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Friday, 10 July 2009

New Municipal Rates Valuation Jul 09

The Cape Town City Council is intending to execute its new municipal general revaluation of all properties on 1 July 2009.

This will mean that, some time between that date and about February 2010, you will be receiving in the post, the City’s provisional new valuation on your property which it will use in its rates bills to you as from July 2010. The whole public participation response process therefore starts when you receive notification of your new provisional valuation.

What can / should you be doing when you receive your new rates revaluation?

You should commence by establishing the factors / characteristics of your property which you can use to motivate a reduction in the valuation should you feel that you have been overvalued.

Typical examples could be : a Council registered water course (piping or a river) - immense rocks which eliminate your ability to develop further on your property as owners around you can with double / second dwellings, granny flats and the like - the presence of a six-metre wide overloaded Provincial registered trunk road (say Camps Bay Drive) on your front boundary which has dangerously speeding traffic and causes you difficulty in accessing / leaving your property by car for some hours during rush hours - the exposure to high winds and possible harm from fires in adjacent public open space, etc.

Other examples could be: a Council electrical or drainage servitude running through your property, a lack or loss of views compared with surrounding properties – steeply sloping sites - irregularly shaped sites inhibiting the ability to develop them properly or take advantage of the available view - south facing house - excessive distance from shops, schools, beach etc. necessitating wheeled transport for every journey – obliteration of views by adjacent building structures and so on

Once you have received your Council revaluation notice and before you rush into submitting an objection because you think it is too high, ask yourself whether you would have been prepared to sell your property in July 2009 (the date of the revaluation) for an amount less than the Council’s revaluation now presented to you in 2010. Only if you would have been prepared to have accepted a lower selling price (including the Selling Agent’s fees and VAT), should you then consider deciding whether to consult a qualified Valuer who will then be able to advise you as to whether your suggested lower valuation is valid.

Should you decide to approach a Valuer for professional advice, first request a fee quotation (probably on an hourly rate basis) before investigating with him / her as to whether your contention that the revaluation is too high. If the Valuer disagrees with you, you have at least been given a quick and reasonably inexpensive professional opinion upon which you can decide whether to proceed with your objection or not. Should you be advised to or should you decide to proceed, you should then appoint the Valuer to assist you with your objection to the Valuation Court.

Estate Agents are also able to assist you with your objection and can help you considerably by presenting you with their written assessment of what your property would have sold for in mid-2009.

The objection document is a very daunting document. CBRRA therefore suggests that you do not submit an objection without a technically correct motivation which is well prepared with professional help.

In due course, the City will open information centres around the Unicity at which you will find details of all the registered sales of properties in the vicinity of your property, which details will assist you in the compilation of your objection should you be wanting to submit one.

The South African Institute of Valuers can assist you with names of Valuers (Address c/o J.J.Hofmeyr & Sons, 13 Piers Road, Wynberg, 7800. Telephone 021 7611803).

Remember that if you live in a sectional title apartment block, you will again be billed separately and directly for your unit and not in your levy which reflects a proportion of the overall building rates bill. Contact your property managers about this immediately.

One way or the other, be aware of your rights and start preparing to possibly pay more rates than the normal annual increase in due course, the extent of which will only be revealed to you after the forthcoming Council rates revaluation notice which you will be receiving in due course.
BE AWARE THAT THE DEADLINE DATE FOR THE SUBMISSIONS OF OBJECTIONS IS PROBABLY GOING TO BE IN APRIL 2010.

If you have not yet had finalisation of your objection to the July 2006 revaluation, telephone Mr. Christopher Gavor, the City’s Director of Valuations at 021 400 1111.

Should you have any queries, please contact John Powell at powelltalk@icon.co.za

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