File image: IOL
File image: IOL

Wavered historic debt paves the way for Property Practitioners Bill

By Zeenat Vallie Time of article published Aug 31, 2017

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CAPE TOWN - The Constitutional Court judgement on 29 August 2017 has ruled that new homeowners will no longer be held liable for historical debt made by previous owners. 

This comes after The Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements has taken a step toward transforming the country's property market. 

"This judgement means the previously disadvantaged sectors of our society will now be able to buy properties without the fear of being held responsible for debt they did not incur. This matter has been a thorn for many people, and we are glad it has been resolved", said Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements, Ms Nocawe Mafu. Ms Mafu said that this ruling ties in with the states efforts to ensure that the property sector is transformed as the Committee prepares for a briefing on the progress update of the Property Practitioners Bill.

 The briefing is scheduled for Tuesday, 5 September 2017 in Parliament.
According to The Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements, the proposed draft legislation is intended to repeal the Estate Agency Affairs Act 112 of 1976, by introducing changes to the real estate industry, which have been described as "transformational" by both the Minister of Human Settlements and the Committee. 
Given Tuesday's ruling, municipalities can no longer hold homeowners liable with rates, water or electricity bills incurred by previous owners. The above matter was presented to the court by new owners who said that they were denied municipal services unless their historical debt is settled. 

READ ALSO: Constitutional Court ruling on historic municipal debt a victory for property purchases


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