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PAIA, 2000 (Act 2 of 2000) 

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Buying and selling property Print E-mail
15 May 2007

Certificate of Occupancy
THE City has to issue a Certificate of Occupancy for every building that is built, before it is occupied, as required by the National Building Regulations (NBR) and Building Standards Act. This is to show that all requirements have been met and safeguards the owner or tenant.

The Certificate of Occupancy stipulates the type of dwelling - single dwelling, cluster complex, townhouse or complex - and is important if you wish to apply for a residential rebate.

The responsibility for obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy lies with the property owner and should be obtained at the time of taking ownership of the property.

A Certificate of Occupancy is also necessary before water and electricity deposits can be accepted for newly built properties.




KEY part of buying or selling property – as far as your interaction with the City is concerned – is the clearance process. As a property owner, you need to know that before you can sell your property you are legally required to get a Clearance Certificate from the municipality.


The seller is responsible for making sure that all rates and services have been paid and that the municipal account is up to date before selling the property. This is also the case if a tenant has leased the property.


Sectional Title owners will receive their first rates account, under the new Municipal Property Rates Act, from 1 July 2008. In the past these accounts were sent to the bodies corporate. Like other property owners, sectional title owners will, therefore, need to apply for Clearance Certificates on assessment rates when selling their properties.

Once this is done a Clearance Certificate can be issued. This certificate shows that there are no outstanding municipal charges. The Deeds Office will only register the change in ownership once the Clearance Certificate has been received.


The City processes up to 5 000 Clearance Certificates in any given month. It takes up to 30 days from the time the City receives your application, for your property to be cleared.


Account issues must be resolved and account arrears paid before your request for a Clearance Certificate will be accepted by the City. If you have an account problem, please log a query with Joburg Connect on 0860 562 874.

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Last Updated on 23 March 2016