Bad news for property owners

Property owners will now end up owing large sums of money to municipalities in debt incurred by previous owners dating back up to 30 years.

Bobby Bertrand’s property lawyer and director, Bowman Gilfillan, says the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) has given a shocking ruling for home owners.

Before one can register a transfer one has to provide a registrar with a deeds clearance issued by the municipality.

Bobby Bertrand’s property lawyer and director, Bowman Gilfillan.

The SCA ruled last month that new property owners can be held liable for historic debts dating back three decades.

Gilfillan said as the law stood, before a seller was liable only for debts incurred over the past two years for electricity, water and other services, and 30 years for rates in terms of section 118 of the Local Government Municipal Systems Act in order to obtain a clearance certificate.

The matter is heading to the Constitutional Court.

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