With consumers under pressure to make every cent count in the current challenging economic climate, Cape Town home owners are advised to take note of the 2022 municipal valuations of their properties as soon as they become open for public inspection and objection on 21 February 2023, says Basil Moraitis, regional head of Pam Golding Properties in the Western Cape.
“As these new rates on the 2022 General Valuation roll take effect from 1 July 2023 and will form the basis of your rates assessments for the next four years, it is imperative that you make yourself aware of the market value of your property, to ensure that the values determined by the City of Cape Town reflect a reasonable market value of your property as at 1 July 2022.
“As most of the revised valuations are conducted by a computer-aided mass appraisal system, errors and irregularities may occur, so it’s advisable to familiarise yourself with the new valuation as soon as you are notified of it by the City.”
According to James Phillipson of STBB, the software used by the City is called CAMA (Computer-assisted Mass Appraisal). This software is used in many cities worldwide and at the City of Cape Town, is applied by assistant municipal valuers, statistical analysts and data collectors to arrive at a valuation.
Moraitis says it’s also a good idea to keep an eye on the City Municipal Valuations Roll which is readily available by visiting the City’s website (www.capetown.gov.za), to ensure you are informed timeously.
“Furthermore,” adds Moraitis, “as there is a limited 60-day objection period from 21 February to 30 April 2023, it is recommended to obtain an independent and professional valuation of your property as soon as possible in order that you can determine if any increase in the value of your property is fair and justified. Bear in mind that the City defines the market value as the amount the property would sell for in the open market – at the designated date of 1 July 2022.
“Our agents are area specialists and readily available to assist any home owners with recent sales in their area and comparative market assessment of the value of their properties.”
Says Annien Borg, Pam Golding Properties regional head for Boland, Overberg and Cape Town’s Northern suburbs: “Should you not be in agreement with the City’s valuation, it is best to submit your objection as soon as possible, and advisable to obtain professional assistance in compiling, motivating and lodging your objection – which can be an exacting and onerous task. In this regard, we can put you in contact with reputable professionals who will ensure that your objection meets all the stringent requirements of the City valuers, and who can also undertake a subsequent appeal should your objection not be satisfactorily concluded.”
Phillipson adds that there are various reasons why a particular property’s valuation rates cannot be accurately determined by a software system that uses area averages, and says that home owners should consider the opportunity to object.
Adds Borg: “Bear in mind that no rates are levied by the City on the first R300 000 of the value of a residential property (as it appears on the general valuation roll 2018), which comprises R15 000 - which by law the City is not allowed to levy on, plus a reduction of R285 000 as approved by Cape Town City Council.”
Offering a word of caution, Moraitis says that if the City valuers identify a property as having undergone a change, they will physically inspect the property – in which case and for security purposes any temporary or permanently employed data collector and/or municipal valuer can be identified by name, photograph and City identification number, which can also be viewed on the City’s official website.