City of Johannesburg mayor, Herman Mashaba announced that eight thousand property owners will be receiving new notices for properties that appear to be over-valued. According to director of LexisNexis South Africa, Greg Brown, this led to an increase in online property valuation requests.
“The City of Johannesburg recently announced a deadline of 6 April 2018 by which affected property owners can lodge objections to the General Valuation 2018 and provide further information of relevance to the review process. So far more than 4000 objections have been submitted. However, the lodging of objections does not release the owner from the requirement to pay rates and taxes asset out in Section 50 of the Local Government Municipal Property Rates Act,” says Brown.
Property owners are responsible for checking the property categorization (i.e. business or residential), the valuation ascribed to their property and for lodging an objection if the valuation is not in line with the market value prior to the closure of the objection period. Failure to do so will result in incorrect rates being applied to the property for the duration of 2018 General Valuation Roll.
A property market value is the price a willing buyer would pay a willing seller in today’s market. Professional valuators will use a number of methods including comparative sales in a similar area, income yields and the depreciated cost method. Estate agents can provide a written evaluation based on their experience, comparative sales and automated valuation reports.
Hundreds of rate payers have turned to cost-effective online valuation reports to strengthen their objections and potentially save thousands of Rands over the period.
“Conducting an online property evaluation is very simple with automated solutions that enable consumers to make a once-off search that provides a more accurate valuation of their property,” says Brown.
The Lexis PropIQ report includes comparable area sales and easy searches using an address or erf, scheme, farm or agricultural holding details. Additionally, it provides registered property details, owner information, aerial and map views, transfer and property history details and suburb trends showing prices and number of sales, all of which will assist in the objection process.
“The proactive move by Mayor Mashaba to address the problematic valuations is inspiring, however, it is critical that property owners take the necessary steps to ensure a reasonable market value is assigned to their property,” says Brown.
Once a valuation is downloaded, property owners need to complete the objection form available from their municipal offices and submit it by hand. A letter of receipt will be issued, and the process of review will commence. The property owner will be notified of the outcome of the review. Individuals who are not happy with the outcome of the review may issue an appeal. In a complex dispute one may need to approach an attorney that specialises in this type of law.
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