In­ves­ti­gate reg­u­la­tions and re­stric­tions when con­sid­er­ing buy­ing a prop­erty

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

BE­FORE com­mit­ting fi­nance to prop­erty trans­ac­tions, buy­ers should be aware of any re­stric­tions that may be im­posed on the in­tended use of the prop­erty.

Con­sid­er­ing that you may not use prop­erty for pur­poses other than those for which it is zoned, this par­tic­u­larly ap­plies to buy­ers who are think­ing of buy­ing res­i­den­tial prop­erty to use as busi­ness premises.

Peter Gil­mour, chair­man of RE/MAX of South­ern Africa, says al­though some ar­eas may al­low own­ers to use a small per­cent­age of their house for busi­ness, they are un­likely to make ex­cep­tions, to avoid res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties from be­com­ing com­pletely com­mer­cial.

“Only around 20 per­cent of your home could be used for busi­ness with­out in­fring­ing on any land use reg­u­la­tions,” he says.

The zon­ing sys­tem, which is used by lo­cal gov­ern­ments, is a mech­a­nism of land-use plan­ning.

Zones are gen­er­ally cat­e­gorised as res­i­den­tial, com­mer- cial or in­dus­trial and may be use-based where the uses to which land may be put are reg­u­lated.

Gil­mour says it is pos­si­ble to ap­ply for re­zon­ing of res­i­den­tial prop­erty.

In this case, re­zon­ing ap­pli­ca­tions giv­ing rea­sons must be sub­mit­ted to the lo­cal author­ity, with writ­ten con­fir­ma­tion from neigh­bours that they have no ob­jec­tions.

“In fact, the of­fer to pur­chase can stip­u­late that the prop­erty is sub­ject to the lo­cal author­ity’s ap­proval of the re­zon­ing, sub­di­vi­sion or the con­sent to use the prop­erty in a cer­tain way. The de­tails of re­stric­tions are set out in the ti­tle deed of the prop­erty and can be es­tab­lished by ob­tain­ing a copy from the Deeds Of­fice, or from the bank or fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion that holds the bond,” says Gil­mour.

Gil­mour ad­vises that the best op­tion would be to con­sult a pro­fes­sional town plan­ning con­sul­tant or other pro­fes­sional, such as a land sur­veyor or a lawyer.

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