How to get your Rates Clearance Certificate

16 May 2019

How to get your Rates Clearance Certificate

When selling your property, it is necessary to get a rates clearance certificate (RCC) from the relevant local authority before transfer can take place. This document certifies that there are no outstanding rates due on the property on the seller’s account. Below, law firm Abrahams & Gross has outlined who needs to apply for this certificate, who is responsible for paying for it and how long it is valid for.

Why is a rates clearance certificate necessary? The RCC obtained from the City Council certifies that the seller does not owe any money to the municipality for the two year period preceding the date of application for the RCC.

Whose responsibility is it to obtain a rates clearance certificate? The conveyancer requests the rates clearance figures from City Council. The figures are determined by the City Council and not the conveyancer. It is the seller’s responsibility to settle amounts due in order to obtain the RCC. The seller must pay the conveyancer who will then pay the City Council as they require rates figures to be paid with a trust cheque. The RCC must be obtained and paid for before the lodging of transfer documents in the Deeds Office.

Why must the seller pay in advance? The City Council issues figures for rates and taxes, electricity, water, sewerage and refuse for a period of 60 days in advance. The law related to the RCC provides that the RCC must be valid for a period of 60 days from the date of issue by the City Council.

When does the seller get a refund? After registration and once the municipal charges are transferred to the purchaser’s account, there is usually an amount in credit due to the seller by the City Council. The Council takes 6 to 9 months to reconcile the accounts and pay the refund.

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