Many believe that it is the responsibility of the local municipality to keep the streets clean. While this belief is not entirely incorrect, homeowners should not negate all responsibility for keeping their suburb in order.

“It is in the best interest of the homeowner to help keep their suburbs in top shape. Property values of a suburb increases if the common areas, such as the street and pavements, are well maintained and the residents are looking after their properties,” explains Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.

He therefore encourages all homeowners to invest in their local community by picking up stray pieces of litter or sweeping up the leaves so they don’t block the street drains and so forth. “It is our responsibility to help keep our streets clean and make our suburbs desirable places to live. That is why we have challenged our network to show their love to their local communities this Valentine’s month. Throughout the month of February, our offices across the country will be embarking on various projects to help uplift their local communities. However, this ‘show your love’ ethos has already existed and will continue to exist within our organisation beyond the scope of this campaign,” he explains.

To mention just a few of the ways RE/MAX offices invest in their local communities, RE/MAX Dynamique in Namibia launched a competition in December last year to help inspire homeowners to take better care of their own neighbourhoods by submitting photos of their cleaner street to their local RE/MAX estate agent to stand a chance of winning a N$1000 garden voucher.

RE/MAX Property Associates also runs a regular recycling program at Brackenfell Kiddies Campus. And, Team Atlantic of the RE/MAX Living Office in Cape Town organises bi-weekly beach clean-ups, employing two gentlemen from the local community, Eric and Pumzile, to keep Sunset Beach and the surrounding beaches clean. Team leader, Ari Voyiatzis, also pledges R5000 to the Sunset Beach HOA for every house he sells in Sunset Beach, Sunset Links or Sunset Village, to financially facilitate the upkeep and improvement of this beachside suburb.

“These are just some of the ways our offices give back to their local communities. As a homeowner, it is not necessary to go to these extremes, but you can make a difference simply by taking care of your immediate surroundings. Call your local municipality to report potholes or burst pipes, let them know when the municipal grounds are in need of mowing, put a brick on the lid of your refuse bin to make sure litter doesn’t fly onto the street on bin day, and report suspicious behaviour in your suburb. Together, it is our responsibility to help make our suburbs better places to live,” Goslett concludes.