The Process of Opening and Closing a Rates Account with the Municipality

  • The property is registered at the Deeds Office into the name of the purchaser;
  • The transferring attorneys send a letter to the municipality stating that registration has occurred;
  • Within eight weeks of registration of the property, the Deeds Office sends information via direct link to the municipality so that they may update their systems;
  • The municipality should then respond to this information received by closing the seller’s rates account and by opening the purchaser’s rates account;
  • This is where the problem arises as more often than not this is not done by the Municipality;
  • Therefore, the seller needs to close his or her rates account and the purchaser is required to open a new rates account with the Council;
  • Importantly, the seller will be unable to close his or her account if the purchaser has not opened his or her account;
  • This is to protect the Municipality so that there is always an account linked to a property;
  • Therefore, the purchaser needs to attend the offices of the Municipality and open a new account in his or her name;
  • The purchaser must have the following documents at his or her disposal in order to open a new account: a letter from the transferring attorneys stating that the seller’s property has been transferred into the name of the purchaser; and ID documents for the purchaser;
  • A purchaser will know when his or her account has been opened when the new account numbers are issued to him or her;
  • Once the purchaser has successfully opened his or her account with the Municipality being equipped with a new account number, he or she should inform the seller that this has been done.
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