Alexander Swart Property Group:Cape Town City Council Valuations May Be Inaccurate

Posted On Monday, 08 April 2019 15:35 Published by
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Alexander Swart Property Group:Cape Town City Council Valuations May Be Inaccurate - So Also Are Many Home Building Plans.

 ESTATE-VALUATION

Over 870 000 registered Cape Town home owners, have in recent weeks received new assessments of their property’s value from City Council. Some have been dismayed to find that the latest valuations are considerably higher than the previous ones. They will thus have to pay higher rates. “We have been told,” says Rowan Alexander, Director of Alexander Swart Property, “of cases where the latest valuations are three times as high as the earlier valuations. Fortunately there are not too many such cases.”

What property owners have to bear in mind is that in the past most homes were undervalued by the Council because their valuations were not market related. Now the Council is trying to rectify these errors but it has to be acknowledged that there have been mistakes: often due to previous valuations being so seriously under or over- valued.

Alexander says that the new tariffs will probably be published in July, after which owners will have 30 days to object if they disagree.  All property owners should get an accurate valuation done NOW, to be prepared to object if necessary. He warns that many home owners have inherited, or created a situation in which the City Council does not have up to date approved plans for their homes and this could complicate the valuation process.

“In my experience, nine out of ten Cape building plans do not depict the home 100% accurately as it is today. This is almost always because changes and improvements were made without submitting plans to the Council to vet, or because a Council inspector was not summoned to certify the work at the stages specified. In some cases the improvements do not comply with the latest regulations and bringing them in line with these e.g. on plumbing installations, can be very expensive. In our business we regularly come across cases without approved plans: e.g.  a garage converted into a bedroom or study,  patios enclosed, braai rooms or verandas added or a boundary wall built.  This of course means that the Council is being defrauded of rates because such improvements usually add value to the property”.

In their own interest, owners should ensure that their building plans at the Council are up to date, says Alexander; especially if the home is one day to be sold or inherited - as is almost invariably the case. South African banks insist on proof that the existing home complies in full with Council approved plans before bonds are issued.

Those who suspect that their plans are not up to date or that their improvements do not comply fully with regulations promulgated before they were carried out, should approach an architect to inspect their plans and recommend measures to bring them in line. In some cases, says Alexander, the architect may have to redraw the whole plan to get Council approval—but this is worth doing now, rather than leaving it to the sale period or to one’s heirs to sort out.

Last modified on Wednesday, 10 April 2019 09:23
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