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In order for a property to be transferred from a Seller to a Purchaser, a rates clearance certificate must be obtained from the Municipality and lodged at the Deeds Office with the transfer documents.

In practice, we refer to the certificate as a rates clearance certificate; however, it includes water, electricity and sewerage.

In order to obtain a rates clearance certificate, the Municipality will issue figures to the conveyancer for three months in advance. However, the rates clearance certificate is only valid for 60 days and must be valid as at the date of registration. During that three month period, the property may be transferred to the Purchaser.

Therefore, the Purchaser will be liable for payment of his/her pro-rata share of the rates, and the conveyancer will reflect this in their proforma invoice, which is an estimated amount.

Upon registration, the conveyancer will prepare a final account and any amounts overpaid by the Purchaser will be refunded.

With respect to properties in a sectional title scheme, there will also be levies payable to the Body Corporate, and the conveyancer will need to obtain a levy clearance certificate from the Body Corporate, which must be valid as at the date of registration.

Levies payable to the body corporate work the same way as rates payable to the Municipality.

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