-Building Plans…

Approved building plans, or the absence thereof, could greatly affect the saleability of your property.

It is really important to make sure you have approved building plans for all structures on your property, otherwise you may end up jeopardising the sale of your property.

At the time of making this video, property sellers in South Africa are not legally obliged to provide building plans in order for transfer to take place in the deeds office, BUT it Is the buyer’s right to request approved plans, AND any savvy buyer will insist that it be included as a condition in the offer to purchase or OTP, and many buyers will not take the risk of such a significant purchase without the peace of mind that what they are paying for, is in fact legally allowed. It is also my personal opinion that any reputable property practitioner should include such a clause in the OTP, or at least inform buyers of the potential implications if everything is not on plan, as we have an ethical obligation to protect the interest of ALL parties involved in a property transaction.

Sellers should also be aware that, if the purchaser needs a loan to buy the property (as the majority of purchasers do), the BANK or financial institution where the purchaser applies for a loan to purchase the property, will also often insist on seeing the approved building plans before granting the loan, and if you cannot provide them, the whole deal can fall through.

When you provide prospective buyers with approved building plans, you are also offering them transparency. This not only builds trust but also gives buyers peace of mind, knowing that they are making a well-informed purchase decision.

Apart from all this, remember that, although it is not currently required by all the various Deeds offices in order for them to transfer the property,  approved building plans are indeed necessary to ensure that home owners are in compliance with other South African laws and bylaws, which dictate which structures, structural changes, extensions, or additions to a property require permission from the local municipality. Without these approvals, you could face legal complications and even be forced to remove or demolish structures if they are found to be non-compliant.

And please be aware!!! That If plans don’t exist or can’t be found at the municipality, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to have them drawn up and approved. Even though you could possibly obtain copies of plans from your local municipality, It is NOT the municipality’s duty to keep copies of the plans, it is the home owners responsibility.

AND here is another very important law to take note of: it is called The Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act (affectively known as SPLUMA) which CAN have several implications for property sellers… If and when it is enforced by the municipalities, it WILL then mean that a SPLUMA certificate WILL be required in order for the property transfer to be allowed in the Deeds Office. And to obtain a SPLUMA certificate you will need, amongst other things, approved building plans for all buildings on the property, including any swimming pools or lapas, etc.

SO !!!! – To summarize: Having approved building plans can significantly enhance your property’s appeal to potential buyers, but more specifically, NOT being able to provide approved plans, can put serious buyers off AND could cause the banks to refuse to finance the purchase price for the buyer.

If you have your approved building plans available, the sales process will be smoother and faster. Buyers can proceed with confidence, and the legal and administrative aspects of the sale move along more swiftly. On the flip side, if you don’t have approved building plans, you risk potential complications. Buyers might back out, or worse, legal disputes could arise. You can protect yourself from these pitfalls by having all the necessary approved plans ready.

I hope you found this information helpful. Feel free to reach out to us for further assistance or with any additional questions you may have. If we cannot answer them, we will direct you to someone who can.