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Buying a Property? Here's your legal checklist

For many people, buying a new home is an absolute dream come true. However, before putting in an offer to purchase, it’s important to do a proper inspection of the property.

Buying a property checklist - Property conveyancers Cape Town

Your legal checklist:

  1. As a rule of law one cannot transfer to another more rights than one has. This basically means that the seller must disclose his ownership and provide proof of such. The buyer bears the responsibility to ascertain the existence of the title with the seller.
  2. Another point of importance is to be fully aware of the identity of the seller as it might be that the house the buyer intends to purchase is held jointly or where consent becomes an important factor which may affect the purchase agreement.
  3. Check that there are no pre-emption rights over the property you are planning to buy. A pre-emption right refers to a contractual right in which someone is offered the first opportunity or option to buy the property before anyone else can.
  4. Check whether there are any rights of way over the property and whether it is permanent or renewable.
  5. Ensure there are no plans to construct anything.
  6. Double check that building permits and planning permissions are in order and that the property was indeed built in accordance with such permits and plans.
  7. Check whether there are any loans, mortgages or other outstanding debt which might transfer to the buyer of the house.
  8. Ensure there are no unpaid taxes against the property. This can be checked with the local municipality where the house is located.
  9. Check whether electricity, water and telephone bills have been paid for the last few years.
  10. Should you be buying a sectional title or a community property, ensure that all outstanding levies has been paid.
  11. Ensure you are in possession of all necessary compliance certificates when buying a house.

Certificate of compliance when selling/buying a home

As important as it is for a buyer to do a proper property inspection, he/she is purchasing, it is just as much a task for the seller of the property to identify and obtain the necessary compliance certificates.

Prior to transfer of the property, the seller is required to obtain the occupancy certificate from the correct authority in question.

Upon the purchase and transfer of property, the onus rests on the seller to obtain and provide the buyer with the necessary compliance certificates.

Every homeowner must be in possession of a valid Electrical Certificate of Compliance which serves as verification that all electrical work and installations are safe and comply with the Rules and Regulations in place.

Additionally, homeowners making use of electric fencing must be in possession of an Electric Fence System Certificate of Compliance. This certificate serves as verification that the electric fence is safe and complies with the requirements of the Act. Another important certificate is the Water Installation and Plumbing Certificate which gets issued by licensed plumbers to certify that their plumbing work complies with the necessary requirements.

Bailey Haynes Inc. – Property Conveyancers Cape Town

Still unsure of the do’s and don’ts when buying or selling your dream home? Contact us at Bailey Haynes Attorneys in Cape Town where we offer expert legal advice and assistance.

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