In recent years many South African municipalities have revised residential property valuations they within their boundaries.
“The approach adopted by most of them,” says Gavin Commins, CEO of the South African valuation experts The Valuator Group, “is to insist that the home be valued at its true market value. This has led many home-owners to expect that the rates and taxes they are asked to pay will accurately reflect a rise in the home’s market value. For example, if the valuation has risen by 40% they expect their rates and taxes to be approximately 40% higher. Experience has, however, shown that this is often not the case and that the revised increase is far greater than the market value would appear to justify.”
Commins says that it appears that the municipalities now see privately owned property as a taxable resource through which they can raise the funds they require for the improvement of disadvantaged areas. And previous valuations sometimes gave an unreasonably low value to a property, which now has to be compensated for.
In some cases, said Commins, the new valuations are so way off the mark that it is essential to get a second opinion as to what they should be and to lodge a complaint with the municipality in the hope that it will carry out a review. A respected, independent valuer can be of inestimable worth and experience has shown that in nine cases out of ten the municipalities will then adjust their estimate.
“A lesson to be learned from most municipal property valuations,” said Commins, “is that scepticism as regards the value applied to your property is often justified, and if not errors can only be revealed by a professionally executed valuation.”
For further information contact Gavin Cummins on 082 900 5385.