Don’t overpay on your municipal rates: City of Joburg’s property owners, check the market value of your property.

*This content is brought to you by Lightstone

Every few years municipalities publish a General Valuation Roll that property owners can inspect and object to if the municipal value of their property is higher  than the market value.

The City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality recently announced that its draft General Valuation Roll is available for all ratepayers to review. Property owners in the metro have until the end of March 2023 to inspect and object to the current valuation of their property as prescribed by the municipality.

As a Joburg ratepayer this is an opportunity to check that your property is correctly valued. Why does this matter? Well, as a property owner (on an already tightly squeezed budget!), knowing whether your municipal valuation is correct and not higher than the market value could potentially save you money in the long term, because this value will get used to calculate your rates and taxes for the next five years.

But market value is the same as municipal value, right?

Not always.

A property valuation is an estimate of how much a property is worth – what property professionals call market value. It’s a good indication of what you could sell your property for in the current property market. This estimate is usually based on a few things, like the property’s size, location, condition and even recent sales of similar properties in the area.

On the other hand, a municipal value is assigned to your property by the municipality. Yes, it could match up to the market value – but if your property is over-valued by the municipality and you don’t lodge an objection, you could end up paying more for rates and taxes than you need to.

Budget 2023 – All the tax tables, from income to property and lump sums

In what instances can you object?

As a property owner you can lodge an objection on the General Valuation Roll if one or more of the following are incorrectly listed:

  • Property value
  • Property description
  • Stand number or portion number
  • Category
  • Size
  • Owner

All this information should be correct – not just to ensure you’re not overpaying on your municipal rates and taxes, but also to avoid any delays if you sell your property down the line.

You can object to any information that’s incorrectly displayed on the Valuation Roll as long as you can support the objection with a reason and the necessary evidence. The objection will then be considered by a municipal valuer and if the municipality finds the objection valid, it  may revalue your property.

Make sure you have the right supporting documentation

When you lodge an objection with the municipality, as mentioned, you need to provide supporting documentation. There are requirements though around what is considered suitable evidence. For example, a Lightstone Property Value Buyer Report is accepted as supporting documentation (or evidence for that matter) if you choose to lodge an objection. This is because Lightstone is an independent supplier of accurate and up-to-date property data – in fact their valuations are used by most leading banks, estate agents, insurers and other property professionals.

This report not only gives property owners the peace of mind that they have reliable data about their property value; it can also be used as evidence for any objection to information recorded on the Roll as it includes all the property information registered at the Deeds Office, like the owner’s details, the size of the property, intel on recent sales in in the area – and much more!

  • Find out how Lightstone is making it easy for City of Joburg ratepayers to get accurate property valuations and purchase a Lightstone Property Value Buyer Report for only R172.50: https://ezrates.platform.lightstone.co.za/
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