Clearance Certificates
Clearance Certificates

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.


The Clearance Process
The appointed conveyancing attorney must apply for a Clearance Certificate from the City’s Clearance Unit by filling in the required clearance application form.

propertyThe seller, in turn, has to fill in a cancellation of consumer agreement form to have the water and electricity account finalised, and to apply for the deposit to be refunded. In the case of a tenant leasing the property, a cancellation of consumer agreement form must be completed by the tenant. All arrear amounts for the two years proceding the date of application on the owner and tenant accounts will be included in the clearance figures.

Once the Clearance Unit has verified all the information, the conveyancing attorney is informed of the clearance figures. This can take as little as five working days if there are no problems or queries on the account.

The clearance figure is the final amount to be paid to settle the account before the City will issue the Clearance Certificate; the certificate indicates that no amount is outstanding on the account and that the account may be closed. If the seller’s account have arrears older than 2 years, the City will issue clearance figures as per the Municipal Systems Act 32 of 2000, section 118, which states that amounts owing for the last 2 years have been paid.

The arrear debt older than the 2 year period remain due and payable by the seller upon registration, if not paid, legal action might be instituted against the property.

The conveyancer arranges for full and final payment of the account, either in cash or with an attorney trust cheque. The Clearance Certificate is issued within 24 hours of payment and is valid for 60 days.

If the sale of property is delayed over the 60 days, the conveyancer has to re-apply for a certificate.Download clearance form here


Disputes on clearance amounts
If you disagree with the clearance amount on your account you must log a query with Joburg Connect on 0860 562 874. Once your query is resolved you can re-submit your application for a Clearance Certificate.


Sectional Title property owners
Applying for a Clearance Certificate on a Sectional Title property is different from the process for a freehold property.

Sectional Title brochure

From 1 July 2008, holders of Sectional Title properties will receive individual property rates accounts, and they will, therefore, be expected to apply for a Clearance Certificate individually and not through their body corporate.


Developers of Sectional Titles
When a Sectional Title scheme is registered at the Deeds Office, a rates account is automatically opened at the City of Johannesburg.

To install a new water or sewer connections, go to your nearest Customer Service Centre to fill in an application form. The same should be done for electricity connections. Go to your nearest Customer Service Centre

In both instances an official will visit the property before giving a quote on a connection fee.​​