Cs are always up-to-date, always accessible and regularly reviewed to ensure your interests are best protected. To download our T&Cs, please go to the bottom of our homepage or click here. Feel free to contact us at ask@house.me if you have any questions!

Can I cancel my lease?

The Consumer Protection Act gives any tenant the right to cancel a rental contract upon giving 20 business days’ written notice to the landlord. You will have to pay the landlord a cancellation penalty of two months rental payment and any extra expenses the landlord incurs in marketing his/her property. The landlord will be responsible for finding a replacement tenant. If the landlord is able to find a replacement within two months' after the cancellation of the agreement, he/she will refund you a proportional amount of the cancellation penalty.

How does the bidding system work?

HouseME’s transparent bidding system allows for only pre-qualified, vetted, screened and credit-checked HouseME tenants to offer what they’re willing to pay for rental. This ensures that the landlord gets a fair price, and that you, as a tenant, are not forced to pay beyond what you can afford. For example, a HouseME landlord might list his property at R9,000 per month, and three prospective tenants might bid up the rental to R9,700. The highest bidding tenant will be offered the lease — and will then have 24 hours to place his deposit before it is offered to the tenant in second position.

The bidding process lasts only five days, and begins at the receipt of the very first bid.

When is the lease binding?

The HouseME lease becomes binding upon receipt of your deposit.