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Clearance certificates: Do I still need to pay rates?


Hi, I am selling my house and had to pay more than R6,000 in advance to obtain a clearance certificate which I did receive and handed to the lawyers. Must I still pay my monthly bill or do I stop it now as there must be a credit to my account? – Phillip


Hi Phillip, refunds on credits are every transferring attorney’s nightmare as there is no consistency across the 278 municipalities in South Africa. By rights you do not need to pay your bill as it is in credit and after registration you ought to receive a pro-rata refund taking into account the terms of your sale agreement, registration and occupation, unless otherwise specified.

Municipalities may not forward charge on clearance projections

If you do continue to pay your bill you should get the exact amount back that was paid in advance. Hopefully with this new judgment, refunds will become a thing of the past.

#AskaMunicipalDebtSpecialist Got a burning question? E-mail mariette@hometimes.co.za and we will be sure to assist you

municipal debt specialist

Who is Peter Livanos?

Peter Levinos

Peter Livanos, the Managing Director of New Ventures Consulting & Services(NVC): the Municipal Debt Specialist (MDS), has been a true pioneer of the correct implementation of Municipal Clearance Figures & Certificates since 2002. He was one of the first people to approach the courts to enforce the public’s rights for Section 118 of the Municipal Systems Act. Over the years, his consulting practice grew into a serious force in the property industry. Due to NVC becoming the authority, they now act for most of South Africa’s major banks, transferring attorneys, real estate agents and property owners. To date, his company has successfully assisted in excess of 12,000 property owners in reducing and correcting municipal debt, resulting in savings of hundreds of millions of rands.

According to many, NVC has been declared the people’s hero, as they have been fighting for the helpless and funding all the legal costs. Their most recent litigation against Ekurhuleni and City of Tshwane is of major importance, as it will affect every single property owner in the country. This ground breaking court case could potentially have devastating effects on all banks’ mortgage bonds over a property. In the North Gauteng High Court recently, the judge declared that it was unlawful for a municipality to hold new owners liable for historic debts of a property. The judge further announced that if the municipality believed that the Municipal Systems Act allowed Municipalities to do this, that he declare that Act unconstitutional and referred same to the Constitutional Court (Con Court) for confirmation. Both the City of Tshwane and Ekurhuleni Municipalities have appealed the NVC cases and the matter is set to be heard in the Con Court during May 2017.


Mariette Steynberg is a qualified economist with a post-graduate diploma in financial planning. She has enjoyed working on holistic financial plans for clients in various stages of life, as well as a development economist assessing the socioeconomic impacts of new developments. When she is not working, Mariette enjoys parenting her quirky, delightful toddler girl. Cloth diapering, Eskimo kisses and the importance of reading to your child are all causes close to her heart. Mariette is passionate about financial education and hopes to use the experience she has gained to share knowledge with HomeTimes’ readership. Her goal is to provide information that is implementable by everyone.

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