Commercial property rates nightmares | Fin24
 
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Commercial property rates nightmares

Dec 05 2014 11:36

Cape Town - It is not only buyers and sellers of residential property who are frustrated by delays in the issue of rates clearance certificates in various parts of the country.

A number of Fin24 users wrote to tell of their nightmare experiences when buying or selling commercial property.

READ: Frustration at rates clearance delays

Fin24 user Stephen writes:

I recently sold my commercial building in Klerksdorp. In my view the City of Motlosana is probably the most corrupt and incompetent municipality.

I say this because it has "extorted" an amount of R450 000 from me. I have a team of advocates attending to the matter on a pro bono basis, to set a precedent. We have applied for a high court application against the municipality.

My usual monthly rates were around R3 700. I owe the municipality around R65 000.

Last year the municipality levied my account with my tenants' outstanding electricity account. The total owed by my tenants are R265 000.

I have an official dispute with the municipality. I have had no co-operation from the municipality. If they are aware that you want to transfer your property they will blatantly "extort" you to the max.

My lawyers have been instructed to pay their ridiculous bill, to salvage the sale. I am doing it to basically get out of the area.

I would like to own property, but the municipalities are going to ruin the property industry and hinder growth.

These are the signs of a failing democracy, the sheer arrogance of the government departments is worrying.

Fin24 user Desre writes:

We purchased a commercial property in Rosslyn, Pretoria, on the August 4 and despite having hired one of the best transferring attorneys in Pretoria we are still unable to have the property transferred into our name.

This is because of the delay in the City of Tshwane issuing a rates and electricity clearance certificate.

The property had been standing empty for two years and was vandalised, having the electrical cables and meter stolen. The current owner (seller) reported this to the police.

We were told the property could not be transferred as there needed to be a working meter on the premises prior to the change of ownership.

We were bounced from one department to another and told they have no meters and no petrol in the council vehicles so a meter could not be installed. After many hours of frustrating calls to the City of Tshwane we have now received a smart meter.
 
The City of Tshwane will still not issue a clearance certificate, saying there is an outstanding bill of R129 000 for electricity.

This seems strange for a property that was empty for two years. To date we still have no electricity on the premises and no official ownership even though we paid in full for the property in August.

The seller has given permission for us to move in, but without electricity our hands are tied.

Fin24 user Stella writes:

My husband sold a factory over a year ago that never had electricity supplied to it.

Now transfer cannot happen as the municipality now wants more than R1m for electricity and refuses to issue a clearance certificate even after officials visited the factory themselves.

The case is now in the hands of lawyers and we will sue the mayor. My husband just went through the final papers last night.

What can you say about such incompetence? Maybe they do it on purpose and hope you will pay to make the problem disappear. We have to stop this.

ALSO READ: We suffer too Cape Town - Jozi ratepayers

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyFin24 have been independently written by members of the Fin24 community. The views of users published on Fin24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent those of Fin24.

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