According to new legislation, all municipalities will have to be compliant with the SPLUMA (Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act) by October 2020. But what exactly does this mean and how will it impact sellers?
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From October 2020 going forward, the National Deeds Office will now require a SPLUMA certificate from the local municipality in which a property is located before any property transaction can be concluded.
In order to obtain a SPLUMA certificate from the local municipality, a seller should have the following in place:
- An affidavit signed by the seller and filed at the municipality with an application wherein the owner states that the relevant plans pertaining to the property are in order, accurate and have been filed with the local municipality.
- All rates and taxes and any other funds pertaining to the property must be paid up to date.
- Building plans for all buildings (including the swimming pool and lapa) need to be approved and submitted. Should these plans not be compliant, the seller will need to appoint an architect or draughtsperson to prepare the plans for lodgement with the municipality.
- The use of the property needs to be in accordance with municipal zoning.
- There should be no encroachments over the building lines and property boundaries.
The process to apply for your certificate should be started as soon as the property is listed as it could be a time-consuming exercise taking up to three months.
Sellers would need to apply for this certificate at their local municipality, but unfortunately the costs associated with obtaining the certificate has not been finalised yet.
The legislation was established in order to create a uniform set of planning legislation in order for municipalities to apply land use control. The reason for the certificate is to ensure that the zoning of the property matches the land use and to determine that all the buildings on the premises are in accordance with approved building plans which should be filed at the municipality.
Not all municipalities have been applying this Act in its entirety and everyone should be compliant by October.
While there are many benefits with regard to SPLUMA for buyers and the city council, it may be a challenging and time-consuming process for sellers to obtain these certificates from municipalities that are already under pressure – especially when physical inspections to the property are also needed.
Therefore, it is important that sellers start the process as soon as possible.