Court plays fair as it knocks thousands off municipal valuations of property

Posted On Saturday, 05 October 2002 11:48 Published by
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PROPERTY players and homeowners alike have welcomed the Cape Town unicity's property valuation court, which has knocked hundreds of thousands of rands off many municipal valuations of city properties.
PROPERTY players and homeowners alike have welcomed the Cape Town unicity's property valuation court, which has knocked hundreds of thousands of rands off many municipal valuations of city properties.

Some of the valuations were upheld by the court, however, despite written objections.

The property valuation court is scheduled to sit in the various administrative areas. While the current sittings focus on residential properties, the court will consider objections to valuations of commercial properties in the new year.

Samuel Seeff, chairman of Seeff Property Services, says that the property court's sittings will at least ensure that objectors will get fair valuations on their properties.

The court has acknowledged and addressed many of the errors of the unicity's rating system, albeit on a case-by-case basis. Now that the court is already in session, only two kinds of late objections will be considered during continuing sessions this year.

Firstly, cases where valuations contain glaring errors, such as where it states that there is a building on the property when in fact there is none. Second, cases where the new rates have put undue financial pressure on the homeowner. In both cases, a legitimate reason must be given as to why the objection was not submitted by the extended deadline of June 30 2002.

Seeff said a number of owners of more upmarket properties had engaged the services of an estate agent or independent valuer, at their own expense, to ensure that they get a fair valuation. The average cost per valuation was around R1 500.

'Many homeowners felt hard done by. Having received erroneous or inflated valuations, they were mistrustful of the unicity's ability to provide a fair valuation. The rating categories remain flawed in many instances, however, and sectional title housing, agricultural land, commercial property, and land belonging to religious bodies and sport bodies, among others, have not yet been dealt with adequately,' said Seeff.

While there is an official objection form, property owners may submit objections in writing, attach valuations and/or photographs, if they deem it necessary. Every objection will be acknowledged per postcard, and a unicity valuer will then contact the owner to arrange a meeting.

This valuation is done at no cost to the homeowner. If an agreement is reached between the homeowner and the valuer, the homeowner need not appear before the property valuation court. If such an agreement cannot be reached, the homeowner will then be notified in writing of the date, time and venue on which he or she may appear before court in his/her administration area.

l For further information or official objection forms, contact the secretary of the valuation board of their administration area: Cape Town 021 400 3867, Blaauwberg 021 550 1158, Oostenberg 021 980 1239 , South Peninsula 021 710 8267, Tygerberg 021 918 2223 and Helderberg 021 850 4378.

Publisher: Weekend Argus
Source: Weekend Argus

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