Property Sellers – Prepare for SPLUMA

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Delays in transferring property after a sale are likely to be costly for sellers in particular, so you will want to pro-actively avoid anything that could cause unnecessary hitches in the transfer process.

Although the final timing on (and details of) this are not yet clear, you need to be aware of the possibility that you will soon need to lodge before transfer a formal “SPLUMA” (Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act) certificate of compliance.

Read on for a list of the three main things you are likely to need to have in place for your transferring attorney to obtain a certificate for you with a minimum of fuss and delay.

Many factors can delay your property transfer, and all of them are likely to cost you. 

A last-minute rush to comply with statutory requirements is one such pitfall to avoid. Beware therefore of the possibility that you will soon need (in some parts of the country you may already need), to lodge before transfer a formal “SPLUMA” (Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act) certificate of compliance.  SPLUMA, without getting too technical, provides a framework for all provinces and municipalities to pass laws governing land use and development.

There is (at date of writing) some confusion over what is actually required, and although currently a formal certificate of compliance seems to be necessary in some municipal areas only, there is a suggestion that the requirement will apply everywhere by October 2020. 

It pays to comply anyway!

The important thing however is that – regardless of statutory requirements – you won’t want any problems with your buyer down the line complaining about unlawful building work or zoning contraventions. So it makes sense to ensure that you are fully compliant well before you start any sales process. 

Take professional advice (in good time so you can take corrective action if you need to) and make sure that –

  • Building plans for all structures have been approved,
  • Your property’s use complies with its zoning, and 
  • There are no encroachments over building lines and property boundaries.