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Are Clearance Certificates For Alien Invasive Species A Legal Requirement To Transfer A Property?

Are Clearance Certificates for Alien Invasive Species a Legal Requirement to Transfer a Property?

Every owner of land is obliged to eradicate any invasive plant species, and in many instances, Estates encourage and insist that home owners make use of indigenous plant species in landscaping their gardens.

The plant species affected are listed in terms of the regulations issued under the National Environmental Management Act and the Biodiversity regulations issued in terms thereof. An example of an invasive plant specie that is prohibited is Lantana which is common in many gardens.

A failure to comply with the regulations and remove such plant species, can lead to the imposition of fines of up to R 10 million.

The Seller of a property thus needs to ensure that any invasive species listed in the regulations, are removed from his property prior to the transfer thereof, and provide a warranty in the sale agreement to such effect.

In some instances, the home owner can apply for, and have a permit to keep such alien invasive plant species on their land which permit must be transferred to the new home owner.

It is however currently not a legal requirement to provide a clearance certificate (similar to gas and electrical compliance certificates) to enable transfer to proceed.

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