"Beware - The importance of Approved Building Plans and Occupancy Certificates. When Buying or Selling a Property"
The increasing requirement in the successful completion of any real estate transaction is the availability by the seller of a set of fully approved building plans and a legally compliant occupancy certificate issued by the local municipality.
Proof of this must be provided to the transfer attorney as well as the bond registration attorneys, before the transaction can be filed with the deeds registry. Each city council has its own by-laws and each individual municipality set its own requirements.
Banks may, in the loan approval conditions, require that the seller provide approved building plans and occupancy certificates, which we certainly see drastically increasing in the building plan practice. Prospective buyers should also be on the lookout for additions, alterations or additions to homes and the buyer can also request the copy of the approved building plans and occupation certificate as a condition of sale.
Time and cost implications must be considered if the seller does not already have the documentation referred to. If the seller wants to ensure that the sale transaction is completed successfully within the normal time, work must be done immediately if there are no approved building plans, as the construction and approval takes processes takes months.
It is not the municipality's responsibility to ensure that there are plans for each property, but the responsibility of the registered owner.
Building structures such as carports, shade nets, Wendy houses, Thatch roofs, swimming pools or any other structures must be included and indicated in the approved building plans.
The National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act (no. 103 of 1977) stipulates that no person may erect, alter, add to, or convert any building without the prior approval of the local authority.
A Registered draughtsperson must be appointed to draw up the building plans and the building plans must then be submitted to the local municipality.
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