The City of Joburg says that residents are within their rights to object to their property’s latest valuation in the 2018 general valuation roll – and it has made on online platform available to do so.
The city sparked controversy this week as the details of its General Valuation Roll (GV2018) were made public.
There were widespread reports of shock and anger as some Joburg residents saw their property values skyrocket – in some cases as high as 1,000% – which would translate to much higher rates and taxes for the area.
While extreme overvaluations were rare, TimesLive reported that over 40.71% of properties on the roll saw values increase between 21% and 40%.
The City of Joburg said that property owners within the boundaries of the Joburg metro have the right to inspect the general valuation roll and object to an entry or against an omission from the roll.
To do so, residents should go to the specified page on the city’s website, register, and make their objection known.
Residents can also lodge an objection at their nearest customer service centre, ensuring that they get a reference number or receipt for follow ups. No faxes or emails will be accepted, the City said.
The valuation problem
Every four years, the general valuation roll determines the municipal values of homes and the property rates that should be paid based on these values.
The 2018 roll was certified mid-last year, with the City Council of Johannesburg working closely with professional valuers, data collectors and statistical analysts, to deliver on the project.
On 2 July 2017 year, all 812,000 registered residential properties within the City of Johannesburg were valued using a computer-assisted mass appraisal (CAMA) system, which was done for the purpose of ensuring fairness.
However, property experts have warned these valuations may not be entirely accurate.
“The problem with municipal valuations is that they may often result in over-valuing and are not a true indication of the market value of properties,” said Francois Venter, sales director of Jawitz Properties.
“It is not possible to correctly value a property without seeing it. Properties in the same area can be completely different in size, layout and condition, meaning each property should have a personalised market value, which will certainly be different to the value determined by the City of Johannesburg’s blanket valuation approach,” he said.
Because the council valuation doesn’t reflect the true market value of a property, Venter said that a higher valuation simply means homeowners will pay higher property rates.
Homeowners are, however, able to object to the municipal valuations issued by the City of Johannesburg, he said.
“The objection period is open from 20 February – 6 April 2018, allowing all homeowners 45 days to lodge an objection to the value of their property.”
“While there is no guarantee Council will accept a property owner’s objection, it is definitely worthwhile to check that the valuation is accurate, before it is too late,” Venter said.
“Homeowners should consult with estate agents or independent valuers before the objection period closes. Failing to respond will mean that the given municipal valuation won’t change, and for the next four years, the revised property rates will have to be paid.”