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Agents, sellers on the line for certificates
Property24.com - South Africa
From now on, homebuyers will be able to insist on seeing a valid electrical certificate of compliance (CoC) when they view a property for sale - and before they sign an offer to purchase.

Lynette Malan, MD of the Property100 group and national vice-president of the Institute of Estate Agents, says this follows recent media reports that estate agents who begin marketing a property before a CoC has been obtained could be risking prosecution - and heavy fines or even jail time if found guilty.

"Senior legal sources within the public service have now confirmed their intention of cracking down on agents - and property sellers - who contravene Section 22 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, which clearly provides that a property cannot be offered for sale unless a valid CoC is already in place.

Back to court again over Oudekraal development issue
Cape Times - South Africa
The Oudekraal development issue is going to court for the third time. The City of Cape Town has now applied to have the authorities' decision, which gives Oudekraal owners the right to develop the land, reviewed and set aside - nearly 50 years after the decision was made.

If the city wins, Oudekraal owner Kassie Wiehahn will not be able to use township rights, granted in 1957, to develop a portion of the Oudekraal property, and the rights would be removed from the title deeds. He could apply afresh for development rights, but in the context of tougher new environmental laws.

If the city loses, Wiehahn could develop portion 7 of Oudekraal using the old township rights.
Cape Times

Instructing your solicitor
The Motley Fool - UK
Now that you've made your offer for a home and it's been accepted, you'll need a solicitor to carry out the legal niceties. You're probably looking at about £300 to £500 for these costs depending on the value of your house. If you are buying a leasehold property, such as a flat, then the fees are likely to be slightly higher, as is the length of time required.

Conveyancing (the legal process of transferring ownership from the seller to the buyer) is actually pretty simple, as long as everything goes according to plan! Your solicitor will do most of the legwork and tell you what amounts you need to pay and when. They will also provide you with a 'balance sheet' of the whole transaction so you can see where all your money goes.
The Motley Fool

Tax implications for buying commercial property
Moneyweb - South Africa
Buying a commercial property is not a walk in the park as there are complex tax implications that should be navigated by the potential buyer, particularly the small and medium enterprise (SME) owner.

Gerhard Zeelie, head of commercial property finance at First National Bank (FNB) points out that the small to medium sized business owner is often unaware of the tax implications relating to the acquisition of commercial or industrial properties.

According to Zeelie, tax issues could have a significant impact on the perceived benefits and risks associated with the acquisition of property.

The house valuations lottery
ThisIsLondon - UK
Estate agents are turning the whole process of selling property into a lottery by offering wildly different valuations on homes, according to a new survey.

Some agents are apparently deliberately overvaluing houses to grab the business. Others are unable to come up with a fair price, either because of a lack of training or through incompetence. Some rogues may even be undervaluing in order to sell on properties to others in return for a bribe.

The survey, by the campaigning consumer group Which?, looked at valuations offered by agents on 14 homes in various parts of the country. It found differences of more than 25% on six of the properties. An inaccurate valuation can mean a seller either loses tens of thousands of pounds or finds the home has no takers.

Taking the stress out of moving: Liverpool's one-day land charge search
eGov Monitor - UK
Liverpool City Council's newly-launched automated land charges service will make it easier to buy a home in the city.

Liverpool has worked closely with partners MacDonald Dettwiler and Northgate to launch a fully-automated electronic conveyancing system, enabling solicitors and conveyancers to carry out local land charge search and enquiry requests quickly and accurately online.

When a search on a property within the Liverpool City Council boundary is submitted via MacDonald Dettwiler's online National Land Information Service channel, the results will be electronically sent to Liverpool council, where Northgate's Land Charges system is automatically updated. The speed of this process dramatically reduces the time it takes to complete a search, from a few weeks down to as fast as one working day.
eGov Monitor

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