Home owners fume over Joburg property valuations

Home owners fume over Joburg property valuations.
Home owners fume over Joburg property valuations.
Image: 123RF/Andriy Popov

Property owners in Johannesburg are fuming after the city released its valuation roll‚ which shows prices rising by huge margins.

The city released the 2018 roll on February 20 for the period July 1‚ 2018 to June 30‚ 2022 and it is open to the public for inspection until April 6 2018.

About 40% of property values increased by between 21 and 40%‚ according to a breakdown provided by a city representative. A further 30.7% saw increases of between 41 and 60%. Property values had increased by over 101% in 3.4% of cases.

Janet King‚ a property owner in Melville‚ got the shock of her life when she discovered the price that the city had placed on her two-bedroom house with a cottage.

“The previous valuation that was on my property was R1.45-million. I thought this was reasonable … It is now R2.5-million for a little semi-detached house‚” King said.

“I would be delighted if somebody gave me that amount of money for my house but I know they are not going to. If someone were to say to me‚ we are going to give you R2.5-million for this property‚ I would simply say‚ please sign here. But that is not going to happen. The house is quite small. It is ridiculous. Nobody is going to pay R2.5-million for my house. I am going to object. I can’t afford to pay [rates] at that price.”

King and her neighbours have developed a group dealing with valuations as there are many property owners who have the same problem.

“They have recommended that we go find an estate agent‚ get an evaluation and somebody’s tenant who is a student will take them all to the council. They will get signed receipts that she has got them and put them in place.”

Michael Dick‚ who owns many assets in the inner city and surroundings‚ is in even greater shock.

His property‚ Rosel Court in Belleview‚ moved from R1.25-million to R17.89-million. The property is made up of six two-bedroom flats in a modest suburb.

Another one of his properties increased by a similar margin.

“I did nothing to these properties. I did not renovate or do anything … I have to object to each of my properties. Not one came right‚” said Dick.

Dick said he was still fighting old battles with the city over their previous evaluation roll.

“We said it [the property] was R6-million‚ they said it was R44-million. They came back and said it is worth R11-million. We appealed the R11-million‚ it went to the appeals board‚ and the board found it to be R6.5-million. We are still waiting for the reversal of the money that they charged us for the R11-million. Our account on this property is outstanding by thousands of rands‚ because we can’t pay what the appeals board said was wrong.”

Dick said he has spent thousands of rands getting lawyers and valuators to fight the city over its high valuations.

When asked about the methodology used to arrive at the prices‚ the city replied: “The value of property (residential‚ sectional title and vacant properties) is determined by using the market comparison method of valuation. This methodology is to use sales in the market of similar properties to determine the value of the subject properties. Legislation (Municipal Property Rates Act) determines that computer assisted mass appraisal techniques may be used.”