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Property Valuation Objections 2016: what you need to know about how to lodge an objection

After 4 years, it’s that time again when the City of Cape Town, via its numerous municipalities, implements property valuations in order to determine your monthly rates payable. These valuations take place between
February and April 2016.

Once all Property Valuationsvaluations have taken place, the General Valuation Roll (2016) will be made available for inspection from 19 February 2016 to 29 April 2016 on the City of Cape Town’s website. Alternatively, you will receive written notification of the City’s current valuation of your property.

Legislation allows any person to lodge an objection against the valuation of any property listed on the valuation roll, before the cut- off date which has been determined as being the 29th April 2016, if they believe the valuation to be excessive. The Municipal Property Rates Act states that properties must be valued at market value – which is defined as “the amount the property would have realised if sold on the date of valuation in the open market by a willing seller to a willing buyer”.

How is my property valued?

The City of Cape Town’s municipal valuers use a programme called CAMA – a computer aided analytical procedure – which estimates the general market value of properties within Cape Town. This system does not take into account the different circumstances in the various properties in a given area and may result in some property owners receiving a higher valuation than deserved.

Why is my property not individually inspected?

In terms of the legislation, municipalities have no duty to conduct individual site inspections. Only when the information available on the valuations database is unreliable or changes have been made to certain properties, will your property be physically inspected.

How do I object to the valuation of my property?

Should you disagree with the municipal valuation of your property, you must submit the requisite objection form before the end of the official objection period. Objections will be accepted until 29 April 2016. As in the past, no late objection will be accepted. The objection period has not been made public yet as valuations are currently underway.

What constitutes an objection?

You may object to any information displayed on the valuation roll. However, you must be able to support your objection with the necessary documentation – the onus is on you to prove that the market value assessment is wrong. If your objection is based on an incorrect valuation, your objection will have to be supported by a sworn appraisal.

Please note:

  • Comparing the valuation to those received by your neighbours does not automatically imply that your valuation is incorrect, although it may be indicative of the value of your property.
  • Should the address on your valuation notice/roll be missing or incorrect, this does not mean that the incorrect property was valued. The address of the property is not used to identify the property for valuation, its legal description is used to determine its location.
  • The mere fact that there has been a substantial increase in the value of the property compared to the last valuation in itself does not constitute a valid ground for objection.

What happens after Abrahams & Gross has lodged my objection?

The objection is submitted to the municipal valuer who assesses the objection and makes a decision. You will be notified in writing of the decision as to whether any adjustment has been made to the roll. Within 30 days of being notified of this, you may request written reasons for the decision from the municipal manager.

Can I appeal the decision?

You are entitled to appeal against the decision of the municipal valuer should you be able to prove valid grounds on which to base the appeal. You shall need to adhere to the time frames for the appeal process.

What about rebates?

There are certain instances where rebates may be claimed. We will assist you in determining whether you qualify for any rebate.

Do I still continue paying my current rates account if I do not agree with the value and I have submitted my objection?

You need to pay the rates on your previous valuation until the objection is finalised.

For assistance or to find out more about lodging your valuation objection, please contact:

Vera Kruger  |   Property Litigation Department, Abrahams & Gross Attorneys

t.  021 422 1323    |    e.  info@abgross.co.za

This article was first published on property24 on 16 Marc h 2016.

 

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