Many factors can delay your property transfer, and all of them are likely to cost you.

A last-minute rush to comply with statutory requirements is one such pitfall to avoid. Beware therefore of the possibility that you will soon need (in some parts of the country you may already need), to lodge before transfer a formal “SPLUMA” (Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act) certificate of compliance.

SPLUMA, without getting too technical, provides a framework for all provinces and municipalities to pass laws governing land use and development.

There is (at date of writing) some confusion over what is actually required, and although currently a formal certificate of compliance seems to be necessary in some municipal areas only, there is a suggestion that the requirement will apply everywhere by October 2020.

It pays to comply anyway!

The important thing however is that - regardless of statutory requirements - you won’t want any problems with your buyer down the line complaining about unlawful building work or zoning contraventions. So it makes sense to ensure that you are fully compliant well before you start any sales process.

Take professional advice (in good time so you can take corrective action if you need to) and make sure that –

  • Building plans for all structures have been approved,
  • Your property’s use complies with its zoning, and
  • There are no encroachments over building lines and property boundaries.

The Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act, Act 16 of 2013, is downloadable from the University of Pretoria’s “Laws of South Africa” website – find it under “Land”.