What is a SPLUMA certificate and do you need one when you sell your home?
The other day I received an enquiry from a reader asking if she needed a SPLUMA certificate to include an awning that was attached to her home.
I consider myself fairly up-to-date when it comes to what's happening in South Africa with regards to municipal regulations and bylaws and house building. However, after receiving an enquiry from a reader asking if she needed a SPLUMA certificate to include an awning that was attached to her home, I had to admit that I honestly didn't know what she was talking about.
What is a SPLUMA certificate and why do you need one if you are selling your home?
A SPLUMA certificate is issued by your local Municipality and it certifies that any improvements and additions that were done to the property have been approved in accordance with local bylaws. Wait... what! This is going to be very bad news for all those that have tried to sneak a few changes to their house and property without obtaining the necessary building approval. It means that, should you have any building work that was not approved by the local authority, you will not receive a SPLUMA certificate and will not be able to sell the property.
According to Property24, a SPLUMA certificate, or Spatial Planning and Land Use Management, is a certificate that will cause a lot of confusion and concern in the property industry, but experts have advised that it is not a country-wide requirement. However, some reports that indicate that SPLUMA should be nationwide by no later than October this year .
At the moment, it's only Cape Town, Joburg and Tshwane where SPLUMA certificates are required, and then only when dealing with land for development.
"SPLUMA itself does not require any certificate other than for development land. If SPLUMA did become a SA wide requirement, each Municipal Bylaw would need to be changed – and that is vey unlikely," according to Property Law expert Allen West.
If you are worried that your home does not comply to Municipal bylaws as far as building plans are concerned, perhaps this might be a good time to take advantage of the confusion that currently exists as far as implementing SPLUMA nationwide. Should there be any doubts as to whether building plans were approved, it might be a good idea to have an architect redo your plans and submit them for approval.