Rates refunds in the City of Cape Town

One of the documents that must be lodged in the Deeds Office for registration of transfer is the Rates Clearance Certificate (RCC). By law, at the time of registration of the property into the new owner’s name, all municipal charges relating to the property must be paid. And the RCC serves as confirmation that these monies have been paid.

June 2, 2021

The RCC is obtained during the conveyancing process

The conveyancer will request the rates figures from the council – these figures will include all monies due at the time of the request as well as an estimate of the cost for a period of two months in advance. This is to ensure that at registration of transfer of the property into the buyer’s name, everything due to the municipality has been paid.

Because the seller is paying an estimated cost in advance, they may be owed a refund by the council once registration and transfer has taken place.

The refund process  

The Deeds Office notifies the City of Cape Town of changes in ownership. On receipt of notification, the City will do a reconciliation of the seller’s account. Any monies overpaid will be transferred to the conveyancer, who will refund the seller. The seller’s account will be closed, and a new account will be opened in the buyer’s name. The buyer will then start to receive their municipal accounts.

What about early occupation?

If early occupation occurs, with the buyer liable for municipal charges during occupation, it’s important that the buyer does not pay the municipal charges directly into the seller’s municipal account. Instead, the buyer should pay the amounts due to the conveyancer, who will attend to the pro rata split of the municipal charges on registration.

Written by Wessel de Kock

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