Reliable solution to contest valuations

22 June 2018

The announcement, by City of Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba, that 8000 property owners will be receiving new notices for properties that appear to be over-valued was met with an increase in online property valuation requests according to Greg Brown, director at LexisNexis South Africa.

“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 as set out in Section 50 of the Local Government Municipal Property Rates Act,” says Brown, who heads up the Data Services division of LexisNexis South Africa.

Property owners are responsible for checking the property categorisation (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, for example from Lexis PropIQ, 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.

PropIQ is powered by Lexis WinDeed, South Africa’s leader in providing property professionals with fast and reliable access to property, person, company, and credit information. Owners log onto, input their property details and make a once off payment for the system to generate the necessary report.

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